Infobox Network
network_name = TQS
country = Canada
network_type = Broadcast television network
available = Quebec (available in parts of New Brunswick and eastern & northern Ontario via cable or antenna)
owner = Remstar
launch_date = September 7, 1986
slogan = Le mouton noir de la télé (The Black Sheep of Television)
website = [http://www.tqs.ca TQS]

TQS is a Canadian French language privately owned television network based in Quebec. Formerly owned by a joint venture of Cogeco and CTVglobemedia, a takeover offer by Remstar Corporation was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on June 26, 2008 [ [http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2008/db2008-129.htm CRTC Decision 2008-129] ] and was completed on August 29, 2008. [ [http://www.newswire.ca/fr/releases/archive/September2008/05/c2034.html "Remstar Diffusion complète l'acquisition de TQS - Le Gouverneur en conseil maintient la décision du CRTC"] , CNW Group, September 5, 2008.]


The history of TQS goes back to 1968, when the CRTC first expressed interest in the establishment of a third French language commercial television service in the province of Quebec along with the existing Radio-Canada and TVA, although the CRTC did not call on applications for licences.

In 1972, the CRTC said it was prepared to receive licence applications in order to authorize a third commercial television service in Quebec, although it was not until 1974 when the CRTC granted licences to Télé Inter-Cité Québec Ltée. to operate TV stations in Montreal and in Quebec City, however nothing came of this project.

On November 15, 1984, the CRTC launched another call for applications, and in 1985 the CRTC held public hearings in Montreal to examine competing applications from partners Cogeco Inc. (60.3%) and Moffat Communications (39.7%), and another application by Réseau de télévision Quatre-Saisons Inc. Both applications applied to launch television stations in both Montreal and Quebec City. On September 6 of that year, the CRTC approved the application of the Réseau de télévision Quatre-Saisons inc. (TQS). TQS was authorized to operate a French language TV station in Montreal with an effective radiated power of 566,000 watts on Channel 35, but it was denied the application to operate a TV station in Quebec City.

The network was launched in 1986 as Télévision Quatre Saisons (Four Seasons Television) under the ownership of the Pouliot family, who then owned Montreal's CTV affiliate, CFCF-TV, and radio stations CFCF-AM (now CINW) and CFQR-FM. The network spent most of its earlier years in severe financial trouble; at one point, the revenues from CFCF-TV were all that were keeping the network afloat. However, the network was known for advertising in English on its then-sister radio stations.

In 1995, the Pouliots sold TQS to Quebec cable company Vidéotron, who already owned TVA, Quebec's other private commercial network. Due to monopoly ownership concerns, Vidéotron immediately turned around and sold TQS to Quebecor, a newspaper publisher.

Quebecor acquired Vidéotron itself in 2001, and put TQS back on the market. Later in 2001, TQS was bought by a joint venture of CTVglobemedia (then known as Bell Globemedia) and Cogeco, another cable company. Cogeco owned 60% of the venture and handles most of the operations, while CTVglobemedia owns 40%. The acquisition, in a sense, reunited it with CFCF, which had been bought by CTV a year earlier.

Since 1998, the network has branded itself as "le mouton noir de la télé", or "the black sheep of television". It has long been a distant third in the ratings to TVA and Radio-Canada. Most of its affiliates are on UHF, and operate at moderate-to-low power compared to their TVA and Radio-Canada counterparts. However, it has produced a number of major hit series in Quebec.

Unlike TVA, TQS does not have mandatory cable carriage rights outside of Quebec, but may be offered at a cable company's discretion if there is a sufficient local market for French language television programming. Consequently the network is not widely available outside of Quebec, although some communities in northern and eastern Ontario and in New Brunswick receive TQS affiliates on cable. The affiliate in Gatineau is part of the Ottawa market, and is available in nearly all of eastern Ontario on cable, while most of Northern Ontario receives the affiliates from either Gatineau or Val-d'Or. The network affiliate in Rivière-du-Loup also has a rebroadcaster in Edmundston, New Brunswick, the network's only over-the-air transmitter outside of Quebec.

The network is known to many English Canadian viewers for "Bleu Nuit", a showcase of softcore pornography broadcast late Saturday nights, similar to the old Baby Blue films that once aired on Toronto's Citytv. In fact, TQS was once considered the French counterpart of Citytv.

In early 2005, TQS was part of the consortium that won the Canadian broadcast rights to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics. This was considered a serious coup, as the rival CBC Television had previously won Olympic broadcast rights from the 1996 Summer Olympics through to the 2008 Summer Olympics. TQS will be the primary French broadcaster, while CTV will be the primary English broadcaster; TSN, RDS and Rogers Sportsnet will provide supplementary coverage.

The current TQS logo, which uses the lowercase form "tqs", was adopted in fall 2006. While some network publicity materials now use the lowercase form in text, the uppercase form also remains common.

In late 2007, TQS launched an HD simulcast of their Montreal affiliate, CFJP called "TQS HD".

Bankruptcy protection

On December 18, 2007, TQS filed for protection from its creditors in a bankruptcy-court filing. At this point the station was given 30 days in which to reorganize and revamp itself, with the goal of finding a viable solution to pay off its creditors. On January 16, 2008, a judge extended the grace period for an additional 45 days.

Montreal newspaper "La Presse" reported on January 15 that Rogers Communications and RNC Media were each interested in acquiring some individual stations within the network, although RNC Media later denied the report and Rogers declined to comment. [ [http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gDKIurFgAmjFM1DmLF_SplB4ejaw "French-language television network TQS facing potential bidding war"] , Canadian Press, January 16, 2008.] On February 25, 2008, the network confirmed that it had received four purchase bids, although it did not disclose the identities of the bidders. [ [http://www.570news.com/news/business/article.jsp?content=b0225164A "TQS receives four formal bids for troubled Quebec TV network"] , CKGL, February 25, 2008.]

Remstar takeover

It was announced on March 10, 2008, that the Quebec Supreme Court approved the sale of TQS to Remstar Corporation, a Montreal-based television and film producer and distributor. [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080310.wtqs0310/BNStory/Business "Judge approves Remstar acquisition of TQS"] , Report on Business, March 10, 2008.] Creditors, who were owed more than $33 million, voted to accept the Remstar proposal in May. [ [http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hoUDZ0gh4SG3t1NHOdzL5JPgsEEQ "TQS creditors accept deal that would see them get $7 million of $33 million"] , Canadian Press, May 22, 2008.] . The CRTC approved the application on June 26, 2008. [ [http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Hearings/2008/n2008-5.htm CRTC Notice of Public Hearing 2008-5] .] [ [http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2008/db2008-129.htm Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-129] ]

Remstar announced on April 23, 2008 that 270 jobs would be cut at TQS, while the information services division will be abolished entirely — thus eliminating all newscasts from the network starting in September 2008. [fr icon [http://www.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2008/04/20080424-150044.html "Les employés de TQS à fleur de peau"] , canoe.com, April 24, 2008.] While the CRTC ultimately ordered Remstar to retain local news programming on the network, it did take the network's precarious financial situation into account by allowing a reduced amount of local news programming until the network's license renewal hearing in 2011. [ [http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2008/db2008-129.htm CRTC Decision 2008-129] ]

On August 29, 2008, "Le Grand Journal" aired its final news broadcast, effectively ending TQS's full length news programming. Remstar has indicated that the network's revised news strategy will consist of a single nightly newsmagazine series for the entire network, anchored by Benoît Gagnon and containing regional reports from the province's major markets. The network will also add a noon-hour talk show hosted by André Arthur.


*1987-1989: On grandit ensemble! "(We grow together!)"
*1995-1997: Allumée! "(Turned on!)" (Literally, "Lit up!")
*1997-present: Le mouton noir de la télé "(The black sheep of television)"
* 2007: Parce que vous êtes... différent! "(Because you are... different!)" — ("Le mouton noir de la télé" is also used)

TQS stations

Owned and operated

These stations are owned and operated by TQS:
*CFJP - Montreal
*CFAP - Quebec City
*CFKS - Sherbrooke
*CFKM - Trois-Rivières
*CFRS - Saguenay

Regional affiliates

*CFGS - Gatineau
*CFVS - Val-d'Or
*CFTF - Rivière-du-Loup



ee also

*List of Quebec television channels
*List of Quebec television series
*Television of Quebec
*Culture of Quebec


External links

* [http://www.tqs.ca/ TQS] fr icon
* [http://www.rsmrichter.com/Restructuring/TQS.aspx Public information on TQS Insolvency made available by accounting firm RSM Richter]
* [http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/networks/networks_TQS_Television.html TQS history at Canadian Communications Foundation]

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