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Canadian pubcaster expands global sales efforts

Canadian pubcaster CBC is amping up the remit of its international sales and distribution division by looking beyond Canadian productions to fill its slate.
October 1, 2006

Canadian pubcaster CBC is amping up the remit of its international sales and distribution division by looking beyond Canadian productions to fill its slate.

For more than 30 years the internal CBC office has been selling Canadian productions across the world, garnering a reputation for delivering quality goods. But there is a new mandate to pick up international projects to create an additional revenue stream to feed into homegrown productions.

‘We are trying to get our name out there and rebrand ourselves, so people know that we are CBC International Sales,’ says Robert Evans, manager of marketing and operations. ‘We are definitely open to international projects now.’

The division is looking to acquire at least two new series to distribute at international markets. And it’s entertaining pitches from all sectors of the kids programming space. The goal is to make sure the acquisitions contribute to the construction of a mixed but balanced portfolio.

‘We are looking to keep our catalogue varied and not just have six preschool shows that compete with each other,’ sales manager Kirsten Hurd says.

The new plan also involves the team traveling further a field to score program sales. Expect to see a CBC International Sales Division booth on the show floor at NATPE ’07 in Las Vegas for the first time. ‘I would hope that we can also make it to Australia, and there are lots of kids channels in Asia and the Middle East too,’ Hurd adds.

In the meantime, the team will also be traveling to Cannes with a stable of Canadian-produced fare. With a keen eye on European markets, CBC International will be shopping around the 9 x 30-minute animated series The Secret World of Og, based on Pierre Berton’s classic children’s book, the 52 x 11-minute preschool series Wilbur (a co-production with Mercury Filmworks, Chilco Productions, EKA Distribution, CBC and Discovery Channel.), and Yam Roll, a 39 x 11/39 x 3 animated series about a taxi driver in a land of sushi. GR

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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