Cartoon Network is a Canadian English-language Category B specialty channel based on the American Cartoon Network, which broadcasts animated programming aimed at children and teens, and its late night counterpart, Adult Swim, which targets young adults. The channel is owned by Corus Entertainment, with the brands in use through a brand licensing agreement with Time Warner in the United States.
The channel is available in standard definition and high definition, and has two traditional Eastern and Pacific feed schedules. As of September 2015, it is available in 5 million households and carried by Cogeco, EastLink, SaskTel, Rogers Cable, Bell Fibe TV, Bell Aliant TV, Optik TV, Vidéotron, Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct.
The network carries the majority of current-day programming aired by Cartoon Network in the United States, along with some programs from sister network Teletoon to meet their Canadian content guidelines. In addition, some outside programming such as Angry Birds Toons, Turning Mecard and The Jungle Bunch is also carried on the network.
After obtaining a license from the CRTC in November 2011 for the service Teletoon Kapow, Teletoon Canada (a joint venture of Astral Media and Corus Entertainment) announced in February 2012 the launch of Cartoon Network and the programming block Adult Swim in Canada. The channel was launched on July 4, 2012. In preparation, programming blocks were introduced to Teletoon and Teletoon Retro.
On March 4, 2013, Corus Entertainment announced that it would acquire Astral Media's 50% ownership interest in Teletoon Canada, as part of Astral's pending acquisition by Bell Media (which had earlier been rejected by the CRTC in October 2012, but was restructured to allow the sale of certain Astral Media properties in order to allow the purchase to clear regulatory hurdles).
Corus's purchase was cleared by the Competition Bureau two weeks later on March 18. On December 20, 2013, the CRTC approved Corus's full ownership of Teletoon Canada and it was purchased by Corus on January 1, 2014. The channel continues to be owned by Teletoon Canada, now wholly owned by Corus Entertainment under its Corus Kids division.
In August 2015, internal sources at Corus reported that Cartoon Network would be moved to the channel allotments of Teletoon Retro, which was being shut down on September 1, 2015. It was stated that this change would enable the channel to have wider distribution, as Teletoon Retro was carried by more providers than Cartoon Network, specifically Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct and Rogers Cable. Legally, as of September 1, 2015, Cartoon Network now operates under the auspices of the Category B license that was originally assigned for Teletoon Retro. The original Cartoon Network license was mothballed, and returned to the CRTC on October 2, 2015.