Movie Central was the most recent incarnation of pay television movie service available via cable to Western Canada. It was owned by Corus Entertainment. In 1984, two years after the first eight regional pay-tv licences were issued in 1982, various amalgamations saw the emergence of one eastern licensee, First Choice Communications, and one western, Allarcom, which operated its service under the name Superchannel. Subsequently, in 1991, Allarcom was acquired by WIC (Western International Communications Ltd) in 1991, who continued to operate Superchannel through a subsidiary, WIC Premium Television. WIC Premium was in turn sold to Corus in July 2000, and in 2001 Corus relaunched with six separately-named channels under the umbrella brand Movie Central. By 2006 these had been rebranded yet again, with four channels – MC1, MC2, MC3 and MC4 -under the Movie Central banner, plus two other channels, Encore Avenue and EA2. In addition to each channel offering a particular genre of movies, several popular television series – many from the US HBO Network – were also made available by the Movie Central channels.
On June 10th 2013, Astral’s The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central announced their new production slate, which included Canadian actress Kim Cattrall’s return to television in a new half-hour comedy series titled Sensitive Skin, to be directed by Don McKellar, slated to begin shooting in Toronto in October.
On November 19, 2015, Corus announced that it would leave the pay TV business and concentrate on national specialty channels. As a result, they shut down Movie Central and Encore Avenue. Bell’s The Movie Network and TMN Encore expanded into Western Canada to make up for the loss of the Corus channels. In the fall of 2018, The Movie Network, HBO Canada and CraveTV were merged into one streaming service, simply known as Crave.
Start Year: 1984