Posted June 21, 2023 • Last updated June 10, 2024

Why is Eastlink dropping Corus TV channels, and how do I get them back?

Here’s what we know about why Eastlink is dropping channels like Showcase, W, HGTV, YTV, and more.

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Update (June 2024): On June 6, 2024, Corus and Eastlink announced they had finally reached a new agreement on the distribution of Corus channels. Eastlink customers that had these channels will not get them back automatically, but can re-add Corus' channels through a choice of new theme packs. Note, however, that some of the Corus-owned channels discussed below, such as HGTV and Food Network, will be losing their U.S. content and forced to rebrand in January 2025.

This website is currently on hiatus but the page may be fully updated at a later date. For now, the previous content remains below for posterity.

If you've come across this post, you're likely an Eastlink cable TV subscriber, looking for information on what is happening to the television channels owned by Corus Entertainment including YTV, Treehouse TV, Showcase, W Network, HGTV, Food Network, and many others.

In late May 2023, the Halifax-based cable operator announced that effective June 27, Eastlink would no longer carry the vast majority of TV channels operated by Corus, saying it was unable to reach an agreement "that would not impact the availability of these channels" beyond that date. Eastlink sent a notice to that effect to its subscribers around that time, and in the weeks leading up to the change, Corus channels have begun to display on-air banners reinforcing the change, referencing Corus's own web page about the decision.

Many, but not all, of these channels are available as a bundle through low-cost subscription streaming packages such as the StackTV add-on to Prime Video, Fubo's entertainment package, and RiverTV. Each of these has at least a one week free trial for first-time subscribers. We have more information about these and other options, such as alternate TV providers, below.

We will also provide a full listing of the affected channels, and an explanation of what's going on – as best we understand it. We plan to update this page regularly as more information becomes available.

If you'd like to jump ahead to a particular section, use the links below:

What channels are affected?

In approximate alphabetical order (excluding the word "the"), here are the 33 specialty channels owned by Corus which are affected by this dispute, as well as the digital cable channel numbers that Eastlink indicated in its announcement. Note that we cannot independently verify whether these channel numbers are correct for all Eastlink systems across Canada. Note as well that some channels may not have been available in all areas.

  • ABC Spark – the Canadian version of U.S. teen-focused channel Freeform [previously ABC Family] (Eastlink channel 750)
  • Adult Swim Canada – a 24-hour version of the nighttime programming block on / timeshare channel with Cartoon Network U.S. (693)
  • Boomerang Canada – a spinoff of Cartoon Network focused on classic characters (751)
  • Cartoon Network Canada – formerly Teletoon (758)
  • CMT Canada – formerly Country Music Television; now a channel focused on classic sitcoms (881)
  • Cooking Channel Canada – a spinoff of Food Network (666)
  • Crime & Investigation Canada (794)
  • DejaView – a classic programming channel (826)
  • Disney La Chaîne – the French-language version of Disney Channel (1047)
  • Disney Channel Canada (779) [not to be confused with the separately-owned Family Channel, the home of Disney Channel programming in Canada from 1988 to 2015, which is not affected]
  • Disney Junior Canada (765)
  • Disney XD Canada (766)
  • DTour – focused on travel and paranormal programming (642)
  • Food Network Canada (649)
  • Global News BC1 – a regional news channel serving British Columbia (608)
  • Historia – the French-language version of the History Channel (379)
  • The History Channel Canada (777)
  • History 2 Canada (791)
  • Home and Garden Television (HGTV) Canada (646)
  • Lifetime Television Canada (694)
  • Magnolia Network Canada – previously DIY Network, now a lifestyle channel based around Fixer Upper stars Joanna and Chip Gaines (654)
  • MovieTime (691)
  • National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo) Canada (780)
  • National Geographic Wild (Nat Geo Wild) Canada (784)
  • Nickelodeon Canada (747)
  • Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) Canada (821)
  • SériesPlus – a French-language channel focused on TV series (367)
  • Showcase – focused on fiction-based (comedy and drama) programming (814)
  • Slice – the de facto Canadian equivalent of U.S. reality channel Bravo (640)
  • Télétoon – the French-language cartoon channel (381)
  • Treehouse TV – focused on programs for preschoolers (746)
  • W Network – focused on programming for women, and the Canadian home of Hallmark Channel programming (648)
  • YTV – a youth channel featuring Nickelodeon programming (756)

Our understanding is that Eastlink customers will also lose on-demand access to programming from the above channels, as well as any access they may have had to programming through the Global TV app and website (beyond what is made available to all Canadians, e.g. in the "Freeplay" section).

If you are an Eastlink subscriber that lives in an area served over-the-air by Corus' broadcast network, the Global Television Network, you will not lose access to your local Global station itself, as Canadian broadcasting regulations mandate that cable companies like Eastlink carry all broadcast stations serving your area. However, you will lose access to Global's on-demand programming catalogue, which is not covered by the same rules. You may also lose access to any out-of-market Global stations you have had access to before now (e.g., if you live in Atlantic Canada and have been receiving Global Edmonton).

The main issue appears to be financial (money), though it's possible there are also disputes over other contractual terms like how Eastlink places Corus channels in its packages. Unfortunately, the precise amounts and terms each side is offering or asking for is not public knowledge.

To reiterate, Eastlink says it "worked very hard to reach an agreement with Corus that would not impact the availability of these channels" but could not make a deal. The reference to availability suggested to us that Corus may not have been simply seeking more money than Eastlink was offering, but other terms related to channel packaging that Eastlink didn't want to make.

For its part, Corus, through executive Troy Reeb, has recently claimed that its issues with Eastlink are in fact purely financial – claiming the provider "doesn’t want to pay what these channels are worth anymore," without apparent elaboration on what the two sides see as the difference in value.

Typically in these kinds of negotiations, the parties agree to keep the details out of the public eye – both before and after a deal is reached – for a variety of reasons, such as maximizing leverage in future negotiations with other service providers (in the case of Corus) or other channel operators (for Eastlink).

However, even then, there are usually some details that leak out in the media, particularly when the parties reach an impasse like this, if they think they can still get a deal.

But in comparison to the types of tactics that have been used in similar disputes – particularly in the United States – how Corus and Eastlink have handled this dispute so far has seemed almost cordial, with neither side really putting pressure on the public or politicians to support one side or the other in getting a deal, and instead focusing on the impact on customers.

This is just our informed opinion, but from the outside looking in, it looks to us like Corus and Eastlink have tacitly agreed to use this dispute as something of an experiment, to see how many people will bother to switch providers if they lose access to such a large swath of channels – and how many customers will stick with their existing provider but agree to start paying the channel owner directly, e.g., via StackTV.

As for the questions about whether one side or the other is asking too much: We can't really provide a single answer. The question of the right value for a particular channel, or set of channels, is inevitably subjective, particularly in the context of the traditional cable bundle. Some subscribers who have a particular channel could not care less about it being removed, while there may be others that would be willing to pay much more for it.

Can the CRTC do anything about this?

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Canada's broadcasting and telecom regulator, has a number of mechanisms it can use to resolve disputes and minimize disruption for consumers, including mediation and arbitration.

One of its mechanisms is called the standstill rule, which – if invoked – requires the two sides to "provide continued access to programming services and carriage" until a dispute is resolved.

However, the standstill rule must be requested by at least one of the parties – the CRTC does not do so unilaterally – and as of this writing, we have seen no evidence that either Corus or Eastlink has requested the standstill rule be applied. This suggests to us that the two sides reached such a significant impasse in negotiations that they do not feel CRTC involvement will resolve their issues – or, again, that the two sides have basically decided to treat this as an experiment to see how consumers respond.

How can I get these channels back?

There are a few different ways you may be able to access these channels or their programming, depending on which channels you need and how you want to handle your existing Eastlink cable TV subscription.

Note that although Eastlink has referenced free services like the Global TV app or Pluto TV in addition to the options discussed below, the selection of programming available on either platform without a subscription is limited – there is some programming from Corus' specialty channels, but it is unlikely to include many recent shows.

[Note: All prices and offers in this article were last checked on June 21, 2023, and do not include applicable sales taxes; they are subject to change at any time without notice, so we encourage you to verify the expected price and offer before subscribing. Additionally, we remind you that Where Can I Watch participates in a number of affiliate programs, whereby if you sign up for a service using the links in this article, we may receive an affiliate commission.]

Option 1a: Subscribe to StackTV or a similar streaming package

If you want to hold onto your existing Eastlink subscription (for now), there are several alternate streaming options available through other companies to access these channels, obviously at an additional charge. While these require a certain amount of technical know-how, if you have a modern TV or streaming device (like a Chromecast or Fire TV stick) and are familiar with working with a service like Netflix, you can probably figure it out.

For the past several years, Corus has offered StackTV, a streaming package now available through several providers that includes live access to sixteen of Corus' channels – including Global and fifteen of the specialty channels listed above – for a relatively low monthly price. Corus has chosen to offer this package solely on an ad-supported basis, meaning that both the live channels and most on-demand programming will include some advertising breaks, with no ad-free upgrade available.

The channels included in StackTV, in addition to Global, are: Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Food Network, History, HGTV, Lifetime, Nat Geo, Showcase, Slice, Treehouse, W, and YTV.

For many Canadians, the easiest way to subscribe to StackTV will likely be as an add-on channel on Amazon's Prime Video streaming service, where the package costs $12.99 per month (on top of the price of Amazon Prime itself, currently $9.99 per month or $99.00 per year). However, first-time subscribers can access a 14-day free trial for StackTV (this is separate from the one-month free trial for new Amazon Prime subscribers).

If you do not (and do not want to) subscribe to Prime Video, your best option to get StackTV is to subscribe to Fubo, which recently introduced an Entertainment package for $14.99 per month which includes all of the channels in StackTV, plus several other third-party channels like CBC and Paramount Network. As of this writing, a one-week free trial is available.

The StackTV website notes that it's also possible to get the package through Rogers' Ignite TV and streaming platforms, but it is unlikely you'll be able to avail of this if you are in Eastlink's cable territory as, to our knowledge, the two don't currently overlap.

Finally, there is RiverTV, a streaming offering from Quebecor's VMedia division, which costs $16.99 per month with a 30-day free trial available. Like Fubo, it combines channels from Corus with those from a number of third-party providers, such as CBC, CHCH Hamilton, and Family Channel. The Corus channels available in RiverTV are slightly different from those in StackTV – instead of the three Disney-branded channels, the service includes Crime & Investigation, History 2, and MovieTime.

Neither StackTV (whether through Prime or Fubo) nor RiverTV includes any of the following: ABC Spark, BC1, Boomerang, CMT, Cooking Channel, DejaView, DTour, Magnolia, Nat Geo Wild, Nickelodeon, OWN, or any of Corus' French-language channels. While some of these channels carry unique programming – particularly ABC Spark and OWN – others are arguably little more than repeat services for programming that is available, and often easily streamable, elsewhere (e.g. the main primetime offering on CMT right now is the American version of The Office, which is also available on Netflix Canada and Crave). BC1 has similar (but not identical) programming to the free ad-supported Global News BC online channel.

Option 1b: Watch select programs through brand-specific streaming services

Many of the channels that Corus operates are associated with The Walt Disney Company (including Disney Channel, ABC Spark, and Nat Geo), Warner Bros. Discovery (such as HGTV, Food Network, and Magnolia), or Paramount Global, the former ViacomCBS (in the case of Nickelodeon).

All three companies operate their own streaming services which include access to much of their programming catalogues – at least in terms of programs originating in the United States. While any one of these services will only give you access to some of the programs airing on Corus channels, for certain customers that may be enough.

  • Disney+ – which costs $11.99 per month, or $119.99 per year if paying annually – includes most of the original programs available on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, and ABC Spark (Freeform), not to mention a wide variety of other programs from Disney-owned brands like FX and Marvel. However, most programs that initially air on regular TV will be delayed in reaching Disney+ in Canada, due to the terms of Disney's programming deals with Corus.
  • Discovery+ – which has plans starting at $4.99 per month if you don't mind some ads; the $6.99 ad-free version is also available through Prime Video – similarly has most original programs from channels like HGTV, Food Network, and Magnolia Network, plus programs from channels not related to Corus (like Discovery, Animal Planet, and TLC). Again, there may be some delays in programming becoming available on Discovery+ if it premieres on regular TV.
  • Paramount+ – pricing for which starts at $9.99 per month; the service is also available as an add-on channel on Prime Video or Apple TV – includes a number of programs originating from Nickelodeon, which again are typically made available several weeks after it premieres in Canada on either YTV or the Nickelodeon Canada channel. It also carries most CBS primetime programs that have aired on Global, again on a delayed basis.

Additionally, Corus operates Teletoon+, a separate service that offers access to a variety of programs from the Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation libraries. Again, not every program will be available at the same time as it airs on regular TV. The easiest way for most viewers to access this service is as a $5.99 per month add-on channel to Prime Video.

Option 2: Switch TV providers entirely

While a bit more drastic, in almost all regions where Eastlink's cable TV service is offered, there are now multiple alternatives available, including:

All of these providers have been explicitly endorsed by Corus as providers that will continue to offer its channels for the foreseeable future. However, it's always possible that Corus could find itself a similar dispute in the future with any of the other companies listed above. (Rogers' traditional and Ignite TV services are also on the list, but again, as far as we are aware, there are no areas where Rogers and Eastlink cable services overlap.)

Whether such a change will make sense for you will depend on your situation, including any service contracts you may be under, your location, and the packages and pricing offered by each provider.

As of this writing, the short answer is: yes, for now, but only if you ask for a rebate.

The Eastlink page about the removal of Corus channels indicates that the provider "would be happy to provide a 6-month credit equivalent to the cost of streaming services like Discovery+, Disney+, and StackTV". Per the footnotes, the exact credit will be $12.99 per month, equivalent to the pre-tax price of StackTV on Prime Video. To access this credit, you will most likely need to contact Eastlink through one of its support channels, including online chat on its website, or by calling 1-888-345-1111. (Presumably, Eastlink assumes that anyone that doesn't notice the Corus channels going away will be happy to keep paying the full regular price.)

Eastlink also says they're offering "two months of Crave on us", but that seems to be predicated on signing up for an ongoing subscription to Crave through Eastlink, basically making it the same sort of offer we've seen offered in the past by many providers (though you could just call back to cancel at the end of the second month).

However, in terms of your ongoing monthly rate outside of that credit, it's unlikely there'll be a change to the price you pay, unless you change your package yourself. Eastlink is justifying this based on its plan to replace Corus channels one-for-one with channels from other companies, meaning the number of channels in your package will remain the same. Only you can decide whether the replacement channels have equivalent value to the ones they'll be replacing.

If you do nothing, per the above-linked page, by default your existing Corus channels will be replaced in your package, including with channels owned by Blue Ant Media: BBC Earth (Eastlink channel 783), BBC First (884), Cottage Life (643), Love Nature (790), Makeful (825), Smithsonian (789), and T+E (formerly Travel & Escape, 651). However, Eastlink officials have been quoted in other media outlets as saying channels like Super Channel Heart & Home (which, like W, carries some Hallmark Channel-style programming) will be used as well.

Many Eastlink subscribers are on a "TV Channel Exchange" plan under which it appears to be relatively straightforward to swap channels.

Of course, you also have the option of downgrading to a different Eastlink TV package that better reflects your current cable TV viewing habits, particularly if you do end up paying a different company just to get the Corus channels.

Who is Corus?

Corus Entertainment is a Toronto-based media company which was created as a spin-off from cable and satellite provider Shaw Communications in 1999. Although its shares are publicly traded on the stock market, its voting shares are controlled by the Shaw family, the same family which previously controlled Shaw Communications until its acquisition by Rogers in 2023. For the moment, Corus remains a separate, family-controlled business.

At its creation, Corus took over several radio stations and TV properties that had been owned by Shaw. Over time, it has merged with several other major Canadian media companies, and by our count owns 33 specialty TV channels, in addition to its ownership of Global, and numerous radio stations and TV production operations.

Many, but not all, of Corus' channels are operated in partnership with international media companies that own well-known programming brands, like The Walt Disney Company (which also controls the National Geographic brand), or Warner Bros. Discovery (owner of the HGTV and Food Network brands). Under Canadian media ownership laws, those companies are not permitted to directly operate their own channels in Canada, so in these cases they've partnered with Corus to operate and distribute some of their branded channels in Canada.

Eastlink is the brand name of a company called Bragg Communications Inc., which is privately held by the Bragg family of Nova Scotia. It operated primarily in that province until 2007, when it merged with Persona, a cable provider that had served numerous primarily rural communities across Canada.

Thus, while Eastlink technically operates coast-to-coast, the biggest cities where you can access its cable service are medium-size markets like Halifax and Sudbury.

In addition to cable television and internet service, the company offers home phone service in much of its territory, as well as wireless phone service throughout Atlantic Canada. Based on most estimates we've seen, Eastlink is still one of the larger incumbent cable companies in Canada, but still well back of the combined Rogers/Shaw and Vidéotron.

Is there any chance the channels won't be dropped, or will be reinstated?

It is always possible that a new deal between Corus and Eastlink could be reached, but given the two parties' statements to date, it seems unlikely to happen soon.

Of the two sides, Corus seems to be the most open to restarting talks, telling Broadcast Dialogue their "door is always open to future negotiations", though it's sometimes hard to tell the difference in these situations between PR-speak and actual openness.

As noted above, you can contact Eastlink by calling 1-888-345-1111, or by using the other service options (such as chat) listed on the page linked here.

Contact information for Corus Entertainment and its various TV properties are listed on the page linked here.

Just a reminder: The website you're on right now, Where Can I Watch, is an independent, third-party website not affiliated with Corus, Eastlink, or any other broadcaster or TV service provider. We welcome your feedback on this article, but unfortunately cannot assist with any specific issues you may have with either Eastlink or Corus, beyond pointing you to the contact details just above this paragraph.

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