Top 10 CBC milestones

A look at 10 milestones from Canada's oldest TV network.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox


Launched in 1936 and branching out into TV and radio, the CBC is the oldest existing broadcasting network in the country. As the CBC hits its 75-year mark, we take a look at some of the milestones of this home-grown network.


– In 1929, the Aird Commission recommended the creation of a nationally-owned company to operate a coast-to-coast broadcast system, and in 1932, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) was created. Four years later the Canadian Broadcasting Act replaced the CRBC with a Crown Corporation and Canada’s national public broadcaster was born.


– On January 1, 1941, CBC News Service is formally opened and Radio-Canada’s News division was also created.


– In September of 1952 the first CBC/Radio-Canada television broadcasts took to the airwaves and began with CBFT-Montréal (bilingual) and CBLT-Toronto (English).


– A major CBC milestone came in 1960 with the opening of shortwave service to the High Arctic.


– Just one year later was the introduction of the presentation of proposals, by the national public broadcaster, for satellite use in Canada in 1961.


– The network moved into "modern" times and began broadcasting in colour in 1966.


– Canada made history in this decade by launching the world’s first national domestic satellite. Put into orbit in 1972, the Anik A1 satellite gave CBC/Radio-Canada the ability to beam television signals to the Canadian North for the first time in history.


– CBC Television was an early leader in broadcasting programming with closed captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, airing its first captioned programming in 1981.


– CBC Newsworld was officially launched on July 31, 1989, providing Canadians with their own dedicated 24-hour news channel that was designed for on-the-go viewers, offering frequent news updates and magazine-style programming.


– Established in 2002, the CBC/Radio Canada merchandising business now operates retail locations and, as well as its educational sales department CBC Learning, which sells CBC content and media to educational institutions. (Just a note: CBC Merchandising also licenses brands such as "Hockey Night in Canada" and "Coronation Street.")