Family Channel (commonly known as Family) is a Canadian English-language discretionary specialty channel owned by WildBrain. The network primarily airs children's television series, teen dramas, as well as other programming targeting a family audience. Family Channel is headquartered in the Brookfield Place office complex, near the Financial District of Downtown Toronto. It has transmitted from Corus Quay since at least 2014.
Launched on September 1, 1988, it was originally a joint venture between the owners of the premium television services First Choice and Superchannel; due to the breakup of Western International Communications, the network became a joint venture between Astral Media and Corus Entertainment. Astral later acquired full ownership of the network; after the 2013 acquisition of Astral by Bell Media, the network and its sister channels were divested to DHX Media (now WildBrain) in 2014.
Family was originally licensed as a premium specialty service, which necessitated that it operate under a commercial-free format, but allowed it to operate multiplex feeds. Nevertheless, television providers typically distributed Family as a conventional specialty channel. In 2016, Family was relieved of this mandate after the CRTC transitioned premium specialty services to the standardized discretionary service license.
From its launch in 1988 until 2015, many of Family Channel's programming format mirrored that of the American premium service Disney Channel. Family Channel's programming lineup consisted mainly of domestic and foreign-imported live-action and animated series from Disney Channel, feature films from the Disney film library, classic films from other Canadian and American film studios, and specials, while also using this partnership to launch Canadian versions of Disney Junior and Disney XD. This partnership ended in 2015, when Disney entered into a new licensing agreement with Corus and launched a Canadian version of Disney Channel and, later, Disney XD and Disney Junior. Since then, Family Channel has acquired programming from other sources.
As of March 2013, Family Channel is available to approximately six million pay television households in Canada. It broadcasts Eastern Time Zone feeds in both standard definition and high definition, and a Pacific Time Zone feed solely in standard definition.