Sundance Channel gets Canuck go ahead

Inks licensing agreement with Rainbow Media Holdings

TORONTO -- Sundance Channel on Monday finally got round protectionist barriers to launch in Canada under a licensing agreement with Rainbow Media Holdings.

Sundance Channel Canada broke out of the gates here with a screening of Quebec director Robert Lepage's 2000 indie feature "Possible Worlds," which starred Tilda Swinton and Sean McCann.

To circumvent barriers to entry for the U.S. service, Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment rebranded its former Drive-In Classics cable channel as a Canadianized Sundance Channel with a schedule built around six programming blocks of genre-focused movies and TV series.

The Sundance Channel, which launched in 1996, in 2001 was denied entry into the Canadian market by the CRTC on grounds it would compete with existing Canadian movie channels.