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DHX Media to acquire Nerd Corps

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From a media release:

DHX Media Ltd. (“DHX” or the “Company”) (TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B), a key player internationally in the creation of content for families and children, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nerd Corps Entertainment Inc. and its subsidiaries (“Nerd Corps”). The purchase price will be up to $57 million, inclusive of excess cash in Nerd Corps at closing, to be determined as a post-closing adjustment. The price is payable as to up to $32.7 million from cash and the remainder through the issuance of 2,963,748 DHX shares. DHX expects the transaction to be accretive to net earnings per share for fiscal 2015. Nerd Corps recorded unaudited fiscal 2013 revenues of approximately $20.0 million, and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $10.6 million. Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions including the receipt of bank and Toronto Stock Exchange consent, and is anticipated to close by December 24, 2014.

The acquisition increases DHX’s operating leverage, adding Nerd Corps’ animation studio in Vancouver, BC, which features five lines of production, as well as Nerd Corps’ interactive apps, gaming expertise, and licensing opportunities with Nerd Corps’ brands. The transaction brings more than 200 half hours of proprietary children’s content to DHX’s library, including the hit comedy adventure series, Slugterra, which has been broadcast in more than 150 countries and is one of the most popular titles on Disney XD in both Canada and the US.

Nerd Corps co-founder Asaph “Ace” Fipke will be joining the DHX Content team in the role of Chief Content Officer, Kids & Family, reporting to DHX President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven DeNure; and Nerd Corps President, Ken Faier, will come on board at DHX Content as Senior VP and General Manager, Kids & Family.

Link: Craving attention – and profits: Bell enters streaming battle

From Christine Dobby:

With the launch of a new video-on-demand service dubbed Cravetv, Bell Media hopes to take on Internet streaming giants while still keeping one foot firmly planted on the side of its traditional television business.

The media division of BCE Inc. will host an event in Toronto on Wednesday to unveil the features of the new service that will launch by the end of the year and compete with subscription-based offerings from U.S.-based Netflix Inc. and homegrown rival Shomi, a joint venture between Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. Continue reading.

Wab Kinew to host Canada Reads 2015

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From a media release:

CBCbooks.ca is thrilled to announce that Canada Reads 2014‘s winning defender, Wab Kinew, will host Canada Reads 2015. Kinew becomes the fourth host of CBC’s battle of the books, now entering its 14th year.

Earlier this year, Kinew successfully defended Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda as, “the one novel to change the nation.”  He is the interim Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations at The University of Winnipeg and a correspondent with Al Jazeera America. His hip-hop music and journalism projects have won numerous awards, including an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards for Best Rap/Hip-Hop CD, an Adrienne Clarkson RTNDA Award (from the Association of Electronic Journalists) and a Gabriel Award.

This year’s theme is “one book to break barriers.” Panelists will debate books that change perspectives, challenge stereotypes and illuminate issues. Canada Reads will consider both fiction and nonfiction books. Readers can submit their suggestions at CBCbooks.ca until Sunday, November 30.

The Canada Reads panelists and their chosen books will be announced on January 20, 2015.

The Canada Reads debates will take place in front of live audiences over four days from March 16-19, 2015, and will be broadcast on radio, TV and online at CBCbooks.ca.  Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated by the panelists, until the winner is chosen as the must-read book for Canadians in 2015.

Every year, the five shortlisted Canada Reads books see a significant rise in sales, and past winners have become national bestsellers. Past successes include The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which began as a self-published book and won Canada Reads in 2011; and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, the 2009 winner, which will be broadcast as a mini-series on CBC-TV beginning January 7, 2015.

Say Yes to the Dress Canada gets W Network debut date

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From a media release:

Dreams come true this winter as Corus Entertainment’s W Network captures all the excitement and joy of finding the perfect wedding dress with the premiere of Say Yes to the Dress Canada. The series features brides from across Canada as they shop for their dream dress with loved ones at the exclusive Amanda-Lina’s Sposa Boutique in Toronto. Each episode of Say Yes to the Dress Canada invites viewers to join wide-eyed brides as they face the exhilaration and emotion of saying ‘yes’, before they walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’. Say Yes to the Dress Canada premieres with back-to-back episodes Wednesday, January 7 at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on W Network.

Produced by Temple Street Productions in association with W Network and based on the popular format created by Half Yard Productions for TLC, Say Yes to the Dress Canada brings the heart of the U.S. series north to our beautiful Canadian brides. The series stars bridal stylist and fashion dynamo, Joseph, who brings his extensive experience working for some of Canada’s top fashion retailers and A-list celebrities to the show. It also features bridal boutique owners Sam and Rachelle, seamstress Maria and Amanda-Lina’s team of seasoned bridal consultants.​

In Say Yes to the Dress Canada, brides-to-be are on a search for the perfect gown to match their style, image and budget. It’s not always easy with family and friends at their side offering their unfiltered opinions. Filmed at one of Canada’s leading bridal destinations, Amanda-Lina’s Sposa Boutique in Toronto, the series goes behind-the-scenes and uncovers the hurdles every staff member faces to ensure each bride is completely satisfied on what may be the single most important day of her life.

This season includes Canadian bridal appointments including Olympic Bobsledder Emily Baadsvik and fiancé, CFL star Dimitri Tsoumpas; Sharon, whose 88 year-old Matron of Honour and grandmother helps to pick out the perfect dress; best friends who fulfill a childhood dream of shopping for dresses together; and the bride who has tried on 50 gowns before coming to Amanda-Lina’s Sposa Boutique.

Link: Small screen hits the big time with CITF’s second year

From Tony Wong:

In the augural year of the Canadian International Television Festival, David Heath set off on what seemed an improbable mission.

He wanted television viewers to get off the couch and head to the theatre to watch TV on the big screen. Moreover, he wanted them to watch only Canadian-made shows.

“It really bugged me that we had over 60 film festivals and not one TV festival,” says Heath, a veteran television industry executive. “You have major directors and stars flocking to this golden age of television, which is arguably producing better work than what you see on the big screen. So why don’t we celebrate that?” Continue reading.