Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
OwnerCorus Entertainment
(Men TV GP)
(Name licensed by A&E Networks)
Sister channelsHistory
LaunchedSeptember 7, 2001; 22 years ago (September 7, 2001)
Former namesmentv (2001–2010)
The Cave (2010–2012)
H2 (2012-2019)

History2 is a Canadian English language discretionary specialty channel dedicated to airing historic and non-historical programming of military, science, and technology interest. The channel is owned by Men TV General Partnership, a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment, with its name licensed from the U.S. company, A&E Networks, owners of the brand.


Original logo as mentv, 2001–2010
Logo as The Cave, 2010-2012
H2 Logo 2012-2019
H2 Logo 2019-2021

In November 2000, Groupe TVA and Canwest (through its subsidiary Global Television Network Inc.) were granted approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a television channel called Men TV, described as "a national English-language Category 1 specialty television service dedicated to men's lifestyle. It will provide programming related to the luxury market, the gourmet market, men's beauty and fitness, the book and music market, outdoor adventures and leisure sports, from a Canadian men's perspective."[1]

The channel launched on September 7, 2001, under a slightly modified name, mentv. Despite Canwest's 49% minority interest in the service, Canwest was the managing partner of the channel from its inception until September 2008, when managing operations were handed over to Groupe TVA, who owned a 51% stake in the service.

Throughout its history as mentv, the channel maintained a programming slate of general interest programming aimed at a male audience. Programming included series focusing on themes such as crime and mystery, cuisine, leisure sports such as extreme sports and fishing, technology, and more. Due in part to the channel's licence requirements, the majority of the programming were documentary, reality series, talk shows, and other such non-scripted programming. Scripted programming such as films, variety shows, comedies, and television dramas did also air on the channel, however.

In 2004, a complaint by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters on behalf of Canwest was filed against the Canadian carriage of the U.S. cable network Spike, which had recently relaunched from TNN with a male-skewing entertainment format. It argued that the network's carriage in Canada would harm mentv due to an alleged overlap between its programming scope with it and several other Canadian channels. The CRTC dismissed the complaint, arguing that Spike did not directly compete with mentv because it was merely an entertainment network aimed at a male audience, while mentv was oriented primarily towards lifestyle programs targeting a male audience.[2][3]

On August 2, 2010, with little marketing initiative behind it and little notice from the press, mentv was quietly rebranded The Cave, while maintaining mentv's programming strategy of a lifestyle service aimed at men. On October 27, 2010, Shaw Communications gained a 49% stake in the channel as a result of its acquisition of Canwest.[4][5]

On December 22, 2011, Groupe TVA announced its intention to sell its share of The Cave and Mystery TV to Shaw Communications, giving Shaw full control of the two channels.[6] It was revealed in regulatory documents, that the transaction for The Cave was valued at $2,000,000.[7] The deal was approved by the CRTC on April 25, 2012.[8]

On May 30, 2012, Shaw Media announced that it would be launching a Canadian version of the history-focused American channel, H2, on August 27, 2012. While no official word was made by Shaw Media, It was speculated that the channel would be a rebranded version of The Cave.[9][10] Indeed, The Cave was rebranded as H2 on August 27, 2012.

On May 29, 2013, Shaw Media launched a high definition simulcast of H2. It is currently available on Eastlink, Shaw Direct, Shaw Cable & Bell Fibe TV.

In November 2015, it was announced that the U.S. H2 channel would be replaced by Viceland—a new network programmed by Vice Media. With Vice previously announcing a Canadian partnership with Rogers Communications, who rebranded The Biography Channel to a Canadian version of Viceland, and A&E Networks stating that the H2 brand would continue to be used in international markets, the Canadian channel was not affected by these changes.[11][12]

On April 1, 2016, Corus Entertainment acquired Shaw Media.

In August 2019, the channel has been rebranded as History2, as with other current existing H2 channels around the world. The channel updated its on-screen imaging in January 2022.

Noted series


  1. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-464 CRTC 2000-12-14
  2. ^ "Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2005-9". CRTC. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  3. ^ "CRTC: Spike TV can stay in Canada". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  4. ^ Shaw Communications closes purchase of Canwest TV assets, rebrands as Shaw Media[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ CRTC approves Shaw’s purchase of the Canwest Global television properties Archived 2013-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ TVA selling two specialty channels to Shaw Media; financial terms not disclosed Archived 2012-07-20 at archive.today
  7. ^ Application 2011-1581-6 CRTC 2012-01-20
  8. ^ Decision CRTC 2012-239 CRTC 2012-04-25
  9. ^ A&E Networks Sending Lifetime and H2 to Canada The Hollywood Reporter 2012-05-30
  10. ^ Shaw Media to bring Lifetime, H2 to Canada Cartt.ca 2012-05-30
  11. ^ "Viceland content will be made in Canada, for a global audience". Canadian Business. Rogers Media. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  12. ^ "It's Official: Vice Channel to Take Over A+E Networks' History Spinoff H2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 February 2016.