Canwest launches reality channel

Canwest is boosting its lucrative stable of specialty services with an all-reality channel, set to launch on July 1. Global Reality Channel, a new category 2 service which received CRTC approval last October, promises to air 'all reality all the time' and will feature programs including Big Brother, The Apprentice, Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal Canada, and the granddaddy of all reality shows, Survivor.

Canwest is boosting its lucrative stable of specialty services with an all-reality channel, set to launch on July 1. Global Reality Channel, a new category 2 service which received CRTC approval last October, promises to air ‘all reality all the time’ and will feature programs including Big Brother, The Apprentice, Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal Canada, and the granddaddy of all reality shows, Survivor.

Canwest executives Daniel Eves and Phil Piazza will handle programming and acquisitions, respectively.

Per its conditions of licence, the service will be required to air 15% Canadian content in its first year, followed by 25% in year two, and 35% in year three. A maximum of 10% of programs per week can be reality renovation shows. It brings the total of Canwest-owned specialties to 19, and follows the recent launch of DIY Network Canada.

The service will, so far, be available only to Rogers VIP customers. Canwest is in discussions with other distributors and expects to make announcements in the coming weeks.

In 2005, at the height of the reality TV craze, Fox launched a similar channel in the U.S., though it was recently rebranded as National Geographic Wild.