Knowledge Network acquires BBC Kids from Shaw Media

In a deal that requires CRTC approval, the British Columbia public educational broadcaster will acquire and run the BBC-branded digital kids channel through a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.
MI High

Pictured: M.I. High airs weekdays at 7:30 on BBC Kids.

Shaw Media has sold the BBC Kids Channel to Knowledge Network for an undisclosed price.

In a deal that requires CRTC approval, the British Columbia public educational broadcaster will acquire and run the BBC-branded digital kids channel through a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.

Rudy Buttignol, president and CEO of Knowledge Network, said his network intended to run BBC Kids as a commercial-free channel, and to “extend the success we’ve had with Knowledge Network in British Columbia to the BBC Kids channel across Canada.”

Buttingnol promises “significant investments in programming,” including content from Canada, Britain and elsewhere internationally.

Shaw Media will maintain the BBC Kids channel on air until the CRTC okays the deal with BBC Worldwide, at which point the Knowledge Network will operate the channel under the same mandate as its current broadcast license to air programming for pre-schools to teens.

“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,” Hilary Read, COO of BBC Worldwide Canada, added in a statement.

Shaw Media parting ways with BBC Kids Canada follows the sale of the digital kids specialty by former owners Canwest Media and Goldman Sachs & Co. to Shaw Communications, along with a stable of former Alliance Atlantis Communications specialty services.

Shaw Communications subsequently rebranded and relaunched the Global Television network and the former AAC specialty channels as Shaw Media.