Video: CRTC 1987 specialty channel hearings

With a month to go until the CRTC begins what will probably be the most important hearing into television policy in decades, it’s fun to look back at one of the hearings that shaped television in Canada as we know it, back in 1987.

The Youtube channel Retro Winnipeg recently posted nearly five hours of video from CRTC hearings held in July 1987 on specialty channel services. It led to a wave of new channels, including YTV, TV5, Family Channel, The Weather Network, CBC Newsworld and more.

Rather than have you sit through five hours of people in suits talking as boringly as they possibly can, I’ve split them up into sections, and you can watch the parts that interest you.

YTV (8:52)

This application was approved. YTV launched Sept. 1, 1988.

Canadian Non-Commercial Television (57:21).

This application was denied.

The Family Channel (1:47:01).

This application was approved. Family launched Sept. 1, 1988.

TV5 Quebec Canada (1:57:52)

Promo video. This application was approved. TV5 Quebec Canada launched on Sept. 1, 1988.

TSN licence amendment (2:08:23).

This application was approved.

MTVQ (2:42:40)

Promo video. This application for a French music channel was denied in favour of…

MusiquePlus (2:44:19).

Promo video. This application, to convert an existing service into its own specialty channel, was approved. MusiquePlus launched as its own channel on Sept. 1, 1988.

MuchMusic licence amendment (2:52:56).

This application was approved. This video includes Moses Znaimer wearing sunglasses indoors.

CBC Newsworld (3:10:20).

This application was approved by majority vote, with the requirement that CBC put together a study on the feasibility of a similar channel in French. RDI would eventually launch in 1995. Includes a report by Wendy Mesley at 3:45:28.

Canadian Cable News (3:47:21).

Includes promo video. This application for a private all-news channel was denied in favour of CBC’s proposal.

CPAC (4:22:43).

This application was denied, but CPAC was eventually created after the CBC decided to cut its parliamentary channel in 1992.

Other specialty channels approved as a result of that hearing were Vision TV, The Weather Network/MétéoMédia, Canal Famille (now and RDS. Several other proposals were denied.

2 thoughts on “Video: CRTC 1987 specialty channel hearings

  1. Jonathan St-Pierre

    At 2:42:40, it was actually a portion of a video for “MTVQ”, which was denied in favor of MusiquePlus.
    The MusiquePlus portion started at 2:44:19.


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