|Launched||October 18, 2001|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Formerly called||MTV Canada (2001 - 2005)
Razer (2005 - 2008)
|Bell TV||Channel 577|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 590|
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Check local listings, channels may vary|
|Bell Aliant TV||Channel 226|
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 577|
|Optik TV||Channel 254|
MTV2 is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel. MTV2 is a lifestyle and general entertainment channel aimed at youth and teen audiences, airing a mix of music video programs, drama, comedies, talk shows and more.
On November 24, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the licensees of the new, much-sought after, category 1 digital services. Craig Media, in partnership with TD Capital Group Ltd, was granted a licence for a youth lifestyle service known as Connect. One of the licence's conditions was that the channel could not devote more than 10 per cent of its schedule to the airing of music videos and music programming, in order to avoid direct competition with, at the time, CHUM Limited's MuchMusic.
Nonetheless, in August 2001, Craig Media announced that it had reached an agreement with MTV Networks to license programming and the MTV brand in Canada for the channel, prompting a pre-launch name change to MTV Canada. Prior to the channel's launch, Craig purchased TD Capital Group's interest in the channel and it was launched on October 18, 2001. Shortly after, Craig sold a minority interest in the service to MTV Networks. MTV Canada aired a mix of Canadian made programs, including Pepsi Breakout and MTV Select, as well as American MTV shows such as TRL and The Real World.
CHUM soon filed complaints with the CRTC, arguing that MTV Canada was violating its conditions of licence, exceeding its limit of 10 per cent music videos, becoming a direct competitor to MuchMusic. Craig was later forced to make changes to reduce its percentage of music video and music-related programming.
However, these changes were soon rendered moot as Craig was acquired by CHUM Limited on December 1, 2004, prompting MTV Networks to exercise its right, due to a clause in its contract, to terminate the licensing agreement with Craig if a change in control were to happen. CHUM was required to pay $10 million CAD in licensing fees to MTV Networks for the time remaining in their contract. The contract termination also meant that MTV Networks was no longer able to retain interest the channels (except for TV Land Canada, indicating that Viacom's sale of their stake since the purchase could also be because of the company's strained relationships with CHUM Limited concerning the MTV-branded music channels because CHUM (with Cablevision's Rainbow Media) launched MuchUSA to compete against MTV).
On June 9, 2005 CHUM announced it would rebrand the channel as Razer, a change that took effect on June 30 of that year. Later in the year, Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia) struck a licensing agreement with MTV Networks to launch its own MTV channel (previously known as talktv) in early 2006.
In July 2006, Bell Globemedia announced that it would purchase CHUM for an estimated $1.7 billion CAD, including its interest in Razer. The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007, with the transaction completed on June 22.
On August 1, 2008, Razer was relaunched as MTV2. Unlike Canada's previous MTV2 (now Juicebox), the vast majority of whose programming was music videos, the new channel became much closer in format to its U.S. counterpart. Because of their respective licences, it airs music videos and music programming unlike the current main MTV channel in Canada, making it also slightly similar to the American MTV.
Ownership changed hands again when on September 10, 2010, BCE (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 CAD. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011 and closed on April 1 of that year, when CTVglobemedia was rebranded Bell Media.
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