CTV Drama Channel
CountryCanada
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Ownership
OwnerCHUM Limited (1995–2007)
CTVglobemedia (CTV Limited) (2007–2011)
Bell Media (2011–present) (Branding licensed from Comcast, and NBCUniversal as Bravo!, and Bravo from 1995 to 2019)
Sister channelsCTV
CTV Comedy Channel
CTV Sci-Fi Channel
CTV Life Channel
CTV News Channel
CTV 2
History
LaunchedJanuary 1, 1995 (1995-01-01)
Former namesBravo! (1995–2012)
Bravo (2012–2019)
Links
Websitewww.ctv.ca/drama

CTV Drama Channel is a Canadian English language discretionary specialty channel owned by Bell Media. The channel primarily broadcasts drama series and films.

The channel was founded as the Canadian version of the U.S. channel Bravo (which is now owned by NBCUniversal) on January 1, 1995 by Moses Znaimer and its owner CHUM Limited, and originally focused on performing arts, drama, and independent film. After the acquisition of CHUM by CTVglobemedia, the channel pivoted away from arts programming, and segued to a general entertainment format with a focus on drama (unlike its U.S. counterpart, which shifted to female-targeting reality and lifestyle-oriented series).

History

In the 1980s, a precursor to Bravo existed called C Channel. The service was boasted as a national commercial-free pay television channel that focused on arts programming. C Channel launched on February 1, 1983, before it went bankrupt and ceased operations five months later on June 30 of that year due to its inability to attract a sufficient number of subscribers at a price of $16 per month.[1]

Bravo logo used from 1995 to 2012

Over 10 years later, another attempt at an arts-based channel was proposed when CHUM Limited applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a license to operate Bravo. In June 1994, CHUM's application for Bravo was approved, citing its nature of service as focusing on "performance and drama programming, as well as documentary and discussion".[2]

Bravo was launched on January 1, 1995, licensing the name from Rainbow Media (now known as AMC Networks), who partnered with CHUM to launch MuchMusic USA (later known as Fuse TV).

Sale to CTVglobemedia/Bell Media

Bravo HD logo used from 2011 to 2012.

In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later called CTVglobemedia) announced that it would purchase CHUM for an estimated CAD$1.7 billion, included in the sale was Bravo[3] The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007,[4] and the transaction was completed on June 22, 2007 while the Citytv stations were sold to Rogers Media. After CTVglobemedia's purchase of Bravo, the channel increasingly shifted its focus toward more television and film dramas (such as Criminal Minds), and lessened its focus on arts programming.

On September 10, 2010, BCE Inc. (a minority shareholder in CTVglobemedia) announced that it planned to acquire 100% interest in CTVglobemedia for a total debt and equity transaction cost of $3.2 billion.[5] The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011,[6] and was finalized on April 1 of that year, on which CTVglobemedia was rebranded Bell Media.[7] a high definition simulcast feed of Bravo, which broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format, was launched later that year on October 6, 2011.

Bravo's final on air logo, used from 2012 to 2019.

While under Bell Media ownership, Bravo unveiled a new on-air logo and new on-air presentation in 2012 as part of an extensive network rebranding.[citation needed]

On June 6, 2013, Bell announced that Bravo would become the company's first network to implement a TV Everywhere service, which would allow subscribers of participating television service providers that carry Bravo to stream video on demand content as well as a live feed of the Bravo channel via the Bravo Go app.[8]

On June 7, 2018, it was announced that Bravo would be re-branded as "CTV Drama", as part of a re-branding of several Bell Media specialty channels under the CTV name.[9] The following year, it was revealed the channel would rebrand as CTV Drama Channel on September 12, 2019. Bell also announced a commitment to order 20 made-for-TV film adaptations of Harlequin novels from Harlequin Studios, which would air on CTV Drama Channel and Vrak.[10]

The rights to the Bravo brand and original programming —which now focuses primarily on reality shows—were acquired by Rogers in June 2024, with plans to relaunch the brand under one of its platforms in September.[11]

Programming

Presently, CTV Drama Channel airs a mix of programming from U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as repeats of Canadian-produced shows to fulfill Canadian content quotas.

In its early years as Bravo, the channel often aired short films by Canadian artists between programs, funded by its foundation Bravo!FACT, which ranged from comedy to drama to opera to jazz to animation. Many of these also aired on Bravo's weekly series Bravo!FACT Presents. Bravo has also produced a limited amount of scripted and non-scripted series and has aired various notable specials, including a telecast of Canadian rock band Spirit of the West's Open Heart Symphony concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, along with three early telefilms within the Murdoch Mysteries franchise: Except the Dying, Poor Tom Is Cold and Under the Dragon's Tail.

As CTV Drama Channel

Current programming

As Bravo (past)

References

  1. ^ Godfrey, Stephen (18 June 1983). "Receiver named for arts network". Globe and Mail. pp. A1–A2.
  2. ^ CRTC Decision 1994-281
  3. ^ Bell Globemedia acquires CHUM Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine; Fasken Martineau; 2006-07-12
  4. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-165; CRTC; 2007-06-08
  5. ^ Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  6. ^ CRTC approves BCE's purchase of CTVglobemedia Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Bell completes acquisition of CTV, launches Bell Media business unit Archived 2011-04-04 at the Wayback Machine CNW 2011-04-01
  8. ^ "Bell Media to give subscribers full online access to Bravo". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Magnum P.I. reboot, new Jann Arden comedy on CTV's fall lineup". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  10. ^ "CTV, Harlequin agree telemovie pact". C21media. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  11. ^ Thiessen, Connie (2024-06-10). "Rogers scoops Warner Bros. Discovery rights from Corus and Bell". Broadcast Dialogue. Retrieved 2024-06-10.