Bell Media Studios is acquiring a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Comweb Studio Holdings, Castlepoint and the City of Toronto

Nanci MacLean

Bell Media Studios is acquiring a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Comweb Studio Holdings, Castlepoint and the City of Toronto. The deal sees Bell acquire a majority stake in the 33.5 acre (13.5 hectares) facility in Toronto’s Port Lands, including one of the largest sound stages in North America. Nanci MacLean, VP and head of Bell Media Studios, will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto Studios. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DHX Brands, the brand management and consumer products arm of DHX Media, has announced the new Teletubbies series has been picked up by South Korea’s leading public broadcaster KBS. The deal comes on the heels of broadcast and consumer products deals for Teletubbies in China, where the series is seen on popular streaming services iQIYI, Youku, Tencent and others.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that airing a commercial for the horror movie Annabelle: Creation before 9 p.m. did not breach the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code. The viewer complaint, referencing airing of the commercial on TSN at 7:30 p.m. MT in Aug. 2017, surrounded the ad’s appropriateness for broadcast during family programming. The 30-second trailer contained images of a creepy-looking doll, a young girl’s wheelchair being pushed by an unseen figure, objects flying around a room, and a nun being thrown into a wall by a unseen force. The CBSC’s English-Language Panel agreed that the ad was intense and frightening, but found it did not contain the level of gore or graphic-ness that would make it intended exclusively for adults.  

Derik Murray

Network Media Group and Network Entertainment have acquired exclusive rights to produce a feature documentary on the life and legacy of legendary pop-funk-rock star Sylvester Stewart, better known as Sly Stone. The film is the latest from Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray, who is behind a slate of feature docs including I Am MLK Jr. on the Paramount Network on Apr. 4 and the recently announced I Am Paul Walker, also for the Paramount Network. UTA will sell domestic and international rights to the film.

Network Media Group and Network Entertainment reported record revenues of $5.3 million for Fiscal 2017, and EBITDA of $549,616. Company CEO Derik Murray says while a net loss of $323,163 was posted, it was the result of a number of non-cash items such as stock-based compensation, amortization and interest on debt.  

CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production have announced the return of the Format Incubator for a third round. Through Apr. 23, Canadian producers are invited to submit ideas for original primetime unscripted formats with strong Canadian and international appeal. Full submission details are available at cbc.ca/formatincubator. Chosen formats will benefit from development and creative editorial support, and an expedited distribution process to bring their concept to the international market.

CBC Sports has entered into a sub-licensing agreement with DAZN Canada to provide Canadian broadcast coverage of the upcoming XXI Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, Apr. 4-15. CBC will have live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and highlights of key events and performances by Canada’s athletes and para-athletes, from Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville. DAZN Canada will stream more than 400 hours of live event coverage, exclusively on its platform. All CBC broadcasts will be simultaneously live-streamed at cbcsports.ca and via the CBC Sports app.

Lloyd Robertson and Steve Anthony

Lloyd Robertson was on his way to CP24 on Mar. 29 to say goodbye to Breakfast Television host Steve Anthony when he got into a crash on the Don Valley Parkway. The former CTV News senior anchor later gave CP24 an interview from the scene, in which he reported details of the crash in his good-humoured, unflappable style. Watch the clip here.