press release: Competition Bureau okays Teletoon sale.

By Mike Valiquette

All that’s left now is for the CRTC to say yes, and then the biggest producer of animation in Canada will pretty much own every primary animation broadcaster in Canada.

Yep.

 

Corus Entertainment Receives Competition Bureau Clearance to Acquire TELETOON, Historia and Séries+

(Toronto, Canada) On Friday, March 15, Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) received clearance from the Competition Bureau, with the issuance of the appropriate no action letter, to proceed with the transactions between Corus and Bell. Pursuant to these transactions, Corus will acquire the 50% remaining ownership interest in TELETOON which includes the services TELETOON, Télétoon (French), TELETOON Retro, Télétoon Rétro (French) and Cartoon Network (Canada), as well as the 50% ownership interests in the French-language specialty channels, Historia and Séries+, that Bell will acquire as part of the acquisition of Astral Media Inc.

Corus has also entered into an agreement with Bell to acquire the two Ottawa radio stations, CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM, that Bell will own upon the completion of the Astral transaction. In separate agreements between Corus and Shaw Media, Corus will acquire Shaw Media’s 50% interest in Historia and Séries+, which will result in both services being wholly owned by Corus. All of the foregoing transactions require approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Corus will also acquire from Shaw Media the remaining 49% interest in the successful specialty service ABC Spark and Corus will sell its 20% interest in Food Network Canada to Shaw Media.

“Clearance from the Competition Bureau is very positive news and is the first step in the completion of these transformational transactions for Corus,” said John Cassaday, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corus Entertainment. “These acquisitions give Corus the scale to expand into the growing French-language television market, providing greater diversity and more choice in the system. As well, it consolidates the ownership of TELETOON and ABC Spark within Corus’ portfolio of branded specialty channels and provides entry into another major Canadian radio market.”

About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The Company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), ABC Spark, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press, Toon Boom and 37 radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

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4 Responses to “press release: Competition Bureau okays Teletoon sale.”

  1. Simon

    There are plenty of other options for viewing animated content in Canada: Disney, Family, BBC Kids, CBC and TVO, not to mention Saturday morning programming on NBC, CBS and ABC. Why do you sound so bitter towards this deal?

    #67942
  2. Because there are relatively few places for Canadian studios to sell animation to in Canada. Of the channels you mention, only Family, CBC and TVO are Canadian broadcasters who can trigger Canadian Media Fund money to help finance production and aren’t owned by Corus. The playing field is so tilted towards Nelvana it isn’t funny.

    #67943
  3. BBC Kids is 80% owned by Knowledge Network, with BBC Worldwide owning the other 20%. Knowledge Network can also trigger CMF money (http://knowledge.ca/producers). As a Category B service, BBC Kids doesn’t enjoy format protection or mandatory carriage like Teletoon, Family, or YTV. Also, Knowledge Network is a crown corporation serving British Columbia, so it doesn’t have Corus’ or Astral’s resources.

    One good thing about BBC Kids is that it has been granted a 50% limit on animated content, up from its previous 25% (http://www.broadcastermagazine.com/news/crtc-approves-bbc-kids-animation-programming-increase/1002142789/). The CRTC granted the increase due to Knowledge Network’s non-profit status, as well as Astral and Corus’ ownership of channels with no animated-program limits. The issue is whether BBC Kids will greenlight cartoons in the future, rather than air Atomic Betty and Being Ian reruns. Personally, I don’t see it.

    #67960
  4. Rob

    Simon, Corus is effectively cornering the market with this deal. Like Mark said unless you’re a studio under the Corus umbrella it’s going to be that much harder to gain production funding. This has nothing to do with the choices of animated content on TV, it has to do with animation jobs.

    #67961

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