Business News Network (BNN) is a Canadian English language Category A cable and satellite specialty channel that's owned by Bell Media. BNN broadcasts programming related to business and financial news and analysis. The channel is headquartered at 299 Queen Street West in Downtown Toronto; day-to-day operations for BNN are run by CTV News.
As Report on Business Television (RoBTV)
The network was licenced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996 to a joint venture of Thomson Corporation (50%), Western International Communications (25%) and Cancom (25%). It launched on September 1, 1999 as Report on Business Television (although using the abbreviation ROBTv), borrowing the name from The Globe and Mail's financial section "Report on Business".
In 2000, Canwest acquired WIC and its interest in ROBTv. As part of the agreement transferring WIC's interests in Cancom to Shaw Communications, CanWest acquired Cancom's share of the channel as well.
That same year, the two partners became in conflict with each other: CanWest acquired the Southam newspaper chain, including the National Post, the Globe's chief rival. Around the same time, Thomson transferred the Globe and its shares of ROBTv to Bell Globemedia, a newly formed media company which additionally included CTV, in which Thomson initially held a twenty percent interest. Following threats of legal action on both sides, in 2001, CanWest agreed to sell its fifty percent interest to BellGlobemedia, in exchange for Bell ExpressVu agreeing to carry a new CanWest-owned digital business news channel, "Financial Post Television". The latter channel never materialized.
Shortly thereafter, BellGlobemedia assumed full control of ROBTv in late 2001, the channel was given a new logo and began to use only the full name of Report on Business Television, dropping the "ROBTv" sub-brand.
As Business News Network (BNN)
On March 12, 2007, the channel was renamed Business News Network. The name change occurred to give exclusive rights to the "Report on Business" name to the Globe and Mail and for the channel to have its own identity, along with removing a common problem with the ROBTv name, where vocal mentions in additional media and among viewers called it "Rob TV" rather than sounding out the ROB acronym as preferred by the network.
BNN relocated its operations from 720 King Street West to 299 Queen Street West on December 6, 2010, placing it under the same building where CTV's MuchMusic and Toronto's 24-hour news service CP24 are based.
With the Thomson family reacquiring control of the Globe (and by implication Report on Business) in late 2010, and the pending sale of CTVglobemedia's broadcasting assets to Bell Canada, the channel and the newspaper are no longer co-owned, although Bell retains a fifteen percent interest in the paper. Following the merger with Bell Canada, on April 1, 2011, Bell Canada renamed its new business unit from CTVglobemedia to Bell Media.
A large majority of the programming carried on BNN is produced in-house, although it additionally carries content from additional sources including Bloomberg Television. Originally it was the Canadian broadcast partner of CNNfn, an American business news channel, which ceased operations in December 2004. BNN features a televised stock ticker with real-time data from the Toronto Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and a large number of international financial exchanges. In addition to its homebase in Toronto, BNN additionally operates news bureaus located at the NASDAQ Market Site in New York City's Times Square, and in Calgary.
BNN attracts approximately 5,000 regular viewers daily and has a strong viewership outside of the home (such as in gyms, restaurants and offices) which isn't reflected in its ratings. This is a situation additionally faced by networks with high out-of-home viewing patterns like CNBC.
The network hosts a series of special presentations throughout the year, including valued specials for tax and RSP seasons. In the fall of 2006, Report on Business Television hosted its first "Live On Location" event in Toronto throughout which a studio audience was featured throughout two of the network's most popular shows, Market Call with Jim O'Connell and SqueezePlay with Kim Parlee and Andrew Bell. This marked the first time viewers had the opportunity to go live in person with the network throughout its regular broadcasts of Market Call.
In May 2008, the network relaunched BNN.ca, featuring its first-ever online contest called The BNN.ca $25,000 Challenge. The updated BNN.ca showcased a new video player allowing investors to search, sort and personalise BNN video; and the new player increased availability of past BNN video by allowing viewers to access content for an unlimited period of time online. Other added features on the site included blogs, a "Market Monitor," feature video clips on the homepage, an online stock ticker, features like "Hot Stocks" and "Guest Picks," stock indices and tracking of the latest and popular news storeys on the site.
BNN'S weekend programming consists mainly of repeats of a few of the programmes aired on BNN's weekday schedule, as well as various infomercials from Northern Response, Kingstar Media, etc...
Notable on-air staff
BNN HD is a high definition simulcast feed, which broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format; the feed was launched on November 28, 2011. It is currently available only on Bell TV, Bell Fibe TV, Shaw Cable and Telus Optik TV. The HD feed is downconverted to a letterboxed format on the standard definition feed.