CBC/Radio-Canada has received Board approval to proceed with the sale of international distribution rights and assets currently managed by CBC’s international sales division to Fireworks International, President and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix announced today.
The deal, first announced December 18, 2007, includes international rights to CBC’s program catalogue of approximately 135 active titles, comprising 700 hours of quality television programming, plus all of the liabilities and receivables associated with the catalogue. The agreement does not affect any of the CBC’s current broadcasting rights or its archives.
“We believe this represents a significant win for CBC, for Canadian taxpayers and for the producers, actors and others who have a stake in the programming, which will now have an opportunity for greater exposure and sales internationally,” says Mr. Lacroix. “Under the terms of the agreement, benefits will continue to accrue to rights holders of the programs, including the CBC. We made a strategic decision to act quickly to pursue what we see as a unique opportunity to bring Canadian programs to a wide international audience, based on current market circumstances.”
“We weighed carefully the use of an accelerated process against a number of things, including financial consideration that fully values the assets, the fact that it would minimize business disruption, be the best solution for affected employees and give us a strong partner moving forward in ContentFilm and concluded that it was our best solution,” says CBC Executive Vice-President English Services Richard Stursberg.
“CBC has made the decision to exit the business of international sales,” Stursberg continued. “We know that we lack the scale, resources, investment capital and risk tolerance required to be competitive in a market dominated by large, specialized companies. Fireworks, and its parent, ContentFilm, are among the best-known and most respected organizations in the industry, with extensive international reach and sales capability. We’re very pleased the Board has endorsed this deal.”
The agreement is expected to be completed in coming weeks. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 29 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.
Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to Canada.