Television

Bell Media to become sole operator of HBO in Canada across all platforms

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BENGALURU:  Canadian communication company BCE announced yesterday that its mass media subsidiary Bell Media will expand The Movie Network (TMN) into a national pay TV service and become the sole operator of HBO Canada, as Corus Entertainment winds down operations of its Movie Central and Encore Avenue pay TV services in Western and Northern Canada to focus on its core national media brands.

Under the comprehensive, long-term agreement, the first of its kind for HBO in Canada, Bell Media will have the ability to deliver current-season, past-season, and library HBO programming exclusively on its linear, on-demand, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms in English and French. The agreement also marks the first time HBO has granted exclusive subscription video on demand (SVOD) rights for first-run programming throughout Canada. As a result, Bell Media will have the flexibility to provide current HBO content such as Game of Thrones, Girls, and Veep over-the-top in Canada on its platforms.

"Bell Media now has the national scale required to create, negotiate and deliver more premium TV programming to Canadian consumers, across more platforms and more quickly than ever before," said Bell Media President Mary Ann Turcke,. "Our extensive new content agreement with HBO for both traditional TV and next-generation platforms like CraveTV and with significant original co-production opportunities, is a great example of the benefits for Canadian viewers nationwide."

BCE will pay Corus a consideration of $211 million, $195 million net of tax benefits, to support the national expansion of TMN and HBO Canada, equivalent to a valuation multiple of approximately 5.6x fiscal 2015 EBITDA of Movie Central and Encore Avenue after operational synergies are applied.

Bell Media is a multimedia company with assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media, including Canadian television network CTV, and has the Canada's most-watched specialty channels.

Bell Media is a Canadian multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and gas Canada’s  most-watched specialty channels.

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