Much (TV channel)

Last updated
Much - 2013 logo.svg
LaunchedAugust 31, 1984;34 years ago (1984-08-31)
Owned by Bell Media
Picture format 1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
SloganIt's a lot
Country Canada
Broadcast areaNational
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly calledMuchMusic
Sister channel(s) The Comedy Network
Bell TV Channel 570 (SD)
Channel 1670 (HD)
Shaw Direct Channel 580 (SD)
86 / 586 (HD)
Available on most cable systemsChannel slots vary on each provider
Izzi Telecom Channel 262
Bell Aliant Fibe TV Channel 220 (SD)
Channel 424 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 570 (SD)
Channel 1570 (HD)
Bell MTS Channel 25 (SD)
Channel 1025 (HD)
Optik TV Channel 9557 (SD)
Channel 557 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 12 (SD)
Channel 312 (HD)
VMedia Channel 701 (HD)
Zazeen Channel 52 (HD)

Much (formerly and commonly known as MuchMusic) is a Canadian discretionary service currently owned by Bell Media. The channel primarily airs comedy programming oriented towards young adults.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

A discretionary service is a Canadian specialty channel which, as defined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, may be carried optionally by all subscription television providers. It replaces the previous category A, category B, category C, and premium classifications.

Bell Media Inc. is the mass media subsidiary of BCE Inc.. Its operations include television broadcasting and production, radio broadcasting, digital media and Internet properties including


The channel launched on August 31, 1984, under the ownership of CHUM Limited, as one of the country's first specialty channels. Upon its launch, and for much of its life, the network primarily aired music programming, including blocks of music videos and original series focusing on musicians and artists. In the years since, the channel has canceled the majority of its original music programming due to budget and staffing cuts, as well as shrinking interest in music programming on linear television due to the growth of online platforms. The channel would gradually phase out its music programming in the 2010's; as of 2019, music programming on the channel has been limited to an hour-long midday block focused on classic hits, and occasional specials (such as the network's annual music awards show, the iHeartRadio MMVAs).

CHUM Limited was a Canadian media company based in Toronto, Ontario in operation from 1945 to 2007. It held full or joint control of two Canadian television systems—Citytv and A-Channel —comprising 11 local stations, one CBC Television affiliate, one provincial educational channel, and 20 branded specialty television channels, most notably MuchMusic and its various spinoffs. In addition, CHUM owned 33 radio stations across Canada under its CHUM Radio Network division. At various points in its history, CHUM also owned other radio stations as well as ATV and the Atlantic Satellite Network in Atlantic Canada.

Music television is a type of television programming which focuses predominantly on playing music videos from recording artists, usually on dedicated television channels broadcasting on satellite or cable.

A music video is a short film that integrates a song with imagery, and is produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. There are also cases where songs are used in tie-in marketing campaigns that allow them to become more than just a song. Tie-ins and merchandising can be used for toys or for food or other products. Although the origins of the music video date back to musical short films that first appeared in the 1920s, they again came into prominence in the 1980s when the channel MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these kinds of videos were described by various terms including "illustrated song", "filmed insert", "promotional (promo) film", "promotional clip", "promotional video", "song video", "song clip" or "film clip".


MuchMusic was licensed on April 2, 1984 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to CHUM/Citytv. It had faced competition from two other proposed services. One of them, CMTV Canadian Music Television, was deemed not to have sufficient financial resources. The third applicant was Rogers Radio Broadcasting. The CRTC believed that the Canadian market could only support one music video service and CHUM's proposal was chosen because of various commitments it had made and the company's expertise in music programming. [1] The station was initially patterned on City Limits , an overnight weekend rock music show which had aired on sister station CITY-TV since 1983. [2]

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is a public organization in Canada with mandate as a regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications. It was created in 1976 when it took over responsibility for regulating telecommunication carriers. Prior to 1976, it was known as the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, which was established in 1968 by the Parliament of Canada to replace the Board of Broadcast Governors. Its headquarters is located in the Central Building of Les Terrasses de la Chaudière in Gatineau, Quebec.

City Limits is a Canadian television series, which aired on Citytv and later MuchMusic in the 1980s and 1990s.

CITY-DT Citytv flagship station in Toronto

CITY-DT, virtual channel 57, is the flagship station of the Citytv television network located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The station is owned by Rogers Media as part of a triplestick with Omni Television stations CFMT-DT and CJMT-DT. The three stations share studio facilities located at 33 Dundas Street East on Yonge-Dundas Square in Downtown Toronto; CITY maintains transmitter facilities located atop the CN Tower in Downtown Toronto.

The MuchMusic World Headquarters is located on 299 Queen Street West in Downtown Toronto, as seen in April 2005. WikiCHUM building.jpg
The MuchMusic World Headquarters is located on 299 Queen Street West in Downtown Toronto, as seen in April 2005.

Shortly thereafter, MuchMusic was launched on August 31, 1984 as one of the first Canadian cable specialty channels. It was headed by the channel's founders John Martin and Moses Znaimer. The first video played on MuchMusic was "an early music-to-film synchronization short from the 1920s which featured Eubie Blake performing Snappy Songs." The first video made specifically for television air play was Rush's "The Enemy Within". [3] [4]

John Martin was a Canadian broadcaster, credited with "almost single-handedly" creating music television in Canada.

Moses Znaimer, is a co-founder and former head of Citytv, the first independent television station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the current head of ZoomerMedia.

Eubie Blake composer, lyricist, and pianist

James Hubert Blake (1887–1983), known as Eubie Blake, was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, he and his long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find a Way", "Memories of You" and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie!, which opened on Broadway in 1978, featured his works.

Making use of CHUM's facilities and production teams, the channel produced many specialty musical and variety shows, including the long-running dance show Electric Circus and the late 1980s game show Test Pattern , and Citytv shows such as City Limits and The New Music also became integral parts of the MuchMusic schedule.

<i>Electric Circus</i> television series

Electric Circus was a Canadian live dance music television program that aired on MuchMusic and Citytv from September 16, 1988 to December 12, 2003. The name originated from a nightclub that once existed at Citytv's first studio at 99 Queen Street East in Toronto.

<i>Test Pattern</i> (TV series)

Test Pattern was the first game show on the Canadian television channel MuchMusic in the late from 1989 into the early 1990s. The Music and sound man was Bill St. Amour. The show's announcer was Bill Carroll. It occasionally featured Canadian musicians who were prominent at the time. Dan Gallagher hosted the program and it was produced and directed by Sidney M. Cohen. The show was cancelled after two seasons. Reruns currently air Mondays and Fridays on GameTV. Reruns of episodes from the show's second season also aired during the summer of 2003 on MuchMoreMusic.

The channel's format consisted primarily of an eight-hour daily block which mixed scheduled shows with VJ-hosted general "videoflow", which would then be repeated two more times to fill the 24-hour schedule. Some variance from this model was seen with the late-night shows City Limits and Too Much 4 Much (a show that featured panel discussions surrounding controversial music videos that the channel had refused to air in regular rotation), [5] and live specials such as Intimate and Interactive .

Too Much 4 Much is a Canadian television series, which aired on MuchMusic. The series, which aired at 12:00am Eastern time, played controversial videos which had, for one reason or another, been banned from regular rotation on the network, and featured panel discussions on the issues raised by the videos in question. Beginning in 1991 as a series of irregular specials aired when a particularly high-profile video was in dispute, it was expanded into a regular monthly series in 1993.

Intimate and Interactive is a television program which aired on the Canadian channel MuchMusic. The show was not a regularly scheduled program, but aired on average three or four times a year, and featured contemporary artists live in concert at the CHUM-City Building. There is another version of the show on their sister station, MuchMoreMusic.

In 1994, MuchMusic began distribution in the United States through Rainbow Media. The American feed was largely a simulcast of the Canadian version, before turning into its own direction, rebranding as Fuse in 2003. [6]

MuchMusic is well known for its annual music awards show that airs every Father's Day called the MuchMusic Video Awards (or MMVAs). It is anticipated and promoted for weeks before the night of the MMVAs.

MuchMusic has been credited with helping to foster a vibrant Canadian music scene because of the Canadian content broadcast rules which mandated native musical acts had a secure and prominent place on the channel's video schedule.[ citation needed ] As well, MuchMusic funds the creation of new Canadian music videos through MuchFACT and produces the popular album series Big Shiny Tunes and MuchDance .

In 2002, MuchMusic introduced promos that consisted of one of twelve images of a VJ posing in front of the network's logo, lasting for only 1/60th of a second each. The "quickies" were recognized with a Guinness World Record for the world's shortest television commercial. [7]

Sale to Bell (2006–present)

Much logo used from 1997 to 2011 MuchMusic logo.png
Much logo used from 1997 to 2011

In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later renamed CTVglobemedia) announced that it would purchase CHUM for an estimated $1.7 billion CAD, including MuchMusic. The sale was subject to CRTC approval and was approved in June 2007, [8] with the transaction completed on June 22, 2007 while the Citytv stations were sold to Rogers Media that same year. Since then, MuchMusic has aired a vast number of non-music related shows. Before those shows aired, Much Mega Hits was a prominent show that played various music videos based on singles.

In 2010, the CRTC rejected a request by CTVglobemedia to reduce the percentage of music video programming that the channel shows from 50 to 25 percent. CTV's second request to the CRTC to reduce and reposition its Canadian programming was also denied. For the reasoning behind these requests, CTV explained that "music videos no longer distinguish the service as they are readily available through other sources." This was met with mixed reaction by music fans and has drew the ire of notable artists. [9] [10] [11] [12]

Bell Canada gained control of MuchMusic through its takeover of CTVglobemedia on April 1, 2011, in effect changing the company's name to Bell Media. Shortly thereafter, MuchMusic received a new look and a new "Much" logo, while continuing to add non-music television series, mainly dramas and reality shows.

Since September 2013, the channel has been airing significantly more comedy programming targeting young adults during the late afternoon and primetime hours, much of it moved from The Comedy Network. Such shows included Comedy Central series (such as South Park , Tosh.0 and The Jeselnik Offensive ), reruns of The Simpsons and The Cleveland Show , as well as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan . [13] [14] These changes came when Comedy's request for license amendments to reduce requirements for Canadian content and increase the amount of animated programming it could air was denied. [15] [16]

Most of the channel's previous non-music programming, such as the teen dramas Pretty Little Liars and Degrassi , moved to sister channels M3 (formerly MuchMoreMusic) and MTV respectively. [17] At the same time the channel cut back further on original music-related programming apart from Video on Trial , The Wedge , countdowns, and other non-hosted blocks of music videos, with New.Music.Live. confirmed to have been cancelled and the likes of RapCity no longer appearing on Much's schedule. By the summer of 2014, amidst production and staffing cutbacks, the Countdown went on hiatus and Much's remaining original shows, including a revamped Video on Trial, were cancelled. [18]

Meanwhile, in August, Much celebrated its 30th anniversary. [19] A half-hour anniversary special, "30 Years of Much", aired on August 30, 2014 and was preceded by a full-day countdown of The 100 Greatest Videos Ever. [20] Repeats of both the special and the countdown aired throughout the Labor Day weekend. On September 27, 2014, the Countdown returned with a revamped format. [21]

On April 1, 2015, Much announced the launch of Much Digital Studios, a multi-channel network on YouTube. The network features content catered towards Much's demographic of 12-34s, and would also be integrated into their on-air programming. [22]

In late 2017, Much cut back its music programming, reducing its music blocks to the morning hours and removing the Much Countdown from its schedule. The MuchFACT show was also discontinued, as a result of the CRTC having dropped the requirement for Much to fund it. [23] [24] On October 11, 2017, Much premiered Sides*, a new talk show which discusses youth issues; it is streamed live on Twitter, and compiled into weekly televised editions on the channel. [25] In November 2017, Much began to air a Friday-night block known as Icons, which featured airings of music-related documentaries. [26]

In 2019, the daytime Playlist block of music videos was discontinued and replaced with library programming, citing decreased interest and viewership. The Much Retro Lunch block remains the only regularly-scheduled music video programming on the channel, with the network citing its popularity among youth as a factor. [27] In addition, that year's MMVAs were delayed due to scheduling conflicts with the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. [28]


Second Much logo used from 1993 to 1997 Muchmusic2.jpg
Second Much logo used from 1993 to 1997

Much currently airs comedy and pop culture-themed programming, including Comedy Central programs not shown by The Comedy Network, sitcoms, encore repeats of shows sourced from CTV and other sibling networks, and broadcasts of feature films.

Relationship with MTV

In its early years, the network had imported some of its programming from the similar U.S. network MTV.

Its owner Viacom would later attempt to launch MTV-branded channels in Canada via other partners, including Craig Media, which launched MTV Canada as a digital cable network in 2001. However, due to CRTC genre protection rules of the time, these new channels were forbidden from unduly competing with existing analog channels such as MuchMusic, and its license henceforth restricted the channel to only devoting 10% of its weekly programming to "music video clips". CHUM filed a complaint with the CRTC over MTV Canada in early-2002, alleging that 60% of the schedule contained music video programming. CHUM also alleged that the licensing deal with MTV was a "bait and switch" to encroach upon MuchMusic's protected format, rather than deliver the broadly teen-based channel it had promised in the licensing process. [29]

Craig disputed the allegations as inaccurate, arguing that CHUM had incorrectly classified any programming "that has some connection to the general topic of music or music videos" (CRTC category 8a, "Music and dance other than music video programs or clips"), as counting as CRTC category 8b "music video clips" programming for the purposes of the complaint, and that it only aired two hours of purely music video-based programming per-day (accounting for 8% of weekly programming). Upon analysis of MTV Canada's programming, the CRTC ruled that music videos played within a category 8a program still counted as music video programming for the purposes of this limit, and found the network in violation of its license for this and failure to deliver the broadly teen-based service it promised. [29] [30]

CHUM would later acquire Craig Media; due to the licensing agreement with Viacom becoming void upon a change in ownership, both MTV Canada and its sister channel MTV2 Canada were re-launched in June 2005, with MTV becoming the youth entertainment channel Razer, and MTV2 becoming PunchMuch—a new interactive sister channel to MuchMusic featuring viewer-voted music videos. [31] [32] The following year, Viacom would partner with CTVglobemedia to relaunch its cable channel TalkTV as a new Canadian MTV. The agreement also gave the company rights to air MTV programming on other properties such as the CTV network. However, any potential to cannibalize MuchMusic was rendered moot by its licensed format (which required the new channel to focus more on talk and lifestyle series), MTV in the U.S. having also begun to downplay music videos in favour of more reality programming due to the growth of internet streaming, [33] [34] [35] and CTVglobemedia's subsequent acquisition of CHUM—which placed the new MTV and MuchMusic under common ownership.

Affiliated channels

With the success of MuchMusic, several spinoff channels have been launched within Canada and around the world, including:




  • MuchMusic Czech: Launched in 2006, available in the Czech Republic.
  • MuchMusic Latin America: Launched in 1992, originally available in Argentina only, [37] currently distributed on several Latin American countries. It is owned by Turner Broadcasting System Latin America.


  • MuchMusic Brasil: Launched in 2000. Ceased broadcasting in 2001.
  • MuchUSA: Launched in 1994. License to use MuchMusic name and content revoked, and renamed Fuse in 2003. A number of MuchMusic programs were broadcast on this channel in an agreement between the two networks, which share certain programs at times. These included The Wedge , Video on Trial (both Canadian, and an American version) as well as the MuchMusic Video Awards.
  • MuchMusic also had a programming block on MTV3 in Finland called JYRKI .

High definition

Much HD logo Muchhd-logo.png
Much HD logo

On June 1, 2011, MuchMusic launched a high definition simulcast feed called Much HD. [38] It is currently available on Bell Satellite TV, Bell Fibe TV, EastLink, SaskTel Max, Optik TV, Rogers Cable, Shaw Cable and Videotron.

Much personalities

VJ era (1984–2014)

Several individuals have served as MuchMusic's on-air hosts, or video jockeys ("VJs"). A number of notable Canadian and American television personalities either began their careers at MuchMusic or spent time there. Among these are J.D. Roberts who, under the name John Roberts, is a national correspondent for Fox News; Christopher Ward, a noted songwriter and producer who collaborated musically with Mike Myers on the Austin Powers movies; Sook-Yin Lee, now a noted CBC Radio host and actress; Terry David Mulligan, a prolific film and TV character actor; actress Amanda Walsh; Erica Ehm, who became a noted songwriter after leaving Much; and George Stroumboulopoulos, who became a television personality on CBC, U.S. network CNN and currently Sportsnet.


Some of the former Much VJs have moved onto other opportunities within Bell Media's entertainment brands like etalk and E!, but occasionally return for special Much events like the annual iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards .

Every few years, when new video jockeys were needed, Much ran a "VJ Search" to pick one new VJ to join the channel. They would usually visit cities across Canada and pick people who appear to show potential through their audition. In earlier years, the VJ Search was usually a two-part show, but in 2006 it evolved into its own reality series called MuchMusic VJ Search . As a result of that series, Tim Deegan was chosen as a VJ. It was followed in 2009 by VJ 2.0, where the winner Liz Trinnear was also picked to join the channel. The most recent search, Much VJ Search, which Chloe Wilde won in 2013.

Despite the popularity of the VJ Search, some of the other VJs are still hired by Much directly, without being VJ Search contestants.

Much Creators (2015–present)

Much Creators are selected social media personalities, mostly established and emerging Canadian YouTubers, [39] who work with the Much Digital Studios platform.

The first ever Fan Fave Much Creator award was awarded during the 2017 iHeartRadio MMVAs won by YouTwoTV.

See also

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Further reading

Coordinates: 43°38′59″N79°23′25″W / 43.649701°N 79.390233°W / 43.649701; -79.390233