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DHX Media buys children's channels from Bell Media

DHX Media of Halifax has entered into an agreement with Bell Media to acquire three of Bell's children's television channels: Family Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. The agreement also includes the French-language version of Disney Junior. The purchase will consist of approximately $170 million in cash and is expected to close in 2014, subject to approval from the Competition Bureau and the CRTC. Bell Media is divesting itself of these properties to comply with the conditions attached to its acquisition of Astral Media.

For the year ending in August 2013, these channels generated revenue of approximately $81 million, with an annual increase in revenue of 7% per year over the past three years. Family Channel has approximately 5.7 million subscribers and an English-language market share of 29.6% for viewers between the ages of two and 17. It is a commercial-free channel with a "must-carry" designation. Disney Junior carries developmental-based programming aimed at children between the ages of two and seven. It holds a multiplex license with Family Channel. The English service has approximately 4.9 million subscribers, representing a market share of 13.4%. The French service has approximately 500,000 subscribers. Disney XD is an advertising-supported channel with approximately 4.5 million subscribers, representing a market share of 3.5% among its primary audience of male children between the ages of six and 12.

"The acquisition of these high-quality Canadian channels represents an exciting new addition to DHX, one that complements and enhances all areas of our business and positions us for our next stage of growth," said Michael Donovan, CEO of DHX Media.

DHX Media specializes in the creation, production and licensing of family entertainment properties. It owns, markets and distributes 9,500 half hours of children's entertainment content, including brands such as Yo Gabba Gabba, Caillou, Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test and Super Why.

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