BBC Kids Canada Acquired By Knowledge Network

BBC Worldwide to form joint venture with new owner of kids cable channel.

TORONTO – Canadian public broadcaster Knowledge Network has acquired the BBC Kids cable channel from BBC Worldwide and domestic broadcaster Shaw Media.

Pending regulatory approval, Knowledge Network, the British Columbia public educational broadcaster, will form a joint venture with BBC Worldwide and relaunch BBC Kids as a commercial-free channel for young Canadians.

BBC Kids since its launch in 2001 has been aimed at Canadian youth from preschoolers to teens. Vancouver-based Knowledge Network said it will acquire and schedule domestic and international programming for the subscriber-driven niche channel.

Shaw Media’s exit from BBC Kids follows the former Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s TV assets being acquired by Calgary-based cable operator Shaw Communications from majority investor Goldman Sachs & Co. and rebranded and re-launched late last year.

Knowledge Network is run by president and CEO Rudy Buttignol, a former programming topper at TVOntario, Ontario’s public educational broadcaster.