CBC board OKs Fireworks deal


TORONTO -- The board of directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday okayed a controversial deal to sell its international sales division to British distributor Fireworks International.

The go-ahead means the CBC will sell the international rights to 135 titles and 700 hours of programming from its catalog to the division of London-based ContentFilm.

The CBC faced flak over the deal because the public broadcaster did not allow domestic distributors to bid on the international programming rights, and instead concluded an agreement with Fireworks just days before.

Toronto-based Peace Arch Entertainment proposed a takeover of parent ContentFilm.

The CBC defended the deal, indicating it represented a strategic opportunity that coincided with the Hollywood writers strike.