NEWS RELEASE / 2011-01-17
BBC Worldwide and Knowledge Network Corporation Enter Joint-venture for BBC Kids Channel
Toronto, ON (January 17th, 2011) – BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, today announced that Knowledge Network Corporation has purchased the assets of BBC Kids from Shaw Media and BBC Worldwide, subject to CRTC ratification. This new agreement sees the formation of a new joint-venture between BBC Worldwide and Knowledge Network Corporation.
The deal creates an alliance between two companies who have long been committed to the investment, creation, and promotion of children’s programming that informs, educates and entertains its young viewers. The BBC is a known global leader in the development of premium, responsible children’s content for viewers 2-17. Knowledge Network, a publicly funded, commercial-free environment, has a dedication to public education programming which aligns with the trust and integrity associated with the BBC and the BBC Kids brand. Knowledge Network will deliver a robust programming line-up for the BBC Kids channel, with content from Canada, the UK, and around the world supported by marketing campaigns aimed at growing viewership and subscribers.
Currently, BBC Kids is a joint-venture with Shaw Media, a leading Canadian media corporation. Shaw Media remains a valued partner of BBC Worldwide Canada.
Hilary Read, COO of BBC Worldwide Canada, said: “Since 2001, BBC Kids has offered quality children’s entertainment to Canada’s youngest viewers and youth alike. I’d like to thank Shaw Media for their dedication to the BBC Kids brand through the years, and steadfast support during this transition. I look forward to working with Knowledge Network, a company that shares our commitment to superior children’s content, on this excellent joint-venture that will provide BBC Kids key opportunities in the marketplace and the perfect environment to truly spread its wings.”
Rudy Buttignol, President and CEO of Knowledge Network Corporation, said: “Knowledge Network is honoured to be working with the BBC, a respected brand the world over and a leader in the creation of quality programming for children. Our goal is to extend the success we’ve had with Knowledge Network in British Columbia to the BBC Kids channel across Canada. This joint-venture with the BBC is a great opportunity to revitalize BBC Kids. We will strengthen the channel by making significant investments in programming, and re-launch it as a commercial free service for young Canadians.”
Once the deal between BBC Worldwide and Knowledge Network is ratified by the CRTC, operation and management of BBC Kids will transfer from Shaw Media in Toronto, Ontario to the Knowledge Network in Burnaby, British Columbia. Thanks to Shaw Media, at no point will the BBC Kids channel go off air during this transition. Knowledge Network intends to continue operating BBC Kids under the same terms and conditions as those in effect under its current license, providing top tier educational and entertaining programming for children and youth ages 2-17 years.
About BBC Worldwide Canada
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide Canada, located in Toronto was first established in 1952 and incorporated as a Canadian company in 2002. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC's assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company's activities in Canada include joint-venture channels BBC Canada, and BBC Kids, program distribution, ad sales for bbc.com and the newly established digital distribution business. The company is also a minority shareholder in Canadian production company, Temple Street Productions.
About Knowledge Network Corporation
Knowledge Network is where stories live that speak to our time. We are a viewer-supported public broadcaster, providing commercial-free creative documentaries, arts and culture, and children’s programs from Canada and around the world. We play a vital role in supporting the independent production community in B.C. and the rest of Canada by commissioning, pre-licensing and acquiring documentary and children’s content for broadcast on Knowledge Network and Knowledge.ca.