|Owned by Bell Media|
Slogan Comedy Shines
|Picture format 480i (SDTV)|
|Launched September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07)|
Comedy Gold is a Canadian English language Category B cable and satellite specialty channel owned by Bell Media. An offshoot of The Comedy Network, the channel focuses primarily on sitcoms and sketch comedy programs from the 1970s to 1990s.
On November 24, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted Craig Media, through its subsidiary Craig Broadcast Systems Inc., permission to launch a national Category 2 digital specialty channel tentatively known as Retro; a channel described as being "devoted to classic television programming".
In August 2001, before the channel had launched, Craig Media announced it had reached a deal with U.S.-based MTV Networks, to launch Retro as a domestic Canadian version of the American classic television-focused cable channel, TV Land. The channel was launched in September 2001 as TV Land, with a slate of programming focusing on sitcoms and dramas. MTV Networks purchased a minority share in the service months later.
In April 2004, CHUM Limited announced it would purchase Craig Media for CAD$265 million; Craig's 80.1% interest in TV Land was included in the sale. The sale was subject to CRTC approval and was approved on November 19, 2004. The transaction was completed on December 1, 2004. In July 2006, Bell Globemedia (later CTVglobemedia) announced that it would purchase CHUM, including TV Land Canada, for an estimated CAD$1.7 billion. The sale was approved by the CRTC on June 8, 2007, with the transaction completed on June 22.
On June 21, 2010, it was announced that TV Land would be rebranded as Comedy Gold, becoming an offshoot of The Comedy Network, effective August 2, 2010. The rebranded channel would focus primarily on sitcoms and sketch comedy programs from the 1970s through the 1990s. Viacom sold its stake in the channel back to CTV after the rebrand took place.
The channel's ownership changed hands once again when on September 10, 2010, BCE, Inc. (a minority shareholder in CTVglobemedia) announced that it planned to acquire 100% interest in CTVglobemedia for a total debt and equity transaction cost of CAD$3.2 billion. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011, and was finalized on April 1 of that year, on which CTVglobemedia was rebranded Bell Media. In June 2012, Comedy Gold unveiled a new on-air look consisting of a new logo and new on-air presentation, aligning with the relaunched Comedy Network, which itself had unveiled a new on-air rebrand in November 2011.
Comedy Gold focuses primarily on sitcoms and sketch comedy programs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s (such as Full House, Night Court, The Bob Newhart Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show); it also carries some Canadian-produced programs (such as Inside the Box and Second City Television).