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|Type||Broadcast television network|
|Availability||National, northern U.S. (terrestrial), parts of U.S. and Bermuda (via digital cable)|
|Founded||by Al Bruner & Peter Hill|
(Shaw Media Inc.)
|Key people||Paul Robertson
(President of Shaw Media)
(Senior Vice President of Content)
(Vice President of News)
|Launch date||January 6, 1974 (launch of CKGN-TV)
1990 (as the CanWest Global System)
August 18, 1997 (national launch of Global brand)
|Former names||CanWest Global System (used in the 1990s on non-Global branded Canwest stations)|
|Official website||Global Television Network|
Global Television Network (more commonly called Global, or occasionally Global TV) is an English language privately owned television network in Canada, owned by Calgary-based Shaw Communications, as part of its Shaw Media division. It is currently Canada's number-two broadcast television network, and has 12 owned-and-operated stations (O&Os) throughout the country.
The network has its origins in a regional television station of the same name, serving Southern Ontario, which launched in 1974. The Ontario station was soon purchased by the now-defunct CanWest Global Communications, and that company gradually expanded its national reach in the subsequent decades. The national entity was known as the CanWest Global System until adopting the Ontario station's branding in 1997.
In the 1970s, a call went out for "third" television stations in several major cities in Canada. A group of investors, led by Al Bruner and Peter Hill, founded Global Communications Ltd. with the idea of building a cross-Canada, all-UHF network. The group had to settle for a six-transmitter network in Southern Ontario, stretching from Windsor to Ottawa, but were denied a transmitter in Maxville that would reach Montreal. The group promised a high level of Canadian content and agreed not to accept local advertising. The new network, called the Global Television Network, launched on January 6, 1974 when CKGN-TV signed on from studios (a former factory) in Don Mills at 6 PM local time. The station's main transmitter was licensed to Paris, Ontario.
The station ran into difficulty in just three months, and was purchased by two large groups, one of which was owned by Izzy Asper, a Manitoba politician turned broadcaster. Asper owned CKND-TV in Winnipeg, which carried many of Global's programs, through his company then known as CanWest Capital. In 1977, both partners attempted to buy out the other's shares, with Canwest being successful in becoming the first western-based owner of a major Canadian broadcasting entity.
A considerable portion of the schedule's programs were cancelled in the spring of 1974. By fall, Global had become "another CTV", with American imports filling as much of the schedule as Canadian content rules (60 percent Canadian overall, 50 percent Canadian in prime time) would allow. Over several years, the prime late evening newscast shifted between 10 and 11 p.m., and between 30 and 60 minutes. The network continued to be limited to a six-transmitter chain throughout the 1970s.
By the 1980s, Asper seemed eager to grow his chain of stations, launching two stations in Saskatchewan and winning a legal battle for a station in Vancouver during that decade, and acquiring a fledgling system in the Maritimes in the early 1990s. This grew Canwest's footprint to the major centres in seven of Canada's ten provinces. These regional networks purchased many of their programs collectively, and consequently had similar—although not identical—broadcast schedules. They did not share common branding, however, although stations were sometimes indicated as being part of the "CanWest Global System" as a secondary brand. CKGN later changed its callsign to CIII-TV in 1984.
In 1997, Canwest bought majority control of the CBC affiliate in Quebec City, CKMI-TV, from TVA, which retained a 49% interest until 2002. On August 18, 1997, CKMI disaffiliated from CBC, set up rebroadcasters in Montreal and Sherbrooke, and began carrying the same programming lineup as Canwest's other stations.
With the acquisition of CKMI, Canwest now had enough coverage of Canada that it seemed logical to call its station group a "network". Accordingly, on the same day CKMI disaffiliated from the public broadcaster, Canwest scrubbed local branding from all of its stations and rebranded them as the "Global Television Network", the brand previously used solely by the Ontario outlet. Even so, Global was still not a true national network. In the mid-1980s, it tried to launch stations in the key Western markets of Calgary and Edmonton, only to be rebuffed by the CRTC. As a result, Global aired most of its programming on independent stations CICT-TV and CITV-TV, respectively. Similarly, Global lacked a full-time station in St. John's, where Global programming was carried by longtime CTV affiliate CJON-TV.
In 2000, Canwest acquired the conventional television assets of Western International Communications (WIC). WIC's stations in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge had been airing some Global programs since 1988, and those stations formally joined the network on September 4, 2000.
The following fall, WIC's long-dominant Vancouver station CHAN-TV was brought into the fold after its existing affiliation agreement with CTV expired. Indeed, one main reason Canwest bought WIC's television assets was because of CHAN's massive translator network, covering 97 percent of British Columbia. Global's previous Vancouver station, CKVU-TV, as well as WIC-owned Montreal CTV affiliate CFCF-TV, were sold off. WIC's remaining stations were maintained as twinstick stations and were eventually integrated into a secondary system known as CH (rebranded as E! in 2007 in a partnership with the American channel of the same name), although financial pressures forced Canwest to sell or fold the E! stations in 2009.
Full network service is still not available over-the-air in Newfoundland and Labrador, although CJON, having disaffiliated from CTV in 2002, now clears the vast majority of the Global network schedule in that province, most recently adding the network's national newscast in mid-2009. Any remaining programs there may be accessed on cable or satellite through Global stations from other markets (most commonly Global Edmonton).
Following Canwest's purchase of Southam Newspapers (later Canwest Publishing) and the National Post from Conrad Black in 2001, their media interests have been merged under a policy of cross-promotion and synergy. Journalists from the Post and other Canwest papers made frequent appearances on Global's news programs, passengers on the now-defunct serial drama Train 48 habitually read the Post, and Global programs were promoted in Canwest newspapers. However, this practice has now been largely abandoned, particularly with the sale of Canwest's newspaper division to separate owners (as Postmedia Network) in 2010.
In late 2004, with CTV beginning to dominate the ratings, Canwest reorganized its Canadian operations and hired a number of new executives, all formerly of various U.S. media firms, leading to a major overhaul of Global announced in December 2005. The most obvious change is a new logo, replacing the "crescent" with a new "greater than" logo, with the Global wordmark in a new font, in use as of February 5, 2006 (coinciding with Global's broadcast of Super Bowl XL). New logos and graphics were designed for news and network promotions, and several newscasts received new timeslots and formats. The crescent, which had been used as a common design element in many Canwest logos, was subsequently removed from other properties owned or sponsored by the company.
On April 10, 2008, the network announced that its Toronto and Vancouver stations would start broadcasting over the air in those markets in high-definition television. CIII-DT Toronto and CHAN-DT Burnaby/Vancouver officially started transmitting in HD on April 18, 2008. The network has also launched its digital signals at its stations in Calgary (CICT-DT) and Edmonton (CITV-DT) as of July 2009.
In television listings such as TV Guide, where space limitations usually require television networks to be referred to by a three-letter abbreviation, the abbreviations GLO, GLB or GTV are commonly used, depending on the publication. None of these abbreviations has any standing as an official name for the network, however—the network's own shortform name for itself is always Global.
Global News is the news and current affairs division of the Global Television Network. Alongside its flagship national newscast Global National, the network also offers various amounts of local news programming on its eleven O&Os.
Global does not have what can be called a main schedule, apart from news. Even before the WIC purchase, the Global stations had widely varying program lineups, and the WIC purchase only exacerbated the differences. For example, CHAN still owned British Columbia rights to many shows that air on CTV until 2011, and CKMI can't air children's programming due to provincial laws requiring children's programming to be shown commercial-free over the air. Factors influencing the stations' programming include time zone differences, local programming, and ratings for non-Global shows.
Global has built its business on profitable entertainment programming produced in the United States, and has long been criticized for not investing enough in Canadian content. Canadian programming carried on the network, such as a revival of 1960s American science fiction series The Outer Limits, or the Chicago-set drama Zoe Busiek: Wild Card, has often avoided Canadian themes, presumably to focus on sales to United States and international cable or syndication markets—although Psi Factor did include Canadian themes, including a "killer wheat" episode and episodes set in Northern Quebec and Halifax. Series initially intended for the US and international market are sometimes called "industrial" productions and largely disappeared with the collapse of the international action hour market.
In recent years, Global has aired somewhat more identifiably Canadian entertainment programming, including the long-running finance drama Traders, the British-Canadian animated comedy Bob and Margaret, the police procedural drama Blue Murder, the nightly improvised drama Train 48, the sitcom The Jane Show and the reality show My Fabulous Gay Wedding. In 2003, Global signed comedian Mike Bullard, host of the nightly Open Mike with Mike Bullard on CTV and The Comedy Network, to a multi-year contract for a new nightly talk show on Global, but that series was cancelled after 60 episodes amid poor ratings.
Global purchased the rights to produce a Canadian edition of the popular entertainment magazine Entertainment Tonight; ET Canada launched on September 12, 2005. It also secured Canadian production rights to the American reality series The Apprentice, but there is no word on when, or if, a Canadian version will air.
Notable American shows currently airing on Global include Glee, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Survivor, Bones, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers, Hawaii Five-0, Parenthood, Touch, The Good Wife and soon to come, Revolution, 666 Park Avenue, Beauty and the Beast, Scandal and 20/20. On July 21, 2006, Global signed a deal with WWE to broadcast the new ECW brand, starting on August 11 and then every Friday night in a late night slot. ECW would continue to air in that slot on Global for three and a half years. For a brief period toward the end of its run, ECW was moved to an early Sunday morning slot. Following the cancellation of the ECW brand in February 2010, Global aired the first season of WWE's replacement for the show, NXT, in that early Sunday morning slot. NXT was then picked up by The Score Television Network starting with the second season which began in June 2010.
Global profits due to Canada's simultaneous substitution (or "simsub") regulations, which allows the owner of content to control programming rights for that show in Canada. When an American broadcast network is broadcasting the same show at the same time that Global is (such as the programs mentioned above), Canadian cable subscribers may only watch the Global Television broadcast, even when trying to view the American stations. This law gives them double exposure for their content and a larger share of advertising revenue, effectively blocking American border cities from access to the Canadian market. This was done to help give money to the networks to fund Canadian content development. Global is certainly not the only Canadian broadcaster to use simsubs; nonetheless, some complaints, specific to Global, have arisen due to the following related practices:
In October 2004, Global started airing select American programs in Widescreen HDTV and launched a national HD service called Global HD, which is a simulcast of its affiliated station CIII-TV; since then, some Canadian series such as Falcon Beach have been added to its HD lineup. On April 11, 2008, Global launched an HD simulcast of Vancouver's CHAN-TV.
Global cross-promotes heavily with other Shaw Media properties in the growing number of markets where both services operate in parallel.
In 1979, Global—then an Ontario regional network—purchased the Toronto Blizzard soccer team and produced and aired coverage of the team's games in-house. The team was not a success on the field, in attendance or ratings, and Global sold the franchise in 1981 but continued to broadcast seven games a year until 1983.
Aside from its brief experiment with soccer, the Global network has never had an in-house sports production division as do CBC and CTV/TSN. Network sports broadcasts are either simulcast with American networks or outsourced to independent producers such as Molstar. During the 1987 and 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs, Global aired NHL games syndicated by Carling O'Keefe. Global was the longtime broadcaster of National Football League football games in Canada, an association that ended in 2007 when CTV outbid Global for the NFL broadcast package. The network continues to air coverage of The Masters and, on most stations, various PGA Tour events.
Beyond event coverage, many Global stations were well known for local late-night sports highlights shows, such as Sportsline in Ontario, Sports Page in Vancouver (later moved to former sister station CHEK-TV), and Sports Night in Edmonton. Most of these programs were later unified under the Global Sports brand. However, due to declining audiences, by fall 2005 all but the Ontario program had been cancelled, although stations continued to cover sports in their local newscasts. Global Ontario's sports program was finally cancelled in January 2007; at that point, the station closed its sports department entirely, and since then has outsourced sports news coverage to The Score (initially Rogers Sportsnet beforehand).
Some Global O&Os outside Ontario (such as Global BC and Global Edmonton) continue to feature locally produced sports segments on their local newscasts. On the other hand, the sports segments aired during local newscasts on Global Maritimes and Global Montreal are produced from Global BC's studio, presented by that station's sports anchors.
Global Video is an online internet television service offering programming that airs both on Global and many of Shaw Media's cable channels. The service is available both through traditional PC/Mac and iOS platforms.
In October 2004, Global launched an 1080i HD simulcast of its Toronto station CIII-TV. At the time the service was only available via digital cable. On April 18, 2008, Global officially launched a transmitter in Toronto making the HD simulcast of CIII-TV available over-the-air. They also launched an HD simulcast of their Vancouver station (CHAN-TV) on the same day.
Global HD is available nationally via satellite and on digital cable as well as for free via DTT using a regular TV antenna and a digital tuner (included in most new TVs) on the following channels:
The above noted transmitters were converted to digital by August 31, 2011, as part of Canada's over-the-air transition deadline in mandatory markets from analog to digital. As part of its purchase by Shaw in 2011, Shaw committed to converting all of the network's over-the-air analog transmitters to digital by 2016.
The Global network has long been much more decentralized than either CBC or CTV, or for that matter most American broadcast networks. For most programs, there is no "network" feed per se, and in effect every commercial break is a station break. National advertising is certainly available, but such ads are seamlessly integrated into local ad blocks.
In fact, it is not uncommon to see different lengths of commercial breaks from one station to the next even during identical programming. This occurs even though all Global stations have had their master control operations centralized in Calgary since fall 2006.
More recently, with the exception of Global Toronto, stations now use sustained on-screen bugs using each station's full local brand as opposed to simply "Global".
|City of license||Station||Channel
|Year of affiliation||Owned since|
|Calgary, Alberta||CICT-DT||2.1 (41)||1988
(as a secondary affiliate)
|Edmonton, Alberta||CITV-DT||13.1 (13)||1988
(as a secondary affiliate)
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||CIHF-DT||8.1 (8)||1997||1994|
|Saint John, New Brunswick||CIHF-DT-2||12.1 (12)||1997||1994|
|Kelowna, British Columbia||CHBC-TV||2 (27)||2009||2000|
|Kenora, Ontario||CJBN-TV||13 (16)||2011||2006|
|Lethbridge, Alberta||CISA-DT||7.1 (7)||1988
(as a secondary affiliate)
|Montreal, Quebec||CKMI-DT++||15.1 (15)||1990||1997|
|Regina, Saskatchewan||CFRE-DT++||11.1 (11)||1990||1987|
|Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||CFSK-DT++||4.1 (42)||1990||1987|
|Toronto, Ontario||CIII-DT**||41.1 (41)||1974||1974|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||CHAN-DT**||8.1 (22)||2001||2000|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba||CKND-DT||9.1 (40)||1997||1975|
Several O&Os predate the first appearance of the Global banner in 1974. Specifically, CKMI, CICT, CHBC and CISA launched in the 1950s as CBC Television affiliates, while CHAN launched in 1960 and soon became Vancouver's original CTV affiliate. All of these were eventually supplanted by network-owned stations or transmitters.
Most of these stations serve their entire province or region through a network of relay stations as a part of the key station's licence, although some of their transmitters may air separate advertising targeted to their local community.
|City of license||Station||Channel
|Year of affiliation||Owner||Notes|
|St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador||CJON-DT
(informal secondary affiliation)
|21.1 (21)||2002||Stirling Communications International||Nominally an independent station known as "NTV", CJON is sometimes considered a Global affiliate, as Global has been that station's primary source of programming since dropping its primary CTV affiliation in 2002. However, NTV does not always carry the full Global lineup, and continues to air some CTV specials, as well as national newscasts from both networks.|
|Thunder Bay, Ontario||CHFD-DT||4.1 (4)||2010||Dougall Media|
|City of license||Station||Year of affiliation||Year of disaffiliation||Notes|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||CKVU-DT||1997||2001||Had to be divested in order to own CHAN-TV/Vancouver and CHEK-TV/Victoria, sold to CHUM Limited. Currently owned by Rogers Media and a Citytv O&O.|
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