YTV
Logo used since 2014
CountryCanada
Broadcast areaNational
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Programming
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceYTV East
G3
Ownership
OwnerCorus Entertainment
ParentYTV Canada, Inc.
Sister channelsNickelodeon
Treehouse TV
History
LaunchedSeptember 1, 1988; 35 years ago (1988-09-01)
Links
Websitewww.ytv.com
Availability
Streaming media
StackTVInternet Protocol television

YTV is a Canadian English language discretionary specialty channel owned by YTV Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment.[1] The channel and its programming is targeted at children and young teenagers; consisting of both original live-action and animated television series, movies, and third-party shows from various international markets, mainly from U.S.-based kids networks. Its name was originally thought to be an abbreviation for "Youth Television", though the channel's website has denied this.[2]

The channel was launched on September 1, 1988 by owners Rogers Media and CUC Broadcasting upon launch. In 1995, Shaw Communications acquired CUC's 34% stake and in 1998, it acquired Rogers' remaining interest of the channel, before Shaw's media division was spun off to form Corus Entertainment in 1999.

YTV operates two time shifted feeds, running on both Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules, and is available in over 11.0 million households in Canada as of 2013.[3]

History

The channel was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1987 by Rogers Cable and CUC Broadcasting.[4][5]

The channel launched on September 1, 1988, at 7:00 p.m., with the first program being a special party celebrating the launch of YTV, hosted by John Candy.[6] At launch, Rogers held 75% of the channel while CUC owned 25%.[5]

In 1994, the stakes of YTV's ownership was changed, with CUC now owning 34% and Rogers now owning 66%. However, in 1995, Calgary-based Shaw Communications acquired CUC's stake of 34% ownership of YTV. Shaw acquired Rogers' remaining share in 1999 to take full control of it. In 1999, the media assets of Shaw were spun off to form Corus Entertainment.[5]

Two Corus specialty channel applications for YTV extensions, YTV POW!, an internationally sourced kids' action, adventure and superhero genre, and YTV OneWorld, targeting children from age 9 to 17 with travel, humour, games, and STEM were approved on September 18, 2008.[7] The YTV Oneworld license was used to launch Nickelodeon Canada.[8]

On January 11, 2011, a high-definition feed was launched.[9]

Programming

Main article: List of programs broadcast by YTV

Current YTV original programming include hosted programming blocks, such as The Zone. In addition to original programming, YTV has historically acquired and co-produced programming with the U.S cable network Nickelodeon.[10]

Programming blocks

Current

Seasonal

Former

Branding history

Initially, YTV utilized computer-generated graphics in their network IDs, which were normally set against different sky backgrounds that changed depending on the time of day. The channel also started using various slogans ("The Spirit of Youth", "Young as You Are!", "The Youth Channel" and "Canada's Youth Channel") to promote and reflect their youth demographic at the time.

Former logo for the channel, used from 1995 to 2000. Although this logo was discontinued in 2000, it would still be used as the channel’s “de facto” logo until 2007.

Over the years, the channel continued to revise their branding and promotional material. In 1993, a number of different on-air logos were taken effect, which features the logo's text placed atop of random objects. One logo variant used on production credits (and presumably the "official" logo) features an arrangement of the logo's text placed on a red screen of a stylized purple television set. In 1995, the YTV text was changed, arranged the same way as before, though with an altered design of the TV background and logotype.

In the fall of 1998, YTV started to use a Nickelodeon-style "gross-out" factor in its branding and adopted a new slogan, "Keep It Weird". The logo was changed again in September 2000 with the TV background dropped and the YTV text modified. However, the channel continued utilizing various on-air logos featuring the same arrangement of the logo's text, this time on various bizarre and imaginative creatures. In September 2003, the YTV text got slightly modified, with new additions of the creatures. Many of the channel’s promos from this period often focused on promoting the brand through crude humour, often at the expense of the programs being advertised. As this advertising style permeated the station at all hours of the day, it was heavily criticized, especially by older fans of the station.

As a response, a new post-6:00 p.m. advertising style was developed for older audiences, which used a much simpler logo (similar to the current logo used today) and sleeker packaging with reduced "gross-out" tactics. Introduced on September 5, 2005, the simple logo (designed by Troika Design Group) first appeared on YTV's promos and even appeared on credits of newer original programming before being later adopted for the entire channel in 2007, replacing the creatures from the “Keep It Weird” era that had been used in rotation during the channel’s daytime hours.

On August 31, 2009, the logo was changed slightly to have featured new colours, and the background was simplified. The bumpers were reduced and were later replaced by opaque digital on-screen graphics telling viewers which programs are coming next, and promotions of the programs. As part of slightly updated look in September 2012, the colour variants were dropped, leaving only the blue variation.

On October 6, 2014, the channel underwent a brand refresh, with new graphics and bumps created by the Toronto-based Eloisa Iturbe Studio. In addition, the channel updated its logo by having it face upwards to the left instead of directly to the audience.[25]

Program jockeys

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Beginning in September 1990, YTV called their program jockeys as "PJs" in the same vein as disc jockey (DJ) or video jockey (VJ).[26] Current hosts of these segments have since dropped the moniker as of the mid-1990s. On April 29, 2023, Corus & YTV fired and dropped all program jockeys due to cuts from Corus CEO Doug Murphy. However, all final 3 hosts (Spencer, Kelsey, & Melony) still make appearances on social media.

Past program jockeys/hosts

Related services

Treehouse

Main article: Treehouse TV

Treehouse is a Category A cable and satellite specialty channel which airs programming targeted to preschoolers ages six and younger. It launched on November 1, 1997.[47] The channel's name is taken from YTV's now-defunct children's programming block, The Treehouse. Treehouse is carried nationwide throughout Canada and it broadcasts its programming without commercial interruption.

Nickelodeon

Main article: Nickelodeon (Canadian TV channel)

Nickelodeon is a Category B cable and satellite specialty channel that was launched on November 2, 2009, and is based on the U.S. cable channel Nickelodeon. Like its counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere, Nickelodeon airs programs, including both live action series and animation, aimed at children to younger teenagers, specifically targeted to ages 7–11.

Former

Vortex on Demand

In July 2005, Corus Entertainment partnered up with Comcast Corporation to launch a cable video-on-demand service called "Vortex on Demand" in the U.S. The deal consisted of 393 30-minute animated TV series from the Nelvana library; it aired programs such as Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and Medabots.[48][49] The service was discontinued in mid-2007.

Bionix On Demand

In 2008, Corus Entertainment started offering a video-on-demand service called "Bionix On Demand" to Canadian cable providers. Rogers Cable and Shaw Cable were the only providers to offer the service. The service offered older and newer anime programs that did not air on YTV itself. The video-on-demand service was previously titled "YTV Anime On Demand". Bionix On Demand was discontinued on December 17, 2009, and was replaced by YTV On Demand.[50]

YTV GO

YTV GO was a TV Everywhere mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play Store. It was available at no extra charge to all subscribed customers of Access Communications, Bell Satellite TV, Cogeco, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct, Telus, and VMedia. It offered episodes of various programming from YTV. The app operated between September 2015 and May 1, 2019.[51][52]

Related businesses

International distribution

References

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