Canadian broadcasting conglom Shaw Media has sold its share in BBC Kids Canada to provincial pubnet Knowledge Network for an undisclosed price.
In a deal that requires approval of the country’s regulatory body the CRTC, the British Columbia -based educational broadcaster will acquire and operate the BBC-branded digital kids channel through a joint-venture with BBC Worldwide.
Rudy Buttignol, president and CEO of Knowledge Network, said his network intends to run BBC Kids as a commercial-free channel and ‘extend the success we’ve had with Knowledge Network in British Columbia to BBC Kids across Canada.’
Buttingnol promises a ‘significant investments in programming,’ including content from Canada, the UK and other international territories.
Shaw Media will keep BBC Kids on-air until the CRTC greenlights the new Knowledge/BBCW JV, at which point the Knowledge Network will operate the channel under the same mandate as its current broadcast license to air programming for preschoolers to teens.
Shaw Media parting ways with BBC Kids Canada follows the sale of the digital kids specialty channel by former owners Canwest Media and Goldman Sachs & Co. to Shaw Communications, along with a stable of specialty services previously under the Alliance Atlantis banner.
Shaw Communications subsequently rebranded and relaunched the Global Television network and the former AAC specialty channels as Shaw Media.
From Playback Online