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CBC sells international program catalogue

The CBC has yet to make a decision on the future of its international sales team after it signed a memo in December to sell its international sales catalogue to UK-based ContentFilm, a division of Fireworks International.
January 10, 2008

The CBC has yet to make a decision on the future of its international sales team after it signed a memo in December to sell its international sales catalogue to UK-based ContentFilm, a division of Fireworks International.

Steve Billinger, executive director of digital programming and business development at CBC, said the sale is set to close at the end of January, and that no ‘final decisions’ on the future of the division’s staff – which numbers around a dozen – will be made until then.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It would hand Fireworks International the international distribution rights to around 135 titles, or about 700 hours of programming.

Fireworks International is currently setting up a Toronto office, likely to be aligned with Peace Arch Entertainment, which most recently reached a tentative agreement to acquire ContentFilm.

It is understood that some or all of the CBC’s current international sales staff could move over to Fireworks International.

In a statement, CBC said the sale to ContentFilm was prompted by a lack of ‘scale and resources required to be competitive in a market dominated by large, specialized companies.’

The CBC agreement with Fireworks International does not affect any of its own broadcast rights or its archives.

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