U.S. Smithsonian Channel Headed to Canada

The deal with Canadian indie broadcaster Blue Ant Media marks the American TV service's first foray into the international market.

TORONTO – The U.S.-based Smithsonian Channel is headed to Canada.

The Showtime Networks and Smithsonian Institution-owned TV channel is making its first international foray as part of an agreement with indie Canadian broadcaster Blue Ant Media.

Smithsonian Channel Canada will launch as a high definition service this fall, using cross-platform content from the American network that is exclusive to its Canadian licensee.

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Migrating the Smithsonian Channel north will require regulatory approval as Blue Ant will rebrand one of its existing channels, eqhd, to launch a Canadianized offering.

The deal also marks a U.S. deal for Blue Ant Media CEO Michael MacMillan, who previously ran Alliance Atlantis Communications before it was sold off in parts to then Canwest Global Communications Corp. and Goldman Sachs in 2009.

“We are excited to bring our entertaining brand of storytelling to a new international audience,” Tom Hayden, general manager of Smithsonian Networks, said in a statement Monday.