The network launched in 1986, under the ownership of the Pouliot family, who then owned Montreal's CTV affiliate, CFCF-TV. However, the network quickly ran into financial problems and was sold to Quebec cable company Vidéotron, who already owned TVA, Quebec's other private commercial network. Due to monopoly ownership concerns, Vidéotron sold TQS to Quebecor, a newspaper publisher.
It is now owned jointly by CTV and Cogeco, another cable company.
The network brands itself as "le mouton noir de la télé", or "the black sheep of television". It is generally runner-up in the ratings to TVA, although the network has produced a number of major hit series in Quebec.
The network is not widely available outside of Quebec, although some francophone communities in Ontario and New Brunswick receive TQS affiliates on cable, and the network affiliate in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec does have a repeater in Edmunston, New Brunswick.