The Sun News Network this week announced it has signed its first major distribution deal with Shaw Communications.

The agreement means that two million Shaw Direct and Shaw digital cable homes will be able to view the upstart category 2 specialty station when it launches next Monday April 18th. No deals with other major cable and direct-to-home satellite distributors have been announced.

Shaw customers will receive the station free of charge for the first six months. No word on pricing after the free preview.

The Quebecor owned 24/7 English-language news channel, which will compete with CBC's News Network and the CTV News Channel, is trying to replicate the success of the Fox News network in the United States by being more populist and more conservative than its competitors.

During the launch event for Sun News in June of 2010, Quebecor president and chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau and the head of SunTV News at the time Kory Teneycke described existing Canadian news networks as "condescending," "politically correct," and "boring" and promised that Sun TV news would be "Canada's Home to Hard News and Straight Talk." Programming, which Teneycke said would be "unapologetically patriotic," would consist of news during the day and talk shows at night.

Discuss Sun TV in Digital Home's Canadian Television Industry / Channels and Providers discussion forum or check out our Shaw Communications forums where you can discuss all aspects of Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct .