Global Television Network

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The Global Television Network (more commonly called Global) is a major English-language television network in Canada, owned by CanWest Global Communications.



Global Television first launched in 1974 with the launch of CKGN-TV, later CIII-TV, an independent channel based in Toronto and serving the province of Ontario with rebroadcasters. The station soon ran into difficulty, and was purchased by Izzy Asper, a Manitoba politician-turned-broadcaster who already owned an independent station in Winnipeg through his company then known as CanWest Capital.

Asper went on to acquire additional regional broadcast networks in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Maritimes. Although Asper's regional networks always purchased programming rights as a collective, they did not share common branding until 1997, when the Global name was extended across the country. In the same year, Global broadcast in Quebec for the first time, when it acquired the assets of a former CBC affiliate in Quebec City, CKMI-TV, after the CBC took over CKMI's original VHF channel for its own English-language station. Initially a limited partnership with the French-language TVA network, Global Quebec was wholly acquired by the main network in 2002 [1] (

In 2000, Global acquired the conventional television assets of Western International Communications (WIC), which owned a regional network in Alberta, and those stations were branded as Global on 4 September 2000. As well, WIC owned the CTV affiliates in Vancouver and Victoria. Since Global already owned a station in Vancouver, ownership of both would contravenene the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission guidelines on market penetration. However, the WIC station, CHAN-TV, was much more powerful and highly rated than Global's incumbent CKVU-TV, so Global placed CKVU-TV in trusteeship, kept CHAN as the new Global affiliate, and rebranded the Victoria station into the CH television system. The CTV affiliation moved to CIVT-TV, which was already owned by CTV but had previously operated as an independent station. CKVU was sold to Citytv.

Although Global network service is not available off-air in Newfoundland and Labrador, the independent station there, NTV, airs much of the Global network schedule.

Since CanWest's purchase of Southam Newspapers and The National Post from Conrad Black in 2001, their media interests have been merged into Canwest Global under a policy of cross-promotion and synergy. Journalists from the Post and other Canwest papers have made frequent appearances on Global's news programs, passengers on the serial drama Train 48 have taken a habit of reading the Post, and Global programs are promoted in Canwest Global newspapers.

News programming and controversies

In 2001 Global started a national newscast, Global National, anchored by Kevin Newman.

Some critics charge that Global's news programs have become more conservative, and in particular more supportive of Israeli and American government policy in the Middle East. Global television news has also developed links with the controversial Fox News Channel. Global's Middle East correspondent Martin Himmell's documentary Confrontation at Concordia, on conflicts between pro- and anti-Zionist students at Concordia University, was strongly criticised for bias and selective reporting but was aired serveral times in prime time by the network in 2003.

The network attracted controversy when its Manitoba station aired its usual programming schedule on the night of the 2003 provincial election rather than providing any special news programming, and its flagship Ontario station bumped its own election night newscast to CHCH in order to avoid pre-empting Survivor.

Entertainment programming

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 foreign cable or syndication markets.

In recent years, Global has aired more identifiably Canadian entertainment programming, including the high finance drama Traders, the British-Canadian animated comedy Bob and Margaret, and the nightly improvised drama Train 48. 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 The Mike Bullard Show was cancelled after 60 episodes amid poor ratings. Global has also purchased the rights to do a Canadian version of the popular American reality series The Apprentice.

Hit American shows currently airing on Global include first-run episodes of Survivor, Will & Grace, The Simpsons, That '70s Show, and Everybody Loves Raymond. The station often adds "on Global" during programs' opening credits.

In October 2004, Global started airing select American programmes in Widescreen HDTV, but it currently has no intention of producing in that format.

Global stations

Most of these stations serve their entire province through a network of relay stations as a part of the key station's license, and CIHF serves all three Maritime provinces.

CH system

Global also maintains a second system of independent stations, branded as CH. These stations are:

In 2005, CKRD in Red Deer, Alberta will join the system, as it will disaffilate from the CBC. It is also planned for CHBC in Kelowna, British Columbia to disaffilate from the CBC and join the CH system, although no definite date for this affiliation switch has yet been announced. Both already carry some CH programming.


  • 1974: "Your New Point of View"
  • c. 1983-present: "Global's got it!"

See also

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