HBO service takes shape in Canada

Content offered on-demand to pay TV subscribers

TORONTO -- It's not the U.S. HBO channel, but a customized HBO Canada service will launch here Oct. 30 exclusively for subscribers of domestic pay TV networks the Movie Network and Movie Central.

TMN and Movie Central, the exclusive Canadian agents of HBO programming in Canada, will offer HBO Canada as a free, on-demand multiplex channel.

In eastern Canada, HBO Canada will replace MMore, a multiplex channel offered as counterprogramming to TMN's main channel. The rebranded channel will offer 200 hours of library titles and first-run HBO original films, comedy specials, documentaries, live concerts and sporting events previously unavailable in Canada.

Among the HBO titles set to air on the new multiplex channel are "Real Time With Bill Maher," "Def Comedy Jam" and upcoming stand-up special "Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger."

The only way to view the U.S.-based HBO channel in Canada is via an illegal U.S. dish since the country's TV regulator has yet to license it for Canadian airwaves.