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Vrak (stylized as VRΔK) is a Canadian French-language Category A specialty channel aimed at youth audiences. Since 2013, Vrak is owned by Bell Media.

History

The 1988–1996 logo of the channel as Le Canal Famille, prior to the rename to VRAK.TV. A blue–green variant was used from 1996 until 2001.
The 2001–2007 Vrak.TV logo, featuring the channel's mascot, Bibite.[1] The mascot was dropped in 2007, but a simplified variant of this logo was used until 2014.
The 2014 Vrak logo was used until 2016.

Licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1987, Le Canal Famille was launched on September 1, 1988 as a replacement to the youth channel TVJQ (Télévision des Jeunes du Québec, otherwise known simply as Télé des Jeunes). Canal Famille was created by Premier Choix TVEC which itself was already owned by Astral at the time.

Le Canal Famille, name translated as The Family Channel, which was the name of another Canadian youth channel that also began airing in 1988.[2]

Le Canal Famille was renamed VRAK.TV on January 2, 2001.[3]

Vrak.TV was separated from its sister channel in 2013 due to the acquisition of Astral Media by Bell Media; Bell sold off Family Channel (along with the French version of Disney Junior and two English-language TV services) to DHX Media.

Vrak.TV was simply renamed to just Vrak on August 25, 2014.[4]

Programming

Since its creation as Le Canal Famille, the channel airs animated series, teenage sitcoms and light dramas. Many of them are French translations of English programs such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, What I Like About You, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, The O.C., Life with Derek, Smallville, SpongeBob SquarePants, That '70s Show, 90210, Gossip Girl, and many others. It also aired programs from Disney Channel; due to the launch of La chaîne Disney by Corus Entertainment, the last remaining Disney Channel show on the channel, Good Luck Charlie (Bonne chance Charlie in French), was removed from the schedule in September 2016. The channel also features local Quebec French language productions, such as Il était une fois dans le trouble and Une grenade avec ça?. Other series that the channel popularized were Dans une galaxie près de chez vous and Radio Enfer. The channel started running movies weekly as of 2010.

Initially, as required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the channel carried no commercials until 2006.[5] However, it aired promotional messages, interstitial programs (such as help segments known as R-Force (pronounced like "Air Force")), and public service announcements instead. The channel airs commercials as of 2006.

Unlike the other specialty channels, VRAK is the only channel on the air daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. When the station was Le Canal Famille, the station would close down at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. on weekends), sharing time with the flagship Super Écran channel (also owned by Astral). In 2001, when the channel was revamped as VRAK.TV, its hours were increased to 10 p.m. (Super Écran followed on most systems). VRAK's current close down time, at midnight, went into effect in mid-2005.

On September 12, 2016, the channel's animation line-up was put on hiatus for the Fall. Then in January 2017, the animation line-up returned, starting with SpongeBob SquarePants (Bob l'éponge in French).

Vrak HD

On October 30, 2006, Astral Media launched an HD simulcast of Vrak.TV called Vrak.TV HD.

It is available on Bell TV, Bell Fibe TV, Cogeco, Optik TV, Rogers Cable, Shaw Direct and Vidéotron.

International distribution

See also

References

External links