Oh pooh. One of the few good American cable channels the cultural panjandrums at the CRTC let us ordinary Canadian peons watch is Spike TV, formerly The Nashville Network and then the New TNN once the 90s country music revival fad died down. Last year, it changed formats again and became Spike TV, a channel dedicated to providing the finest in (mostly cheap) entertainment for men.
Problem. We already had a channel in Canada dedicated to men, albeit one that had only been around for a year or so before TNN changed formats and became Spike TV, Men TV. Not really a problem because competition is good, right? Not in Canada, where our speciality channels can't usually stand up on their own two feet and need the government to restrict all competition.
"Almost four years ago, Viacom, the parent company of CBS and MTV, bought TNN. Shortly afterward, the station dropped its country format (and Dukes of Hazzard reruns). The first revamp turned the channel into the National Network. The lameness of the name change said everything about that attempt. Then came a restyling ostensibly oriented toward men, the New TNN, which then spawned Spike, a network unmistakably aimed at men (Baywatch and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 reruns mixed in with a cartoon called Stripperella, featuring the voice of Canada's own Pam Anderson.)
Despite the desperate aura surrounding those transformations, they are the focus of the current dispute. To get onto the CRTC's magic list of approved channels, U.S. channels can't duplicate something offered by a Canadian broadcaster. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters complains that Spike is in direct competition with Men TV, a justly obscure CanWest Global digital channel that until recently filled out its schedule with reruns of the now-defunct Mike Bullard Show. CHUM grumbles that Spike is muscling in on the turf of its Space channel."
Boo-fucking-hoo. While there's plenty on Spike TV I don't watch, it's still about the closest thing to being a channel specifically designed for Steve Brandon there is, because, you know, my dream channel would have, at the very least, plenty of cartoons and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine reruns (because Majel Barett's royalties make the Deep Space Nine boxsets twice as expensive as those for most series). I like the new "adult" episodes of Ren & Stimpy from Chicoutimi-born John Kricfalusi, and
So, I hope the CRTC does nothing... or even better goes away... and, if Spike TV gets nixed in Canada, I promise Men TV that I will never watch a single one of their programmes ever again because eliminating my viewing choices isn't any way to get me to watch you. In closing, to paraphrase Jay and Silent Bob, "Fuck Men TV. Fuck them up their stupid asses."