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Bell runs away with Cirque du Soleil

New joint venture will create TV, film, game content

MONTREAL

Canuck broadcaster Bell Media and Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil are setting up Cirque du Soleil Media to create Quebec-based content for TV, film, digital and gaming platforms.

Longtime Cirque exec Jacques Methe will be prexy of the company.

The joint venture is notable given that Cirque is famous for keeping absolute creative control of its properties.

Cirque du Soleil Media will be based in Montreal and overseen by a board of directors that will include representatives from Cirque and Bell, and will be managed by a programming team with input from both companies.

“Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media together can deliver more incredible content to more consumers than ever before,” said Bell Media prexy Kevin Crull.

The closing of the transaction comes as Bell is taking a second run at acquiring Montreal-based Astral Media after federal broadcast regulator the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission nixed the original deal. Bell wants Astral for its channels in the Quebec French-language market — the Cirque deal is another example of Bell’s interest in developing Quebec content.

Movie “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” is already playing in cinemas in Montreal and opens Stateside Friday.

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