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According to an article on Cartt, https://cartt.ca/article/new-strategic-partnership-will-see-bell-media-sell-channel Bell is partnering up with a group calling Wow Unlimited Media and will be selling a cat B channel to them likely Comedy Gold or Investigation Discovery as they are the only 2 cat B channels they own 100%. I'm assuming the channel will be Cartoon Hangover based on what they own but who knows.
 

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Press Release:
Wow Unlimited Media and Bell Media Announce Strategic Partnership in Kids and Youth Entertainment

Bell will get $6,866,892 in stock (representing approximately 12% of Wow's shares).

Wow and Bell Media will enter into a series of ancillary agreements establishing an ongoing strategic partnership between Wow and Bell Media that relate to, among other things, the ongoing carriage of a Wow branded channel to replace the current branding of the Category B specialty service on Bell TV and related platforms, transitional services whereby Bell Media will provide various operational, transmission, studio and technology services to Wow, the supply of children's and other programming controlled by Wow for use by Bell Media on CraveTV and Snackable TV, and have agreed to collaborate and to jointly develop and produce content for the development and production of future programming.
 

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So more content for CraveTV and greater domination of the Canadian OTT marketplace by Bell. It's too bad Shomi was shut down. It would be really nice to see some domestic competition in the Canadian OTT market.
 

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I usually ignore quotes attributed to company officials because they're usually just PR fluff, however I did find something that wasn't included in the formal text of the press release:

Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media said "As part of our partnership, Bell Media will leverage Wow's programming for use across all of our platforms including linear television, CraveTV, and SnackableTV."

I remembered seeing the linear TV phrase when I skimmed it initially, but didn't see it in the clip I posted.

Until now Bell Media hasn't really bothered with kids' programming, especially for CraveTV.

In case anyone is wondering, Bell won't get the TV rights to ReBoot: The Guardian Code since YTV already licensed that show from Wow.
 

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Does Bell Media own any unlaunched Category B channels? Also I wouldn't count out stations they don't own 100%. They are the controlling partner in all of their category B channels with the exception of Leafs TV and Raptor's TV.
Michael Hirsh calls it a rebrand, so it's not going to be any unused licenses.

I'm assuming the channel will be Cartoon Hangover based on what they own but who knows.
That might be the late night branding, but I doubt they'd want that title for the kids stuff.
 

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My guess is the Category B channel would be Comedy Gold, although a better idea would be rebranding BookTelevision (like, seriously, why does this still exist?)
 

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Because it's Category A and was thrown in a bunch of bundles. It doesn't matter how many viewers it has if it costs nothing to run and gets subscriber revenue thanks to bundling.

Individual Pay, Pay-per-view, Video-on-demand and Specialty Services - Statistical and Financial Summaries - 2011-2015 - Book Television (formerly Book Television - The Channel) | CRTC

Listed there as having 0 staff in 2015, virtually no advertising costs, virtually no program acquistion costs, total programming costs of half a million, virtually no advertising revenue, and profit of $2 million. That's entirely subscriber revenue (which itself is dropping since the subscriber numbers are in freefall).

By now it might be a candidate to be sold or shut down, but back in 2015 it was just free money.
 

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Category A is still mandatory carriage, AFAIK. Category B is not. For a channel that isn't going to draw viewers (see: BookTV), carriage is far more important than whatever is actually filling time.
 

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From what I understand, cat A and cat B designations for specialty channels will soon be a thing of the past. There will still be mandatory channels but only on an individual channel basis. Cat A and cat B designations were originally designed for analog only and hybrid digital/analog cable systems which are rapidly disappearing.
 

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From bigoranget post #10

"Category A designation remains but the only requirement is higher Canadian content. Genre protection is phased when the next license period starts." Category B has lower Canadian content. Also no genre protections AFAIK.
 

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Genre protection and mandatory distribution for the large vertically-integrated companies like Bell, Rogers and Shaw/Corus have been discontinued effective Sept. 1 with their licence renewals. Independent companies have until their licence renewals next September.
 

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Wow! Unlimited picks programming chief
Canada’s Wow! Unlimited has a new SVP and GM in Marni Shulman, the former VP and programming head at now-defunct Canadian SVOD service shomi. (The Rogers Media/Shaw Communications-owned service announced it was shuttering last fall.)

Shulman will be tasked with leading Wow!’s new partnership with Bell Media. In June, the companies announced that Wow! was to acquire a specialty channel from Bell, though specific details on the deal have not yet been revealed. At the time, Wow! CEO Michael Hirsh said the Wow!-branded, ad-supported channel will focus on kids and youth content.

In addition to leading the Bell Media partnership, Shulman—who also held roles as VP of content for IFC Canada, Showcase Action and Showcase Diva Networks, as well as a director of programming for CTV Travel—will also be responsible for overseeing the launch of Wow!’s new multiplatform kids and youth brand.

The announcement comes two weeks after Wow! unveiled another C-suite hire, with John Vandervelde joining as EVP, corporate secretary and CFO.

Wow! Unlimited was formed in October 2016, when Vancouver-based Rainmaker Entertainment acquired US animation studio and MCN Frederator Networks and kids production company Ezrin Hirsh Entertainment.
 

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"The Cartt.ca Interview: Bell Media president Randy Lennox" quotes him as saying they "horse traded" Comedy Gold to become a worldwide partner with Wow Unlimited, so I will update the title.

He also referred to Comedy Gold, Book and FashionTV as "dormant, non-strategic" and "resting channels." ;)
 

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Comedy Gold will be sold to Wow Unlimited and will be re-branded as a kids channel. It made almost $2 million in profit before taxes in 2016. The other 2 made about $1.3 million. As long as they don't lose money, Bell will probably keep them around.

"You could have it as resting channels, or you could do what we do with Comedy Gold...that extrapolates into something useful." Bell is a 12% partner in everything Wow does worldwide.
 
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