Masonic Temple Embraces MTV

Traveling from Rosedale station to Bloor the other day and looking out the subway windows, I noticed a big honking red MTV sign replacing the CTV one at the historical Masonic Temple located at Yonge and Church.

Film shoot? Or are the Americans trying to vie for top music programming and topple Muchmusic?

Alas, CTV and MTV have joined forces and the pop-culture channel "goes live" Mar. 21., the first day of spring and the 3x4-metre signage put up last week seals that deal.

In the next three weeks, MTV prepares to turn on the switch and officially re-brand talktv. In the coming days, other MTV programming, both for the MTV channel as well as for the CTV network and other media platforms, will be revealed. Details are still sketchy, but such a daily music magazine show that will likely go head-to-head sometime this year with MuchOnDemand (weekdays at 5 p.m.).

CTV intends to rebrand their forgotten specialty channel Talktv -- channel 64 on Rogers in Toronto -- as MTV, which will put MTV more or less a decent rival to MuchMusic (channel 29) and MuchMoreMusic (36).

If MTV Canada rings a bell, it DID indeed exist about a year ago, broadcasting shows here via Toronto 1 (owned by Craig broadcasting). But when Craig was sold to CHUM (owners of Much), MTV International backed out. That is when CTV came up with the funds and in September of 2005, swooped in and stole MTV from CHUM. So with the loss of the MTV rights, CHUM had to rename their two Craig digital stations Razer and PunchMuch.

As for the building at 888 Yonge, also known as the former home to Mike Bullard, a city staff report early last month notes, "Heritage and Preservation Services have reviewed the plans and have advised that they have no concerns with the proposal."

"The Temple has an incredible history as both a Masonic Lodge that brought people together and a concert hall that promoted creative expression," says MTV VP and general manager Brad Schwartz. "Could there possibly be a better home for MTV in Canada?"

As if eTalk Daily wasn't enough already...Couldn't we just bring back Degrassi Talks instead?

For a previous BlogTO article about the new MTV sign, go here.

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