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Launched in 1984, MuchMusic ("Much", for short) is one of the first specialty channels in Canada, focusing on music and featuring a number of specialized Music Video blocks and programs about musicians. Hosting these programs were video jockeys, or VJs for short. It was one of CHUM Limited's signature channels, alongside Citytv and Space.

It was quite similar to MTV in the United States, which did not launch in Canada until the 2000s. In fact, MuchMusic actually launched their American spin-off on July 1, 1994, seven years before MTV could launch their first Canadian channel! For many, it was beloved for giving American viewers access to Canadian and European artists not heavily known in the US. Today, that channel is known as Fuse, after their licence to use the MuchMusic brand was revoked in 2001; its original name was kept until 2003.

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Much has also launched several Canadian spin-off channels, such as the older-skewing MuchMoreMusic (Later shortened to MuchMore). If Much is the Canadian MTV, than MuchMore was the Canadian VH1. Its French counterparts were MusiquePlus and MusiMax, originally owned as a joint-venture with Radiomutuel. Their video-centric spinoffs included MuchVibe, named after the program focused on urban music; MuchLoud, named after the program focused on rock music; PunchMuch, an interactive viewer request channel that later became the kids and teen-centric Juicebox in 2011note ; and MuchMoreRetro, a retro music channel that was re-oriented under the Much brand in 2013.

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MuchMusic has been credited with helping foster a vibrant Canadian music scene by providing constent airings of videos by Canadian musicians. The channel created the MuchFact program, as part of its license agreement, to help artists produce music videos.note 

Since 1990, the channel has hosted its annual MuchMusic Video Awards (or MMVAs for short). Unlike usual award ceremonies that tend to be held in a conventional theatre, the MMVAs are instead a street party near the company headquarters. The event has become known for the unique red carpet arrivals of some of the musicians attending. These have included Billy Talent arriving in a 1942 Sherman Tank, Katy Perry giving out ice cream from an ice cream truck, and Marianas Trench arriving in suits in a hot tub and then fighting ninjas. So far, Billy Talent is the most nominated artist with 32 nominations in total. They tie with Our Lady Peace for most wins with both artists getting 10 wins.

In 2006, the channel was sold to Bell Globemedia, owners of CTV and The Comedy Network. In the years since, the channel began airing more non-music based programming. Since 2010, Much has aired teen dramas such as Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, and Degrassi (following a Channel Hop from CTV). Then in Fall 2013, the channel began airing more comedy programming, some of which previously aired on The Comedy Network. Such programs include late-night talk shows, and original shows from Comedy Central, IFC, and [adult swim]. Subsequently, most of the teen dramas were moved to other networks, while the bulk of the channel's original programming (including Video on Trial and The Wedge) were all cancelled by 2014. They've even officially dropped "Music" from their name to reflect this.

As this was going on, MuchMore was relaunched as M3 in Fall 2013. Marketed as a completely separate brand from Much, M3 would all but abandon music programming outside of its daily music video blocks. Instead, the channel became more focused on dramas, sitcoms, and reality shows; most of which were just reruns, encores, or off-network repeats of shows from sibling channels. Less than a year after Bell's purchase, MusiquePlus and MusiMax were sold to Astral Media, but in 2013, Bell would acquire Astral itself. As part of the purchase, both channels were once again sold off, this time to Remstar, owners of the french-language broadcast network, V. While MusiquePlus continued to follow the entertainment-based schedule it adopted since the Astral purchase, MusiMax would outright abandon music programming, re-branding as a general entertainment channel known simply as "Max".

In an attempt to tap into their audience via social media, Much would launch their own multi-channel network (MCN), Much Digital Studios, and the Mike on Much podcast, hosted by producer Mike Veerman, Shane Cunningham, and Max Kerman of Arkells, on YouTube in 2015. The latter show proved popular enough to be spun out into an original series, "Mike on Much in Conversation With...", for sibling streaming network Crave in 2018.

The following year, in 2016, Bell Media sold all of Much's video-oriented spinoffs to Stingray Digital, while M3 was shut down was replaced with a relaunched Gusto TV; a food and lifestyle channel that Bell Media bought at an earlier date.note  Much would carry the drama encores that made up most of M3's afternoon schedule until Fall 2017, when its entire schedule was revamped to focus almost-exclusively on comedy programming. As of 2019, music programming has largely been reduced to a midday hour-long block called the Much Retro Lunch that is dedicated to older videos from the 80s, 90s and the 2000s.

Currently, the iHeartRadio MMVAs note  is the only original program airing on the channel.


MuchMusic provides examples of:

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: To MTV. Much itself has two of these in A.Side TV (formally Aux), a dumping ground for reality and lifestyle programs that airs video blocks in the mornings, and Vintage TV Canada, a local version of the British channel dedicated to classic and retro music. Vintage TV is currently the only channel left in the country dedicated to actual music programming.
  • Award Show: The MuchMusic Video Awards, an award show for music videos and artists.
  • Broadcast Live: MuchOnDemand and New.Music.Live, the network's flagship shows, which featured music videos, live performances and interviews.
  • Black Sheep: SIDES*, which premiered in Fall 2017. On top of being unrelated to music, the series tone is also a sharp contrast to the channel's comedy-heavy lineup.
    • Before then, there was the quarter-hour sketch comedy We're Experiencing Technical Difficulties, which garnered low ratings and a negative response from viewers.
  • Long-Runners: While the channel gradually reduced its music content to the bare minimum required, it still had the Much Countdown, a block which focused on the top thirty (later twenty) music videos of the week. Through many incarnations and revamps, the show was running since at least 1996. By Fall 2017, after being previously reduced from a full-fledged program to a hourlong weekly video block, the program was dropped from television and shifted to an online format. By 2018, the program was cancelled altogether.
    • Likewise, the MMVAs have been held since 1990.
    • Video on Trial, which ran for nine seasons between 2005 and 2014.
    • Before Video on Trial, there was Fromage which was an annual special, usually airing around the christmas season, that countdowned the worst music videos of the year. It began in 1988 and was hosted by VJ Christopher Ward though Ed the Sock took over in the late 90s and the show lasted until 2006 with a revival in 2013 (though it was much shorter in length and was not aired on much as Ed as parted ways with them by that point).
  • Network Decay: Worse than what happened to MTV, Much still plays music videos at the very least. The main issue is that MTV was able to move away from airing music programming exclusively by producing a number of successful reality and scripted shows, while Much has become overreliant on imported programming with almost no original programming to call its own. The MMVAs has become the network's only major draw, but now it airs in simulcast on the larger CTV network.
    • To elaborate, the channel suffered from a large amount of degradation over the past decade, though not to the extent of MTV as Much's broadcast license requires it to air music videos. MuchMusic was essentially a free-for-all in the 1980s and 1990s, with few (if any) songs being censored and a wide variety of programming catering to virtually every taste (including programs devoted to rap and French music), as well as lots of indie bands getting a chance to shine through music video rotation. Between 2003 and 2006, most of the long-running VJs jumped ship and left for greener pastures, the station canned many of its unique and interesting showsnote , and then shifted their focus onto reality shows (like the Much VJ Search and American imports). Many people (including many Canadian media outlets) lamented the fact that the station did absolutely nothing to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It was up to the fans to broadcast their own tributes for a station that had almost no trace of the elements that made it so popular and unique in the first place. Said media outlets also noted that MTV Canada is considered to be more relevant to young teenagers!
      • In September 2013, a number of "low-brow" shows airing on The Comedy Network (including Drunk History, South Park, The Simpsons, and Conan) moved to Much, while the channel scaled back more of its music programming. Similar shifts occurred with sister network MuchMore when it was re-branded as M3.
      • In July 2014, the bottom fell out. The Much division took the brunt of Bell Media's cuts in that month, with 91 people losing their jobs and most of the network's original programming, including Video on Trial, ending abruptly because of them. Beyond filling the schedule with reruns of their weekly countdown show and automated playlists of music videos (which barely require any staff to set up) to keep the CRTC satisfied, it didn't look good. At the very least, Much actually did something for their 30th anniversary: airing a "top 100 music videos of all time" countdown, and an half-hour 30th anniversary special. These moves came, strangely enough, right after the CRTC denied license amendments that would have allowed The Comedy Network to air less Canadian content and more animated programming (Teletoon complained; Comedy is only allowed to devote 10% of its broadcast day to animation). Two years later, the music video spinoff channels were sold to Stingray (an operator of Canada's digital cable radio platform).
      • It only got worse in Fall 2017, when the CRTC's new broadcast rules took effect. The CRTC phased out genre protection, the one thing preventing Much from entering Total Abandonment, and removed the obligation to fund music videos from Much's license. This has lead to the axing of the MuchFACT program, with Much now only playing music videos in the mornings. The afternoon schedule has been completely taken over by comedy repeats, while the channel has also added TMZ and more serious fare like Vice News Tonight, and a Friday night block of music documentaries called "Icons".
    • A similar fate happened to Fuse, Much's former American spin-off, since its merger with NuvoTV. Now marketed as a multicultural network, Fuse, at the very least, continues to produce original programs. However, the network's entire schedule is almost nothing but sitcom reruns and movies, and the network only has a handful of the latter. Fuse has essentially become a Latino-targeting MTV2, while their fledgling spin-off network, FM, is basically what Fuse was like before the merger.
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