Cancom beams WSBK signal

TORONTO — Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. began distributing Boston’s independent television superstation WSBK to cable operators in the United States on Tuesday, taking over from Advanced Entertainment Corp.

Shifting focus since its recent acquisition by the Newhouse family media empire, AEC has decided that satellite distribution is no longer a core business. It had previously dropped distribution of New York superstation WOR.

The Canadian outfit, known as Cancom, distributes television signals to more than 2,500 cable systems in Canada, which reach 3.7 million households, mainly in rural or remote communities.

Cancom, based in Mississauga, Ontario, plans to operate through a new U.S.-based subsidiary, BOSCOM, and continue with existing satellite carriage arrangements on General Electric’s Spacenet 3. It will also make WSBK available on TeleSat Canada’s Anik E2 bird to provide easier access to the signal for Canadian cable operators who currently require a separate dish antenna to receive that single channel.

WSBK reaches about 2 million households in the U.S. through cable, C-band direct-to-home and DBS as well as 500,000 Canadian cable subscribers.

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