CBC takes over Canuck docu web

Deal still subject to regulatory approval

Broadcaster Corus Entertainment is selling its stake in Canadian specialty web the Documentary Channel to pubcaster the CBC for an undisclosed sum.

Deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, transfers control of the channel, launched in September 2001 along with dozens of other new digital specialty channels, to the CBC, which previously held a 29% stake. Add in Corus’ 53% stake, and the pubcaster will hold 82%.

The remainder is held by the National Film Board of Canada and four production companies.

“This is excellent news for CBC/Radio-Canada,” said CBC/Radio-Canada prexy-CEO Robert Rabinovitch. “Documentary programming is a core part of our mandate as a public broadcaster, and this agreement provides CBC/Radio-Canada with an opportunity to further enhance the profile and access to documentary programming in Canada at a time when audience interest in the genre is growing exponentially.”

Noting the Documentary Channel is a “natural fit” for the CBC, Corus prexy-CEO John Cassaday said the move “will allow Corus to focus our programming expertise on our core services.”

The Documentary Channel is available in about 950,000 Canadian homes.

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