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MuchMusic (often referred to only as Much) is a Canadianmarker English language cable television specialty channel owned by CTVglobemedia. MuchMusic is dedicated to music, music-related programs, pop and youth culture.


MuchMusic was licensed on April 2, 1984 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to CHUM Limitedmarker. Shortly thereafter MuchMusic was launched on August 31, 1984 as one of the first Canadian cable specialty channels on the air. It was headed by John Martin and Moses Znaimer, the channel's founders. On June 22, 2007, CTVglobemedia gained control of MuchMusic as a result of a takeover of CHUM Limited.

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".


Logo used from 1992 to 1996
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 1996, the current logo was designed with a black-and-white Much superimposed on a planet with longitude/latitude lines on the surface. The logo change was to portray MuchMusic as more modern and youthful.


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 Circusmarker 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.

The network airs three viewer voting programs: MuchOnDemand, MuchTakeOver and PunchMuchmarker.

MuchMusic is well-known for its annual music awards show every June. It is anticipated and promoted for weeks before the night of the MMVAs.
It 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 play schedule . As well, MuchMusic funds the creation of new Canadian music videos through VideoFACT and produces the popular album series Big Shiny Tunes and MuchDance.

As of 2007, MuchMusic has started to air a vast number of non-music related programs such as Girlicious, Greek, America's Best Dance Crew, The O.C., Gossip Girl and BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (the latter ended its run in June 2007). These programs would 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. As a result, BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad was one of the only anime shows aired on the channel.

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


MuchMusic ran afoul of Canadian broadcast regulators in the early 1990s when it aired the animated series Ren and Stimpy; it was forced to take the program off the air on the basis that it was not a music-based program as per the network's licence.

The network also generated controversy by occasionally banning videos it deemed too racy or violent for broadcast (MTV also weathered similar controversy). Often, the network would broadcast banned videos as part of a Too Much 4 Much special, followed by discussion with viewers and concerned groups about why the video should or shouldn't be aired (but rarely would videos be unbanned). On the flipside, the worst videos of the year would also be featured in annual New Year's specials entitled Fromage (French for "cheese").

In recent years, particularly with the brief arrival of MTV on Canadian digital cable, the influence of MuchMusic has waned , and the channel has had to weather criticism that it focuses too much on "top 40" acts and imported MTV "reality shows" like Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica and Pimp My Ride, thereby not giving enough time to smaller, independent, and Canadian performers. But in 2005 Video On Trial premiered, and quickly became the network's highest-rated show while featuring Canadian comedians and personalities almost exclusively as music video "judges". A special, "Stars On Trial", featured popular VOT regular Ron Sparks as the judge and was the highest-rated special of the year (other than the annual MuchMusic Video Awards show).

Much has also been the centre of controversy because of its leniency in censorship. The channel often airs profane terms like "shit", "bitch", sometimes even "fuck" and does not censor the finger. This is its most contrasting feature against MTV, which goes to great lengths in censoring music; Canadian media is generally more liberal in regards to censorship of obscenities or sexuality, but more conservative with regards to violence. However, Much censors their programs like MuchOnDemand/live special re-runs due to their large youth audience.

List of programming

Relationship with MTV

MuchMusic was launched in part to capitalize on the success of MTV, the 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 TV series and more. MTV itself was not permitted in Canada because of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) restrictions on format protection. However, no such restrictions existed in the United Statesmarker, 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 not just music related. 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 they plan on maintaining all CHUM's specialty channels including both MuchMusic and MTV. Currently both CTVglobemedia and Viacom have no plans on disaffiliating either channel from its programming and/or branding. In fact, MuchMusic and MTV have even begun airing each other's promo ads (e.g. MuchMusic airing a promo for MTV's The Hills).

Affiliated channels

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


  • 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 czech: Launched in 2006, available in the Czech Republicmarker.
  • MuchMusic Latin America: Launched in 1992, originally available in only Uruguay, 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 Colombiamarker, Indonesiamarker, Mexicomarker and Singaporemarker.


  • MuchMusic Malaysia
  • Much Arabyeah!
  • MuchMusic Brasil: Launched in 2000. Ceased broadcasting in 2001.
  • MuchUSA: Launched in 1994. Ceased broadcasting after becoming Fuse TV in 2003.
  • MuchMusic also had a programming block on MTV3 in Finlandmarker called JYRKI.


Every 5 years or so, when new video jockeys are needed, Much will run a "VJ Search" to pick one new VJ to join the team of VJs. 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.

Despite the popularity of the VJ Search, most VJs are still hired by Much directly, without being VJ Search contestants.

MuchMusic personalities/VJs




External links

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