Updated on December 10, 2021
Cartoon Network and Teletoon have announced that Cartoon Network (in partnership with Teletoon) will be launching a digital cable channel in Canada as of next week (Wednesday, July 4). The lineup will include an Adult Swim nighttime block. More on this, including the shows in the lineup, may be read in the press release (Update 1/27/13: Link defunct):
While I can see why Cartoon Network might want to try to establish a presence in Canada, in an attempt to spread its brand to one of the few countries on Earth without CN’s presence (even Africa is technically served by an English language, pan-European feed of Cartoon Network available via satellite, or so claims Wikipedia), I suppose I have my doubts:
- Teletoon and the US-Cartoon Network already share a good chunk of programming—“Johnny Test” and “Total Drama Island” among other Teletoon shows air frequently in the US on Cartoon Network, while Teletoon gets a lot of CN shows (the DC Comics superhero series, “The Looney Tunes Show,” etc.). Teletoon even has an analog of Adult Swim in its late-night block “Teletoon At Night,” which apparently airs a chunk of Adult Swim’s lineup, including the Fox shows and “Futurama.” And I’ve written in the past about Teletoon Retro, which is Teletoon’s answer to the US version of Boomerang (nonstop old cartoons 24 hours a day). All of which makes Canada getting watered-downed versions of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim seem redundant to me. What’s the point when Teletoon already airs most of the popular CN-original/Adult Swim-original material (besides as an extra channel to air some of the less-often-seen shows I suppose)?
- Cartoon Network isn’t the first American kids’ channel to move into Canada—Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Nickelodeon all have digital cable versions north of the border, though they’re just digital cable channels tied to a Canadian partner. Said main channels being Teletoon’s main competitors:
- Family, Canada’s analog to Disney Channel/ABC Family. Disney Channel proper, like Cartoon Network, isn’t present in Canada but has versions throughout the world; however, its Disney XD and Disney Junor channels air in Canada as digital cable channels run by Family. Disney Channel and Family both share shows; “Life With Derek” and “Naturally Sadie” are Family-made shows that aired for years on Disney Channel.
- YTV, Canada’s Nickelodeon analog. Like Family and Disney, YTV and Nickelodeon have shared shows over the years, plus YTV runs Nick’s Canadian digital cable channel.
- Finally, it seems odd that they’d choose July 4 (an American holiday) to launch their debut up north. Why not the weekend of July 1 (for Canada Day)?
Just for kicks, I found a schedule for Teletoon At Night, for comparison to Adult Swim (no idea if it’ll change with the impending debut of Adult Swim-Canada, but I doubt it):
Overall, I suppose Cartoon Network’s goal might be to just have at least a token brand name presence up in Canada, as well as compete with the similar moves their rivals at Disney Channel and Nickelodeon have made north of the border. Still, while it doesn’t seem like an endeavor that’s got much going for it, I guess Canadian viewers won’t turn down having another channel to see the “PowerPuff Girls” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog” on.
And despite all of the above said (and the US already receiving some Canadian shows), I wouldn’t mind seeing the reverse happen—an American version of Teletoon…
Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.