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Much Music

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Much Music

For other uses of "MuchMusic", see MuchMusic (disambiguation).
MuchMusic
MuchMusic logo
Launched September 1, 1984
Owned by Bell Media
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(2011-present)
480i (SDTV)
(1984-present)
Slogan It's A Lot
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Sister channel(s) MuchMore
MuchVibe
MuchLOUD
MuchRetro
Juicebox
Website Bell TV Channel 570 (SD)
Channel 1670 (HD)
Shaw Direct Channel 580 (SD)
86 / 586 (HD)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
IPTV
Bell Aliant TV Channel 220 (SD)
Channel 424 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 570 (SD)
Channel 1570 (HD)
MTS Channel 23 (SD)
Optik TV Channel 255 (SD)
Channel 652 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 12 (SD)

MuchMusic (now referred to in most cases simply as Much) is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel owned by the Bell Media subsidiary of BCE, Inc.. MuchMusic is dedicated to music-related programs, pop and youth culture, though its current schedule has a strong emphasis on comedy programming.

History

MuchMusic was licensed on April 2, 1984 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to CHUM Limited.[1] 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".[2]

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,[3] with the transaction completed on June 22, 2007 while the Citytv stations were sold to Rogers Media that same year.

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.

In September 2013, the channel began airing significantly more comedy programming focused on young-adult audiences during the late afternoon and primetime hours, much of it moved from sister channel The Comedy Network. This includes Comedy Central programming such as South Park, Tosh.0 and The Jeselnik Offensive; reruns of The Simpsons and The Cleveland Show; and talk shows Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan. It also further minimized its use of the "MuchMusic" name apart from its website, with on-air promos now almost exclusively referring solely to "Much".

Most of the channel's previous non-music programming, such as the teen dramas Pretty Little Liars and Degrassi, has moved to sister channels M3 (formerly MuchMore) and MTV respectively. At the same time the channel cut back further on original music-related programming apart from Video on Trial, daily 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.


The first logo for MuchMusic when it first began was a big "M" with "Muchmusic" boxed in the centre of the M. The logo was slightly redesigned as a big M with a small m inside the outline, with the word Muchmusic below the logo. In 1997, a new logo was designed with a black-and-white "Much" superimposed on a planet with longitude/latitude lines on the surface. In 2010, MuchMusic began to use the new simplistic and multi-colored logo on the channel's promos, however the older logo used on-air did not change until April 1, 2011, when MuchMusic was officially relaunched with a new look consisting of a new simpler multi-coloured logo; this change coincided with the completion of Bell Canada's acquisition of CTVglobemedia with the company's subsequent renaming as Bell Media. In May 2011, the logo redesign was implemented with MuchVibe. The former logo design continued to be used by MuchLoud until late 2012.

Programming

Making use of CHUM's facilities and production teams, the channel has produced many specialty musical and variety programs, including the long-running dance program Electric Circus and the late 1980s game show Test Pattern, and it adopted some programs originally created for CHUM such as City Limits, which featured alternative videos.

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. As well, MuchMusic funds the creation of new Canadian music videos through MuchFACT and produces the popular album series Big Shiny Tunes and MuchDance.

Since 2007, MuchMusic has aired a vast number of non-music related programs such as The O.C., One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, The L.A. Complex, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Vampire Diaries and Viva La Bam. These programs often air repeatedly to gain interest from viewers. Before those programs aired, Much Mega Hits was a prominent program that played various music videos based on singles.

MuchMusic broadcasts films every Friday night under its MuchMovie banner. The films span across various genres but aiming its youth demographic. However, much of the scenes are edited or cut due to time constraints or explicit content. An example would be 8 Mile, which muted the profanity and removed the sexual and violent content.

Controversy

In recent years, the popularity of MuchMusic has waned and the channel faces constant criticism that it focuses too much on "top 40" acts, reality shows and movies (the latter two usually having nothing to do with music). A main point of criticism is not giving nearly enough time to smaller, independent and Canadian performers. The channel was built on these types of artists and is the reason why it was successful for so many years as, "The Nation's Music Station".[4] The minimal programming that is given to Canada's thriving indie/alternative music scene is usually subjected to late night time periods, while the channel is saturated with television series during primetime hours.[5]

In 2010, CTV (parent company of MuchMusic) was denied a request by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) 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 tried to justify, "music videos no longer distinguish the service as they are readily available through other sources." This is met with mixed reaction by music fans, as they believe it is MuchMusic's severe lack of quality music programming or demographic diversity that makes these, 'other sources' preferable.[6]

Exclusive music programming such as "BackTrax", Power Hour, RSVP and "X-Tendamix" have long since been replaced, and the channel has gravitated more toward teen-oriented shows such as Pretty Little Liars, America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl and Clueless. These changes to further abandon the channel's music format in favour of more reality and scripted programs has drawn the ire of notable music artists and music fans.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

Much has also been the centre of controversy because of its leniency in censorship, sometimes leaving expletives uncensored from videos played on the network, in contrast to MTV, often censors certain music videos for inappropriate content. However, some programs, due to their wider audience, are edited for content. As with MTV, the network also generated controversy by occasionally "banning" videos it deemed too racy or violent for broadcast. Unlike MTV however, MuchMusic broadcasts the controversial videos in a series of late night specials dubbed Too Much 4 Much, along with panel discussions on their content and arguments on if it should be banned or not. However, recently, many of the videos are censored, and even airs the MTV censored version.

Relationship with MTV

MuchMusic was launched in part to capitalize on the success of MTV, an American cable music channel that had premiered a few years earlier. Although never an affiliate, Much over the years would often broadcast MTV-produced programming such as awards shows, concerts, reality series and other programs. MTV itself was not permitted in Canada because of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) restrictions on format protection. However, no such restrictions exist in the United States, where CHUM attempted to compete with MTV through MuchUSA (now the unaffiliated Fuse).

Perhaps owing to this, MTV was unwilling to extend its relationship with MuchMusic longer than necessary, and has made two attempts to launch a competing MTV channel in Canada. The first attempt began in 2001 when MTV Canada was launched by Craig Media and Viacom. MTV Canada had an edge over MuchMusic in that it was licensed by the CRTC as a broadly based teen channel and could air programming from various categories and not just music-related programming. In 2004, MTV Canada's owners were bought by CHUM, allowing Viacom to exit its contract with Craig, and stripped MTV programming and branding from the channel forcing Viacom to find another partner to bring MTV to Canada.

The next attempt began in 2006 when Viacom partnered with CTV to rebrand its low-rated specialty channel talktv as MTV. With the new launch of MTV in March 2006, MuchMusic lost all rights to MTV programming from that point forward.

Since the acquisition of CHUM Limited (which includes MuchMusic and MuchMore) by CTVglobemedia, MTV and MuchMusic have technically been under the same ownership since June 2007. CTVglobemedia has announced that it planned on maintaining all CHUM's specialty channels including both MuchMusic and MTV. Bell Media and Viacom have no plans to disaffiliate either channel from its programming and/or branding. In fact, MuchMusic and MTV have even begun cross-promoting each other's programs (e.g., MuchMusic airing a promo for MTV's The Hills).

Guinness World Record

MuchMusic holds the only Canadian television record in the Guinness Book of World Records. The world's shortest television commercial is half a frame (one field) and lasted for 1/60 of a second. Twelve different versions of the commercial were produced, all advertising MuchMusic; the first of these ads aired on January 2, 2002. The creator, producer and editor was Tharanga Ramanayake.

Affiliated channels

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

Former

  • MusiquePlus: The first spinoff channel of MuchMusic. Launched in 1986, it was developed as a Canadian French language version of MuchMusic. In September 2008, new owner Astral Media dropped the MuchMusic style branding and separated itself from the network.
  • MuchMusic also formerly operated PunchMuch, an all-request music video service consisting of music videos from various genres within the scope of MuchMusic itself until November 17, 2011, when PunchMuch was replaced by a new music video channel aimed at pre-teens, known as Juicebox.

International

Current

  • muchmusic Czech: Launched in 2006, available in the Czech Republic.
  • MuchMusic Latin America: Launched in 1992, originally available in only Argentina,[13] is now available in several Latin American countries.
  • MuchMusic also has several programming contracts with various broadcasters internationally, where a MuchMusic programming block consists on existing channels including such countries as Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico and Singapore.
  • A number of MuchMusic programs air on the Fuse TV in the United States in an agreement with the two networks, which share certain programs at times. This was the former U.S. version of MuchMusic, which stopped airing MuchMusic Canada shows in 2002 and eventually lost the rights to use the MuchMusic name. As of 2011, MuchMusic Canada produced shows began airing on Fuse. These included The Wedge, Video on Trial (both Canadian, and an American version) as well as the MuchMusic Video Awards since 2010.

Past

  • MuchMusic Malaysia
  • Much Arabyeah!
  • MuchMusic Brasil: Launched in 2000. Ceased broadcasting in 2001.
  • MuchUSA: Launched in 1994. License to use MuchMusic name and content revoked, and renamed Fuse TV in 2003.
  • MuchMusic also had a programming block on MTV3 in Finland called JYRKI.

Much HD

On June 1, 2011 MuchMusic launched a high definition simulcast feed called Much HD.[14] It is currently available on Bell Satellite TV, Bell Fibe TV, EastLink, SaskTel Max, Optik TV and Rogers Cable.

VJs

A wide range of individuals have served as MuchMusic's on-air hosts, or 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 today (2012) 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, now a Canadian television personality on CBC and U.S. network CNN.

MuchMusic personalities/VJs

Current

  • Liz Trinnear
  • Lauren Toyota
  • Phoebe Dykstra
  • Scott Willats
  • Tyrone "T-RexXx" Edwards
  • Damian Abraham

Past

VJ Search

Main article: Muchmusic VJ Search

Every few years, when new video jockeys are needed, Much runs a "VJ Search" to pick one new VJ to join the channel. They will 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, most VJs are still hired by Much directly, without being VJ Search contestants.

See also

References

Further reading

External links

  • MuchMusic
  • MuchMusic Profiled on The Museum of Broadcast Communications
  • Remembering MuchMusic's birth days
  • MuchMusic shows its age
  • MuchNews Guinness World Record
  • Guinness World Record

Coordinates: 43°38′59″N 79°23′25″W / 43.649701°N 79.390233°W / 43.649701; -79.390233

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