CBC hands over international sales reins


TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. is getting out of the international sales business.

Canada's public broadcaster on Tuesday unveiled an agreement that hands ContentFilm division Fireworks International the international distribution rights and assets managed by the CBC's international sales arm.

"Looking at our international sales activities, we determined that we lacked the scale and the resources required to be competitive in a market dominated by large, specialized firms," said Steve Billinger, CBC executive director of digital programming and business development.

Financial terms of the deal were not made public.

The agreement will see Fireworks International acquire about 135 titles in the CBC's library, or 700 hours of TV programming.

The agreement does not affect any of the CBC's broadcast rights or its archives.

"We're thrilled to add these new titles to our (Fireworks) catalog," Fireworks International president Greg Phillips said. Subject to due diligence, the transaction is expected to be completed early in 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.