The Global Television Network (more commonly called Global) is a major English-language television network in Canada. It first signed on in 1974 as an Ontario-only independent channel, but was soon purchased by Izzy Asper, a Manitoba politician-turned-broadcaster who already owned a station in Winnipeg through his company CanWest.
Asper went on to acquire additional regional broadcast networks in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Maritimes. Although Asper's regional networks always purchased programming rights as a collective, they did not have common branding until 1997, when the Global name was extended across the country. In this same year, Global broadcast in Quebec for the first time, when it acquired the assets of a former CBC affiliate in Quebec City, CKMI-TV, after the CBC took over CKMI's original VHF channel for its own English-language station.
In 2000, Global acquired the assets of Western International Communications (WIC), which owned a regional network in Alberta, and those stations were branded as Global in 2001. As well, WIC owned the CTV affiliates in Vancouver and Victoria, which contravened the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission guidelines on market penetration since Global already had a station there. However, WIC's CTV station, CHAN-TV, was much more powerful and highly rated than Global's station, CKVU-TV, so Global sold CKVU to Citytv, kept CHAN as the new Global affiliate, and rebranded the Victoria station into a new second system, CH, patterned after WIC's Hamilton, Ontario station CHCH. (The CTV affiliation moved to CIVT-TV, which was already owned by CTV.)
In 2001 Global started a national newscast, which is anchored by Kevin Newman.
Global airs almost exclusively United States-produced programming, and has been criticized for not producing enough Canadian content. More recently, the network attracted controversy when its Manitoba station aired its usual programming schedule on the night of the 2003 provincial election rather than producing any special news programming, and when its Ontario station bumped its own election night newscast to sister station CHCH, in order to avoid pre-empting Survivor. Incidents such as this reinforce the perception among some viewers that Global is not concerned with serving the public interest.
Stations in the Global network include:
- CHAN (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- CITV (Edmonton, Alberta)
- CICT (Calgary, Alberta)
- CISA (Lethbridge, Alberta)
- CFRE (Regina, Saskatchewan)
- CFSK (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
- CKND (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
- CIII (Paris, Ontario)
- CKMI (Quebec City, Quebec)
- CIHF (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Global also maintains a second system of independent stations, branded as CH. These stations are: