a media industry resource

Asper & Canwest Global: landmarks


This chronology is indicative only. It covers -

  • beginnings
  • expansion outside Canada (1991)
  • move into newspapers (2000)
  • rationalisation

Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline on this site.


1970 IH Asper becomes leader of Manitoba Liberal Party

1974 buys 45% of troubled Global Ontario network, gains regulatory approval to move Pembina (North Dakota) tv station to Winnipeg

1975 becomes QC

1975 steps down from Liberal leadership, establishes CanWest Capital Corporation

1975 CKND-TV becomes Winnipeg's third over-the-air television service

1986 gains licenses for new tv stations in Regina and Saskatoon

1987 Asper's SaskWest Television launches CFRE-TV Regina and CFSK-TV Saskatoon

1988 buys tv stations in Vancouver and Halifax/Saint John

1988 Asper and associated companies buy out partners in the Ontario Global system

1988 open CIHF-TV, Halifax's second commercial tv station

1989 CanWest moves to 100% of Global, becomes CanWestGlobal

1991 lists on Toronto Stock Exchange

Expands outside Canada

1991 takes stake in TV3 New Zealand

1992 buys a 57.5% stake in Australian TEN commercial tv network

1995 CanWest bid for Britain's Channel 5 television network rejected

1996 listing on New York Stock Exchange

1997 buys New Zealand's More FM commercial radio network

1997 increases stake in New Zealand's TV3 to 100%

1997 launches TV4, New Zealand's second commercial tv network

1997 launch of Prime TV cable channel in Canada

1997 CanWest Global and TVA Régional Inc. (French-language commercial tv network in Quebec) form partnership (51-49%) to buy CKMI-TV in Quebec City, with retransmission in Sherbrooke and Montreal

1998 investment in TV3 Ireland

1998 buys 18.2% holding in Ulster Television from Scottish Media Group for £23.9m

1998 increases Ulster stake to 29.9%

1998 buys Fireworks Entertainment film and television production house

1999 establishes Fireworks International as global film distribution arm

1999 establishes Fireworks Television U.S.A as video production arm

1999 takes 20% stake in Internet Broadcasting System and 27% stake in LifeServ Corporation (internet content providers)

2000 takes 32% stake in Medbroadcast, Canadian internet health site

2000 takes controlling interest in Winnipeg's All Sport Ventures ( portal)

2000 buys 70% of RadioWorks NZ, second largest radio group

2000 announces that Granada Media will take 45% stake in TV3 Ireland

2000 TEN announces acquisition of 60% interest in online and outdoor advertiser Eye Corp

2000 gains 3 Alberta tv stations with purchase of assets of Western International Communications (WIC)

2000 buys Canadian tv stations in Hamilton, Victoria and Montreal and CBC affiliates CHBC Kelowna and CKRD Red Deer

2000 buys Edmonton-based CanWest Studios, Apple Box Productions and StudioPost Film Labs

Expansion into newspapers

2000 buys principal metropolitan operations of Hollinger newspaper chain in Canada, along with Hollinger's Canadian internet properties, its magazine group, most of the community publishing operations and a 50% interest in the National Post

2001 buys remaining 50% of National Post

2001 sells stake in ROBTv to comply with regulatory approval of Hollinger deal

2001 increases RadioWorks stake to 100%

2001 Hollinger sells stake in CanWest for C$271m cash

2002 CanWest announces sale of 12 newspapers and printing operations to GTC Transcontinental Group for C$255m

2002 TEN acquires remaining 40% of Eye

2003 CanWest sells community newspaper operations in Southern Ontario to Osprey Media Group for C$193m

2003 launches The Beat FM, its first radio station in Canada

2003 death of IH Asper


2004 sells stake in Ulster Television for £59m

2004 floats 30% of New Zealand broadcasting arm for NZ$300m

2004 announces plan to buy 50% of Jerusalem Post (JPost Group) from Mirkaei Tikshoret group

2005 Jerusalem Post deal derailed

2005 CanWest gains licence for The Original 106, Solent UK radio station

2006 agrees to sell 45% cent stake in Irish terrestrial broadcaster TV3 to private equity group Doughty Hanson

2003 sells radio stations The Beat FM (Kitchener) and Cool FM (Winnipeg) to Corus for C$15m