BCE Buys Astral Media for $3.4B

BCE Inc plans to acquire Astral Media in a $50-a-share cash-and-stock deal putting the price tag at $3.38 billion. The acquisition, announced on March 16th, will strengthen BCE’s telecommunications assets in Quebec and drastically improve its competitive position against other rivals, notably Quebecor. BCE CEO George Cope said in a statement: “Bell’s acquisition of Astral […]

ABC Spark, a new specialty tv channel for the family launches in March

ABC Spark, a new English Language Category B specialty channel will launch in Canada on Monday, March 26th. The station is a Canadianized version of the successful ABC Family specialty channel broadcast in the United States.

Funny Radio launching in London on New Year’s Day

Montreal based Astral Radio said today it will be launching a comedy radio station in London Ontario on New Year’s day.

Funny 1410 AM, which Astral says is Canada’s first all comedy radio, will feature comedy bits featuring the biggest names in stand up from Canada and around the world.

Astral to launch a streaming music service

Montreal based Astral Radio said this week that it has signed agreements with four major music labels and a number of independent producers which will enable the company to launch an on-demand streaming music and music video service in Canada.

Few details were provided by the company except to say that the streaming service would be available this fall in English and French and would offer weekly releases, exclusive content, a music video library, customizable playlist functions, and multiple niche format channels.

Radio Disney now available free through Family Channel

Radio Disney, a contemporary hit radio station targeted at children and teenagers under the age of 16 is now available for free in Canada through the Family Channel website.

Launched in 1996, Radio Disney is formatted like a traditional radio station, featuring prize giveaways (in which listeners can enter via phone, online and since 2008, text message) and occasional in-studio interviews called “Takeovers,” which usually occur during the weekday late-afternoon timeslot.

Ottawa’s EZ Rock becomes boom 99.7

>EZ Rock FM in Ottawa has switched formats. Starting last Thursday, the Astral owned station began playing music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s which the station says is programmed to appeal to “vibrant 35-54 year-old women living and working in Ottawa”.

The launch of boom in Ottawa follows Astral’s conversion of EZ Rock to boom in Toronto last year and just over a year after EZ Rock launched.

Disney XD coming to Canada on June 1st

Astral Media has announced that it will add Disney XD to its slate of kid chanels on June 1, 2011.

A spin-off of the Disney Channel, Disney XD mostly airs action-oriented children’s animated television series, with some live-action programming and movies aimed at male viewers age 6 to 14.

Playhouse Disney to be renamed Disney Junior

Astral said today that, effective May 6th, Playhouse Disney will be rebranded Disney Junior.

While the name is changing, the station will continue to broadcast popular Disney programming and Canadian produced children’s programming

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