Nickelodeon launching in Canada
MTV property will function as stand-alone channelTORONTO – It took 30 years of battling protectionism, but Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment has pacted with MTV Networks International to finally launch Nickelodeon in Canada.
Toronto-based Corus on Monday said a 24-hour Nickelodeon channel tailored exclusively to the Canadian market will launch November 2.
Nickelodeon will launch as a digital, stand-alone channel in Canada. That's unlike HBO, another popular U.S. channel that Corus and partner Astral Media earlier this year launched as a multiplex channel for existing subscribers of domestic pay TV services Movie Central and the Movie Network.
Nickelodeon, HBO, Fox News and other U.S. cable and pay TV services faced widespread opposition from Canadian nationalists and broadcasters before they were finally admitted for carriage on domestic TV schedules here.
With Canadian cable channels, backed by subscription revenues, now faring better than their free, over-the-air counterparts, the CRTC, Canada's broadcast regulator, has been more willing to remove protectionist rules that aimed initially to shield Canadian niche services from American competition.
"We are thrilled to build on our long-standing relationship with Nickelodeon with the launch of this new service, which gives Canadian audiences full access to one of the best entertainment experiences for kids in the world," Paul Robertson, president of television at Corus Entertainment, said Monday.
Corus owns cartoon producer Nelvana, a long-time supplier to Nickelodeon, and has acquired a host of Nickelodeon series for its own Canadian kids TV properties.
Bob Bakish, president of MTV Networks International, added that launching the Canadianized Nickelodeon channel naturally extended a long-standing collaboration with Toronto-based Corus Entertainment.
Corus in 2008 signed a deal with MTV Networks International to manage Nickelodeon's digital rights in Canada.
The Canadian Nickelodeon schedule will include the Canadian premieres of cartoon series like "Fanboy and Chum Chum" and the live-action series "The Troop" and the "Kids' Choice Awards."
And popular series that already air in Canada like "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Dora The Explorer" and "The Backyardigans" will receive extra platforms.