Quebecor paddles Canoe.TV onto Web

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TORONTO -- Quebecor Media on Wednesday launched Canoe.TV as a homegrown webcaster, with live and on-demand content from traditional broadcast and print platforms.

Pierre Karl Peladeau, president and CEO of Montreal-based Quebecor, told the nextMedia conference in Toronto that content for Canoe.TV will come from his own media group, which has extensive TV, newspaper and online assets.

"Canoe.TV positions our Canoe.ca portal and Quebecor Media at the leading edge of the rapidly growing online video phenomenon that is being driven by strong consumer demand," Peladeau said.

Canoe.TV also will aggregate content from international broadcasters through a distribution agreement with Toronto-based webcaster JumpTV.

Initially, Canoe.TV will stream programming from Quebec Media TV assets, including its over-the-air SUN TV English-language network, and TVA Group, the Quebec private broadcaster.

The upstart webcaster already has signed content deals with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and cable channels House and Home, the Fight Network, and the Montreal-based Just For Laughs comedy festival.

The geo-gated Canoe.TV service will be available to Canadians only free of charge, and will earn money through online advertising revenue-share agreements with broadcasters and independent producers.

The youth-skewing webcaster has lined up a host of original content, including such shows as "Outrageous Sports," StreetSeen," Wallpaper" and "Pimp Me Tonight."

The launch of Canoe.TV follows Quebecor Media's decision last spring to move new media director Mike Nesbitt from its Toronto over-the-air TV station Sun TV to its Toronto Sun daily newspaper as part of the company's overall convergence strategy.

Nesbitt was charged with creating cross-platform opportunities between the Sun and Quebecor Media's other properties, including Sun TV; 24 Hours, its free daily newspaper; and Canoe, its Web portal.

The move comes as Quebecor Media, which operates Quebec cable giant Groupe Videotron Ltd., has attempted in recent years to turn its varied media assets into one multiplatform, multimedia brand.
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