HBO Canada is a Canadian pay television network from Crave (formerly The Movie Network), which is owned by Bell Media. The channel is primarily devoted to original programming and special events sourced from the HBO and Cinemax subscription services in the United States, as well as domestic motion pictures.
Although branded distinctly from Crave's other channels, HBO Canada is not available as a standalone channel; it is only included with a subscription to either the Crave linear pay TV service through a television provider, or the Crave OTT streaming service with the "Movies + HBO" add-on.
|Launched||October 30, 2008|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Replaced||MMore (Eastern Canada)|
Movie Central 4 (Western Canada)
|Sister channel(s)||Crave 1-4|
|Timeshift service||HBO Canada 1|
HBO Canada 2
|Bell TV||Channel 306 (East SD)|
Channel 307 (West SD)
Channel 836 & 1258 (East HD)
Channel 837 & 1259 (West HD)
|Shaw Direct||Channel 231 (East SD)|
Channel 236 (West SD)
Channel 645 (East HD)
Channel 646 (West HD)
|Available on most cable systems||Channel slots vary on each operator|
|Bell Aliant Fibe TV||Channel 361 (East SD)|
Channel 572 (East HD)
Channel 573 (West HD)
|Bell Fibe TV||Channel 306 (East SD)|
Channel 307 (West SD)
Channel 1306 (East HD)
Channel 1307 (West HD)
|Bell MTS||Channel 209 (West SD)|
Channel 210 (East SD)
Channel 1209 (West HD)
Channel 1210 (East HD)
|Optik TV||Channel 400 (West HD)|
Channel 401 (East HD)
Channel 9400 (West SD)
Channel 9401 (East SD)
|SaskTel||Channel 203 (West SD)|
Channel 1210 (West HD)
|VMedia||Channel 302 (East HD)|
Channel 303 (West HD)
|Zazeen||Channel 172 (East HD)|
Channel 173 (West HD)
Prior to October 2008, much of HBO's programming aired in Canada on the various multiplex channels of both Astral Media's The Movie Network, which at the time was available only in Eastern Canada, and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central, which was offered in Western and Northern Canada. A few HBO programs aired in first-run and/or second window on basic cable specialty channels such as Bravo and Showcase.
On September 22, 2008, The Movie Network and Movie Central announced that the two networks would jointly begin offering a dedicated HBO multiplex channel (in both standard definition and high definition formats), which would debut on October 30. For TMN subscribers, HBO Canada replaced MMore and MMore HD, while for Movie Central subscribers, HBO Canada replaced Movie Central 4 and Movie Central 1 HD. As different multiplex channels of a single pay service cannot have separate sets of owners, Astral and Corus each held de jure full ownership of HBO Canada in the designated service areas of their respectively owned pay services. However, in practice, the channel was jointly managed by both companies and the HBO Canada schedule was common to both services, except that TMN's feed of the channel operated on an Eastern Time Zone schedule while Movie Central fed the same programming two hours later on Mountain Time.
Although much of HBO's programming had already aired in Canada as discussed above, many other programs from the network were not previously widely available in Canada; the new channel was created with the intention to fill the gap. Original programming from HBO's sister service Cinemax have also been broadcast at times, particularly action series that Cinemax has aired since broadening its series programming content to include mainstream original series in August 2011 (prior to this, Cinemax's series programming consisted only of softcore pornographic programs).
Some HBO series already carried by TMN or Movie Central were initially simulcast on their respective main channels, but shortly thereafter HBO programming became exclusive to HBO Canada, as opposed to any of the other multiplex channels of TMN or Movie Central.
A selection of Canadian films and series also airs to satisfy Canadian content requirements, and programs from other U.S. sources to which TMN and Movie Central both own rights (such as HBO and Cinemax competitor Showtime) may air as well at times. However, few feature films that had their original theatrical release in countries outside of Canada air on the channel, even when those movies air on HBO's main channel in the United States.
While under the joint management of TMN and Movie Central, the two timeshifted HBO Canada feeds (East/West), in both standard-definition and high-definition, were available nationally to those television providers who wish to carry them; they both remain available nationally under the restructured national TMN service (discussed below). The Movie Network and some service providers refer to the applicable out-of-region feed as HBO Canada 2 on their websites; other service providers simply distinguish them as East and West feeds.
On March 4, 2013, the Competition Bureau approved the takeover of Astral Media by Bell Media. Bell filed a new application for the proposed takeover with the CRTC on March 6, 2013; the CRTC approved the merger on June 27, 2013, effectively turning over control of HBO Canada in Eastern Canada to Bell.
Until 2014, HBO Canada was in many cases only permitted to offer current seasons of HBO programming on its linear channels or on-demand, as second window rights to older seasons continued to be sold to basic-cable specialty channels such as Showcase. In September, Bell and Corus announced a new deal whereby HBO Canada can now offer all episodes of all currently-produced HBO scripted programming through its various platforms.
Simultaneously, Bell announced a separate deal for rights to the "off-air" (i.e., series no longer in production) HBO catalog "for future exploitation", similar to HBO's U.S. streaming deal with Amazon Video. Bell later announced that the off-air HBO library would become part of its then-upcoming streaming service CraveTV.
On November 19, 2015, Corus Entertainment announced its plans to exit the pay TV business, agreeing to shut down Movie Central in exchange for a C$211 million payment from Bell, which announced plans to relaunch TMN as a national service. As a result, Bell took over full operations of HBO Canada once the changeover occurred on March 1, 2016. Bell also announced a further expansion to its agreement with HBO, giving it exclusive rights to distribute all current and library HBO programming on any of its linear, VOD, and digital platforms.
On November 1, 2018, Bell announced the merger and rebranding of TMN and CraveTV as Crave. HBO first-run programming will become available to Crave streaming subscribers via its new "Crave + Movies + HBO" subscription tier, making its content available on a direct-to-consumer basis for the first time in Canada.
Initially, most service providers included HBO Canada programming under a "HBO Canada On Demand" section, separated from TMN or Movie Central's main VOD folder. This section included feature films, original and imported programming, and special behind-the-scenes features including interviews. HBO Canada On Demand's rotating program selection incorporated select new titles that are added each Friday, alongside existing program titles held over from the previous one to two weeks.
With the changeover from TMN to Crave, on most cable/IPTV providers HBO programming is now part of the "Crave Movies + HBO" folder (as distinguished from the "Crave" folder which holds programming available on the Crave streaming service's base tier).
TMN Go was discontinued in November 2018, with customers instructed to use the Crave apps and website instead. HBO/Cinemax content is now part of Crave's HBO Collection, and the "HBO Go" brand is no longer used.
HBO Canada carries the vast majority of original programming produced or distributed by HBO (U.S.), and certain original programs produced for Cinemax (such as Strike Back). From time to time, this has included older HBO movies and series no longer available through the American service, including Mr. Show with Bob and David. In the vast majority of cases, newly produced programs are carried day-and-date with HBO in the U.S., though several notable programs such as Going Clear and Lemonade aired several months after their American premieres.
HBO Canada did not air Vice News Tonight at launch; the newscast instead aired on the now-defunct Canadian version of Viceland despite HBO Canada airing the main weekly Vice series. It picked up the daily series in fall 2017 alongside sister channel Much, later replaced by MTV.
Notable HBO original programming not seen on HBO Canada includes Sesame Street (to which HBO acquired the U.S. first-run rights in 2016), which continues to air in Canada on Treehouse TV and in second-run on American PBS stations.
While HBO boxing coverage was carried on HBO Canada until its cancellation by HBO U.S. in October 2018, several other HBO Sports programs are not seen on the channel, including Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and Hard Knocks. Some of these exclusions may be due to issues involving leagues or other rightsholders which sometimes retain international distribution rights. For example, the Canadian rights to 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic were sold separately by the NHL to Rogers-owned Sportsnet. Hard Knocks, co-produced with the NFL, is believed to be in a similar situation.
For a time following the launch of HBO Canada, many of the Canadian series produced by The Movie Network (and previously Movie Central) began to air primarily on the channel. Nonetheless, these shows were generally indicated in introductory bumpers as being TMN and/or Movie Central original programs (as opposed to HBO Canada original programming).
HBO Canada airs a large selection of original films and documentaries produced by or for HBO, as well as Canadian films from various distributors to which Crave holds domestic broadcast rights. The latter is required as part of Crave's Canadian content obligations for its pay TV licence, which much be met separately by each of the service's linear multiplex channels.
The channel does not generally air any non-Canadian theatrically-released films. However, since 2016, the vast majority of theatrical films aired by HBO and Cinemax in the U.S. – specifically those released theatrically by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, and 20th Century Fox and their respective labels and subsidiaries – have aired in Canada on TMN/Crave's other linear channels.
Bloodletting (or blood-letting) is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to prevent or cure illness and disease. Bloodletting, whether by a physician or by leeches, was based on an ancient system of medicine in which blood and other bodily fluids were regarded as "humours" that had to remain in proper balance to maintain health. It is claimed to have been the most common medical practice performed by surgeons from antiquity until the late 19th century, a span of almost 2,000 years. In Europe the practice continued to be relatively common until the end of the 18th century. The practice has now been abandoned by modern style medicine for all except a few very specific conditions. It is conceivable that historically, in the absence of other treatments for hypertension, bloodletting sometimes had a beneficial effect in temporarily reducing blood pressure by reducing blood volume. However, since hypertension is very often asymptomatic and thus undiagnosable without modern methods, this effect was unintentional. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the historical use of bloodletting was harmful to patients.Today, the term phlebotomy refers to the drawing of blood for laboratory analysis or blood transfusion. Therapeutic phlebotomy refers to the drawing of a unit of blood in specific cases like hemochromatosis, polycythemia vera, porphyria cutanea tarda, etc., to reduce the number of red blood cells. The traditional medical practice of bloodletting is today considered to be a pseudoscience.Call Me Fitz
Call Me Fitz is a Canadian television series produced by E1 Entertainment, Amaze Film & Television, and Big Motion Pictures. The half-hour comedy stars Jason Priestley as Richard "Fitz" Fitzpatrick, a morally bankrupt used-car salesman whose consequence-free life is complicated by the arrival of do-gooder Larry (Ernie Grunwald), another salesman who claims he is Fitz's conscience.The series is co-produced by Movie Central (western Canada) and The Movie Network (central/eastern Canada), for airing on those two channels and their jointly owned channel HBO Canada (Canada wide). The first thirteen-episode season of the show premiered on HBO Canada in September 2010, with subsequent seasons premiering in September 2011, 2012, and October 2013.
The series was filmed in New Minas, Nova Scotia.Crave (TV network)
Crave is a Canadian premium television network owned by Bell Media. It serves as the premium tier of the video-on-demand service of the same name, and is sometimes referred to in marketing materials as Crave + Movies + HBO to distinguish it from Crave's base tier.Crave's programming includes theatrically released motion pictures, original and foreign television series, made-for-cable movies and documentaries, live sports events and occasional stand-up comedy and concert specials. Along with French-language sister service Super Écran, Crave owns exclusive Canadian rights to most original programming from American premium services HBO and Cinemax (featured on HBO Canada, a dedicated multiplex channel within the Crave service), as well as Showtime (on Crave's other channels).
Launched in 1983 as the national service First Choice, early difficulties and a subsequent industry restructuring led to its operations being restricted to Eastern Canada from 1984 to 2016; it changed its name to The Movie Network (or TMN) in 1993. The service resumed national operations in 2016, when it replaced the similar Movie Central offering in Western and Northern Canada. In 2018, The Movie Network combined operations with Bell Media's hybrid VOD service CraveTV, with both services renamed Crave. The combined library of both services became available automatically to subscribers of the former TMN, while the over-the-top version of Crave added a second tier that provides access to the content previously exclusive to TMN, including films and first-run HBO programming, as well as the ability to stream the linear Crave and HBO Canada channels, on a direct-to-consumer basis.Movie Central
Movie Central (occasionally abbreviated as "MC") was a Canadian English language Category A premium cable and satellite television channel that was owned by Corus Entertainment. Movie Central was designated to operate west of the Ontario-Manitoba border, including the territories. Although the channel's name implies that it focuses solely on theatrically released motion pictures, Movie Central's programming included original and foreign television series, made-for-cable movies and documentaries.
Movie Central was carried by various Canadian cable, IPTV, and satellite television providers in Western Canada including Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Shaw Cable, Access Communications, Telus Optik TV and Westman Communications Group, among other providers. Its programming was comparable to that of The Movie Network (TMN), a separately owned pay service which is marketed to Eastern Canada, in areas located east of the Ontario-Manitoba border. Movie Central was headquartered at the Corus Quay building in Toronto, Ontario, alongside Corus's other television properties, despite that city being located outside the service's territory.
On November 19, 2015, Corus announced that it would shut down Movie Central and sister service Encore Avenue in order to focus on its specialty television services. The Movie Network, which previously held a regional monopoly in Eastern Canada, subsequently expanded into the West to become a national service. TMN owner Bell Media made a payment of C$211 million to Corus for its services in transitioning MC subscribers to TMN.
Premium television services in Canada
Movie television channels in Canada
|Bell Media Radio|
|Other BMI assets|