W Network

"W (TV channel)" redirects here. For the Australian television channel formerly known as W. Channel, see SoHo (Australian TV channel). For the British television channel, see W (UK TV channel).
W Network
Launched January 1, 1995
Owned by Corus Entertainment
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called Women's Television Network (1995–2002)
Sister channel(s) Cosmopolitan TV
Oprah Winfrey Network
W Movies
ABC Spark
Food Network
Timeshift service W Network East
W Network West
Website W Network
Bell TV Channel 602 (SD)
Channel 1705 (HD)
Shaw Direct 567, 568 (SD)
79 / 597 (HD)
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
Bell Aliant Channel 274 (SD)
Channel 426 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 602 (SD)
Channel 1602 (HD)
MTS Channel 132 (East) (SD)
Channel 133 (West) (SD)
Channel 1132 (East) (HD)
Optik TV Channel 9329 (West) (SD)
Channel 329 (East) (HD)
SaskTel Channel 100 (West) (SD)
Channel 400 (East) (HD)
VMedia Channel 34 (HD)
Zazeen Channel 126 (HD)

W Network (often referred to only as W) is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment. W Network broadcasts lifestyle and entertainment programming aimed at women.

The channel is available in two time shifted feeds, East (operating from the Eastern Time Zone) and West (operating from the Pacific Time Zone).


In June 1994, Linda Rankin, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, (later incorporated as Lifestyle Television (1994) Limited, principally owned by Moffat Communications) was granted a television broadcasting licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to operate a channel called Lifestyle Television, described as offering "information and entertainment programming of particular interest to women."[1]

Women's Television Network logo; 1995-2002

The channel subsequently launched on January 1, 1995 as Women's Television Network (WTN).[2] Like Moffat's other cable television operations, WTN was headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Linda Rankin served as the president of the network from its launch.

Programming on the network was originally largely focused on lifestyle programming that many had suggested was "feminist" in nature.[3] Such programming included female takes on traditionally male-dominated activities such as fishing and mechanics, with Natural Angler and Car Care, respectively. While other programs, such as Go Girl!, took a comedic approach at parodying typical female-targeted talk shows that discussed subjects such as beauty, fashion, etc.[3] Other programs included films, current affairs, and occasionally sports.

The channel suffered from low ratings in the beginning. Of the slew of new channels launched on January 1, WTN was initially the lowest rated channel on average.[4][5] Linda Rankin later resigned in August 1995 citing "differences in management philosophy".[6]

In December 2000, Shaw Communications announced it intended to purchase Moffat.[7] The deal was later closed in early 2001. Shaw announced in March 2001 that it would sell WTN to Corus Entertainment, a company that it spun off in 1999, for $205 million CAD (Shaw had primarily acquired Moffat for its cable television systems).[8] Once Corus took ownership of the channel, it moved operations from Winnipeg to Toronto in mid-January 2002, laying off 50 employees in the process.[9] Subsequently, Corus relaunched the network as "W" on April 15, 2002 with a more entertainment-oriented mix of recent dramas and movies. On the same date, Corus launched the west coast feed.[10]

In 2009, Corus Entertainment acquired SexTV: The Channel from CTVglobemedia, and relaunched the channel as W Movies on March 1, 2010, a 24-hour film-focused spinoff channel of W Network.[11] Then it will be replaced on December 12, 2016 by Cooking Channel Canada.

W Network HD

On August 3, 2011, W Network HD was launched as a high definition simulcast of W Network's standard definition feed. The HD feed was added to Bell TV satellite and Bell Fibe TV channel lineups on March 23, 2012. It is also available on Eastlink and Telus TV. [12]

On October 1, 2013, an HD feed for the Pacific time zone launched on Shaw Cable.


W Network airs a mix of lifestyle and entertainment television series including films, comedies, dramas, reality TV, cooking, and makeover series.

Noted series


  1. Decision CRTC 94-282 CRTC 1994-06-04
  2. Has WTN gone too soft? (Does anyone really mind?) Herizons 1997-03-22
  3. 1 2 Taddeo, Julie Anne, and Ken Dvorak. The Tube Has Spoken: Reality TV & History. University Press of Kentucky. Print
  4. Special Report: TV Specialty Services: New nets get qualified thumbs up Strategy Magazine 1995-10-02
  5. LIPSTICK IMPERIALISM AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER: WOMEN AND MEDIA AT THE CLOSE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY United Nations' Division for the Advancement of Women & Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development December 1995
  6. Rankin departs WTN Playback Magazine 1995-08-28
  7. Cabler Shaw nabs Moffat Variety 2000-12-10
  8. Corus buying WTN, selling Family Channel CTV 2001-03-06
  9. Corus uproots WTN to Toronto, lays off 50 Playback Magazine 2001-11-26
  10. Corus Entertainment To Launch W, A Revitalized Women’s Television Network Channel Canada 2002-06-30
  11. "Corus shuttering Discovery Kids, will re-brand Sex TV and Drive-In Classics channels", CARTT.ca, September 29, 2009
  12. TV Highlights

External links

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