TVA sells interest in Mystery TV and The Cave to Shaw Media

Just before Christmas, the TVA Group announced plans to sell its half interest in the “Mystery TV” specialty channel and its 51% interest in “The Cave” specialty TV channel to Shaw Media.

Financial terms of the proposed transaction, which is pending CRTC approval, were not disclosed. If the licence transfer is approved by the federal regulator, the deal could be finalized in the spring of 2012.

Mystery TV airs suspense and crime dramas, while The Cave offers lifestyle and entertainment programming.

Mystery TV was licensed as 13th Street by the CRTC on November 24, 2000 to Canwest (45.05%), Groupe TVA (45.05%) and Rogers Communications (9.9%). Before the channel’s launch, both Canwest and Groupe TVA acquired Rogers’ shares in the service equally. The channel was launched as Mystery on September 7, 2001.

Licensed as Men TV by the CRTC on the same day as Mystery TV, it was launched as mentv on September 7, 2001. Despite Canwest’s minority interest in the service, Canwest was the managing partner for the channel from its inception until September 2008, when managing operations were handed over to Groupe TVA.
Mentv was renamed The Cave on August 2, 2010.

On October 27, 2010, Shaw Communications completed its acquisition of Canwest, giving it control of Canwest’s interest in both channels.

A subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., TVA Group Inc. also operates SUN News, a national broadcaster of specialty English-language news and op-ed programming. The company recently posted a $2.9 million loss in the third quarter (compared to a profit of $5.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier), which the company says were due in larget part to TVA’s launch of three new specialty channels: Sun News; the French-language sports channel TVA Sport; and a new service for women, Mlle.

Shaw Media is the television broadcasting division of Shaw Communications. Shaw Media owns the Global Television Network, which broadcasts via 11 television stations, as well as various specialty channels including HGTV Canada, Showcase, Food Network Canada, and History Television.

Despite also being controlled by the Shaw family, Shaw Media does not share any other connections with Corus Entertainment, a separate company that was spun-off from Shaw in 1999 and was then known as Shaw Media.

Discuss the deal in Digital Home’s Canadian Television Industry / Channels and Providers discussion forum.

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