Category A services were a class of Canadian specialty television channel which, as defined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, must be offered by all digital cable and direct broadcast satellite providers that have the capability to do so.
Category A services were an amalgamation of the former analog pay and specialty services licensed prior to digital television (with the exception of general interest national news and sports specialty services which are designated as Category C services) and the former category 1 digital specialty channels. In a policy decision released on October 30, 2008, the CRTC decided that all Category 1 digital services as well as all analog pay and specialty channels would be renamed Category A services, effective September 1, 2011.
Category A services share a number of similar regulations, including that they must be offered by all television providers in Canada, and have higher Canadian content quota levels than Category B services. They were also previously protected by "genre protection" rules forbidding other specialty channels from directly competing with them, but the CRTC is in the process of phasing out these policies in favour of switching all specialty services to standardized licenses as discretionary services.