Canal M

On October 16th 1990, the CRTC approved applications by The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. (NBRS) and La Magnétothèque for licences to carry on national audio programming network operations in English and in French respectively to provide, via satellite, programming of benefit to persons who were blind, visually impaired or print handicapped due to physical reasons.

These services, which would be available on a 24-hour basis every day, were to be distributed by cable television licensees as background audio on alphanumeric channels, or as audio services on audio channels of their undertakings, or rebroadcast on Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation (SCMO) channels by FM radio licensees.

The Commission would issue licences expiring 31 August 1995, subject to the conditions specified in the decision and in the licences to be issued.  In making this announcement, the Commission stated: “These networks, similar but not identical in content, will provide an ‘audio newsstand’ of news, public affairs and information of general interest to their intended audiences. As a result of this approval, many people across the country will benefit from the convenience and the ready access these services will provide to information contained in print material. The Commission looks forward with interest to the contribution of these services to the lives of underserved Canadians”. In August 2009, La Magnétothèque received approval from the CRTC of an application that would grant the service mandatory carriage on the basic package of television service providers’ systems in Quebec.  In March 2011, Radio de la Magnétothèque was rebranded as Canal M, coincident with La Magnétothèque changing its corporate name to Vues & Voix. 

Written by Pip Wedge – February, 2014

Start Year: 1990