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Bell confirms Wow channel deal

Bell Media has confirmed a deal that will see fellow Canadian firm Wow Unlimited Media, formerly Rainmaker Entertainment, acquiring one of its specialty channels to launch a branded children’s network.

The partnership, first announced in June and valued at around C$7m (US$5.75m), will see Wow acquire a ‘category B’ specialty service from Bell in exchange for equity in Wow.

The arrangement will see a Wow branded channel replacing the current branding of the ‘category B’ specialty service on Bell TV and related platforms.

The channel will be focused on kids’ programming, but further details are being kept under wraps. The deal remains subject to approval from regulator Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

As part of the partnership, Bell will provide various operational, transmission, studio and technology services to Wow, which in turn will supply children’s and other programming to Bell for its CraveTV and Snackable TV services.

The companies have also agreed to collaborate and to jointly develop and produce content.

Wow Unlimited Media Inc was formed last year after what was Rainmaker Entertainment in Canada acquired online toon network Frederator Studios and management firm Ezrin Hirsh Entertainment.

Last week John Vandervelde, who was previously at Toronto-based InterMedia Finance Corp, joined Wow as exec VP for corporate strategy and chief financial officer.

Vandervelde previously worked with WOW CEO and chairman Michael Hirsh to launch The Entertainment and Media Finance Group in 2014 with Jacqueline Kelly.

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