AAC plunges into HD with first two channels

Shortly before the holidays, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. launched the first of its high-definition services, National Geographic Channel HD and Showcase HD. The former service, which is operated in partnership with NGC Network International LLC, features such popular factual programming as Seconds From Disaster, Megastructures and The Dog Whisperer, while Showcase HD will air high-definition versions of top-rated dramas including CSI, CSI: Miami, Rescue Me, Weeds, The L Word and Dead Like Me. Rogers Cable, Shaw Cable and Star Choice are already offering the two services.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

DHX Media kicks off 2007 right

The new year has been an eventful one thus far for Halifax’s DHX Media Ltd. The production and distribution company recently announced that it had acquired international distribution rights for 260 hours of television programming totaling 520 individual half-hour episodes. Series in the recently acquired library include twelve seasons of the comedic news spoof This Hour Has 22 Minutes, the Vietnam War historical documentary The Ten Thousand Day War, and several children’s properties.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

Shaw picks up six small BC systems

A deal between Shaw Communications Inc. and Salmon Arm BC-based Mascon Communications Corp. earlier this month will see the Calgary-based BDU acquire six cablesystems in British Columbia’s Windfield, Lillooet and Gulf Islands regions. The systems serve the municipalities of Winfield, Lillooet, Lumby, Pender Island, Mayne Island and Galliano Island. "We are delighted with the acquisition of these BC cablesystems," said Shaw Communications president Peter Bissonette in a release. "[They] compliment our existing cable properties in and around Kelowna and the Gulf Islands." In addition to cable TV and Internet services, subscribers in some of the systems will also be able to avail themselves of Shaw’s digital home telephony product as well.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

Telus TV unveils new PPV product

Telco TV distributor Telus Corp. announced its new pay-per-view product last month, an offering that promises to take advantage of all the flexibility IPTV has to offer. The service will offer big-ticket sports events such as live National Hockey League games for $11.95 each and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. bouts starting at $39.95. Telus TV is currently available to subscribers in parts of Calgary, Edmonton and the lower British Columbia mainland.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

CanWest wins third UK radio licence

Although it’s been reducing its exposure to radio in some foreign markets, CanWest Global Communications Corp. announced that it had secured a third licence to operate an FM radio service in the United Kingdom. The proposed station, Original FM, will be located in Aberdeen, a city of 300,000 on Scotland’s northeastern coast, and will feature an Adult Alternative format targeting 35- to 59-year-olds. Additionally, the station plans to be the only one in the region offering news coverage around the clock.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

Canadian Media Guild slams AAC/CanWest deal

Almost as soon as CanWest Global Communications Corp. announce its $2.3-billion offer for Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., unions and guilds representing workers in Canada’s media sector began to speak out in opposition. The Canadian Media Guild circulated a press release-cum-editorial titled "Alliance Atlantis sale: bigger is better for whom?" in which it decried the existing level of concentration of ownership in Canadian media, and cautioned the CRTC, the Competition Bureau of Canada and elected officials against approving both the CanWest-Alliance Atlantis deal as well as CTV globemedia’s acquisition of CHUM Ltd.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

Frantic earmarked for infusion of funds

Winnipeg’s Frantic Films, a special effects house and producer of the financial reality series Till Debt Do Us Part, recently announced it had received $5 million worth of equity investment from Toronto’s Priveq Capital Funds. "We are thrilled to have the Priveq team on board as we look to expand our business again," Jamie Brown, Frantic’s CEO and executive producer, said in a media release. "There are many more opportunities for growth we can access with this extra leverage behind us." The company will use the money for expansion in all of its major lines of business: visual effects, television/film production, commercial production, and software development.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

CCR Editorial

The allure of commercial TV advertising’s last frontier, the two minutes of restricted ad time per hour set aside by US services for the BDUs that carry them – more colloquially known as local avails – has tempted another contender to file an application for permission to set up a system to monetize them.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?

CCR People

Charles Bélanger, chair of Telefilm Canada’s board, will end his five-year term by stepping down on February 18. During Bélanger’s term Telefilm took over administering the Canadian Television Fund’s funding programs, and he successfully piloted the revision of the Telefilm Canada Act and has defended Telefilm and the industry’s need for financial flexibility, autonomy and new public-private partnerships. Last year, along with Telefilm’s executive director, he co-signed From cinemas to cell phones: Telefilm Canada responds to the multiplatform challenge, which will serve as the agency’s corporate plan until 2011. Prior to joining Telefilm, Bélanger was president and CEO of CFCF Inc., VP and CEO of Réseau de television Quatre Saisons, vice-chair of broadcasting at the CRTC, and VP of corporate development and regulatory communications at CANCOM. Board member Felix (Fil) Fraser will serve as interim chair of Telefilm’s board if a replacement for Bélanger is not appointed before February 18.

To keep reading, get a free trial.

Already a Subscriber?