Corus headquarters in Toronto as seen from CN Tower
|Founded||Toronto, Ontario (1999)|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Revenue||$833 million CAD (2014)|
Number of employees
Corus Entertainment is a Canadian media and broadcasting company. Formed in 1999 as a spin-off from Shaw Communications, it is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, and has prominent holdings in the radio, publishing, and television industries. Corus Entertainment's voting majority is held by the company's founder JR Shaw and his family.
Corus has a large presence in Canadian specialty television, most prominently within the children's television market through its ownership of networks such as the Canadian YTV and Teletoon/Télétoon brands as well as localized versions of the United States channels Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel/Disney La Chaîne, Disney Junior, and Disney XD along with the animation studio Nelvana and book publisher Kids Can Press. Corus is also a major owner of radio stations in Canada, operating 39 stations across numerous markets.
Shaw Communications Inc. applied On November 6, 1998 to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for authorization to transfer all ownership stakes in broadcasting units to a new wholly owned subsidiary titled Mediaco, then in the future spun out into a new holding company, Holdco. In September 1999, Corus Entertainment, Inc. was split off from Shaw Communications with John Cassaday as President with eleven radio stations, specialty television channels, digital music services and cable advertising service business.
Corus then began acquiring additional radio stations. Corus purchased later in September 1999 from Blackburn Radio, CFPL-FM and CFPL (AM) London, plus CFHK-FM St. Thomas/London. On March 31, 2000, the company acquired from Power Broadcasting Inc. its Canadian broadcasting assets consisting of 11 radio stations in Ontario, six radio stations in Quebec, 3 Ontario based CBC affiliated TV stations, and CHAU-TV in Quebec affiliated with TVA.
2000 had the company expanding not only with additional radio stations but with additional TV services and show production. Negotiating since 1998, Corus was approved on July 6, 2000 by the CRTC to acquire WIC Premium Corporation adding twelve more radio stations and a few TV channels. WIC owned 50% of the Family Channel, Western Canada pay television services SuperChannel Ltd and MovieMax Ltd, WIC-VC Ltd.'s pay-per-view service, plus a 40% ownership stake in the Teletoon English and French specialty services. The CRTC required Corus to sell its share of the Family Channel. Nelvana Ltd, a Canadian Children's programming producer and distributor, was acquired on November 14 thus diversifying Corus's business lines. Several Category B services special channel licenses were granted on November 24 to Corus including Edge TV, RAI Canada, Parent TV, Pet TV, The Classical Channel and The Jazz Channel. Not all of these channels were launched.
In 2001 on January 1st and February 8th, Corus received approval for a sale of CHAU-TV to Tele Inter-Rèves Ltd. and a deal taking over Belcand Mount Royal Holdings Inc. respectively. Belcand , the parent company of Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc., which brought Corus six radio stations and the French-language Category 2 (digital) specialty television service Canal Habitat. On November 16, the company took ownership of the Women's Television Network (WTN) and a controlling interest in the Telelatino Network. Approval of the Tri-Co Radio Ltd. to Corus was approved on November 19. Tri-co held three radio stations in Cornwall, Ontario.
The company relaunched on April 15, 2002 the WTN as W, with a Western feed and a new program line up. Movie Central Express, Canada's first subscription-based Video-on-Demand service, was announced on October 16, by Corus and Shaw Communications Ltd.
2003 saw the company shed some assets. Durham Radio Inc. received purchased approval on April 23rd for the company to sell its Oshawa radio stations CKDO-AM and CKGE-FM. While in June, Corus announced plans to discontinue Edge TV, its rock and alternative music video specialty service.
In March 2004, Corus and Astral Media Inc. were working a swap deal for radio stations in the province of Quebec with the company acquiring the stations of the Radiomedia network. The deal was approved on January 21, 2005. Corus received CRTC approval on August 10, 2005 for the company to sell its two Red Deer, Alberta radio stations to Newcap Inc. While in 2006, Corus closed down CKTS-AM Sherbrooke then holding 50 radio stations.
Corus and Cogeco Inc on May 14, 2007 formed a joint venture Groupe Force Radio to be national sales agent for 5 Cogeco, 13 Corus and 12 Radio Nord radio stations. The CRTC granted approval to CanWest MediaWorks' deal to sell Corus two radio stations on July 6. The Commission approved a deal on December 24 between Corus and Groupe Génération Rock for the company to acquire CIGR-FM Sherbrooke. On September 1, 2008, CHRC-AM radio was sold to the corporate owner of the Hockey Club Les Remparts de Québec.
Corus was given governmental approval to start up Cosmopolitan Television, a life-style specialty channel targeted at women 18-34, On August 7, 2007. Canadian Learning Television (CLT) came under Corus control after August 22, 2008 CRTC approval of effective control of a numbered company, 1708484 Ontario Inc., previous owned by CTVglobemedia. CLT was re-branded as VIVA on November 23 as a specialty channel for the women boomer demographics. Two Corus specialty channel applications for YTV POW!, an international sourced kids action, adventure and superhero genre, and YTV OneWorld, target children from age 6 to 17 with travel, humour, games and STEM, were approved on September 18.
On April 30, 2010, it was announced that all Corus Québec stations, with the exception of CKRS, would be sold to Cogeco for $80 million, pending CRTC approval. Corus's reason for the sale is that their Quebec radio stations are less profitable than their stations in other parts of Canada. However, Cogeco must either apply with the CRTC for an exemption from the common ownership policy, or sell off some of these (or their own) stations as they will be over the maximum allowable number of stations in Montreal, Quebec City, and Sherbrooke. On June 25, it was reported that Corus had agreed to sell CKRS to Radio Saguenay, a local business group.
The sale of the Corus Québec stations was approved by the CRTC on December 17, 2010, on the condition that Cogeco-owned CJEC-FM and Corus-owned CFEL-FM and CKOY-FM be sold to another party by December 2011. On January 13, 2011, competing broadcaster Astral Media announced that they would seek legal action to stop the sale of these stations to Cogeco, citing the fact that it would own more stations than Astral in the Montreal market, making the competition unfair.
Under a license from Disney/ABC Television Group for ABC Family programming, Corus launched ABC Spark on March 26, 2012 with Shaw Media owning 49%. In March 2013, as part of Bell Media's proposed acquisition of Astral Media, Corus reached a tentative deal to acquire Astral's stakes in Historia, Séries+, and the Teletoon networks, along with several radio stations, for $400.6 million. This aspect of the deal, intended to quell concerns from the CRTC regarding Bell's total market share after the merger, was approved by the Competition Bureau on March 18, 2013. In an unrelated deal, Corus also announced that it would acquire Shaw Media's stakes in ABC Spark, Historia, and Séries+ in exchange for cash and its minority stake in Food Network Canada. Corus has indicated that as a whole, these acquisitions are intended to expand its operations in the competitive Quebec market. Corus also plans to open a new office in Montreal following the acquisitions.
On September 1, 2013, Corus reorganized into six divisions, Corus Radio, Corus Kids, Corus Women and Family, Corus Content Distribution and Pay TV, Corus Airtime Sales and Corus Media. Corus Kids would have two programming groups, kids specialty TV services which holds YTV, Treehouse, Nick Canada, Nelvana Studio and Nelvana Enterprises, and Teletoon Canada group holding Teletoon, Teletoon Retro, and Cartoon Network Canada. Corus Media holds its French language channels.
On April 16, 2015, Corus Entertainment announced that it had reached an agreement with the Disney–ABC Television Group to acquire long-term, Canadian multi-platform rights to Disney Channel's programming library. Alongside the licensing deal, Corus announced that it would officially launch a Canadian version of Disney Channel on September 1, 2015. A French version, Disney La Chaîne, was also launched.
Acquisition of Shaw Media, wind-down of Movie Central
On November 20, 2015, Corus announced that it would exit the premium television industry to focus on its national specialty services. As a result, Corus will sell its rights to operate a premium television service in western Canada to Bell Media for $211 million, resulting in the planned discontinuation of Movie Central in 2016, the expansion of The Movie Network into a national service, and Bell becoming the sole rightsholder of HBO programming in Canada.
On January 13, 2016, Corus announced that it would acquire Shaw Media for $2.65 billion; the company consists of the assets of the former Canwest, including the over-the-air Global Television Network and other specialty channels. The purchase, which will primarily be used to fund Shaw Communications' purchase of wireless carrier Wind Mobile, will be paid with $1.85 billion in cash, and Shaw will take a 39% share of Corus stock. The sale will require shareholder and CRTC approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016. Corus CEO Doug Murphy described the purcase as a "transformational acquisition that redefines Corus and Canada's media landscape".
Sponsorships and industry partnerships
Corus is an industry sponsor of the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus; Gary Maavara, Corus' General Counsel, sits on the Waterloo campus' advisory board. The company also funds a couple of endowed chair positions, including Chair in Women in Management at the Ivey Business School (London, Ontario, Canada) beginning in 2003, and a Chair in Communications Strategy at the Rotman School of Management (Toronto) beginning in 2002.
Relationship with Shaw Communications
Shaw and Corus continue to be controlled by the Shaw family, and as a result, media reports have sometimes erroneously referred to Corus as a subsidiary of Shaw. In fact, Shaw and Corus are independent, publicly traded companies, with separate management teams and separate boards of directors.
Nonetheless, some reports indicate that the two companies continue to have a close relationship. For several years, Corus managed advertising operations (such as TV listings channels) for Shaw's cable systems, although this operation has since been discontinued. Executives have also occasionally moved between the two companies, with former Corus Television president Paul Robertson joining Shaw to head Shaw Media (the former Canwest broadcasting operations) in 2010.
Following Shaw's 2010 acquisition of Canwest's TV assets, the two companies incidentally became partners in certain channels including Dusk (later replaced by ABC Spark) as well as Food Network Canada; these partnerships were unwound in 2013. Otherwise, there has been no connection or common programming between Corus's conventional and specialty television operations and those of Shaw Media. For example, Corus owns three over-the-air TV stations which were longtime CBC affiliates, and which agreed in 2015 to switch to Bell Media's CTV network, despite Shaw owning the rival Global network.
However, due to its connections to Shaw, Corus Entertainment is considered to be "related" to Shaw in regards to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) "3:1 rule", which requires service providers to carry three channels from other broadcasters for each service they carry that is owned by a company related to the service provider.
- List of assets owned by Corus Entertainment
- List of companies paying monthly dividends
- List of conglomerates
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- Canadian Press, via Yahoo: "Cogeco says new radio stations to provide growth and expects deal to go through", January 13, 2011.
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- "Industry Partnerships". University of Waterloo. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
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- corusent.com Corporate homepage, About Us
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- "Press Release - Corus Entertainment Receives CRTC Approval on TELETOON Canada Inc., Historia and Séries+ Acquisitions". Corusent.com. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- Corus Entertainment (2015-05-20). "Corus Entertainment's Eastern Ontario Television Channels Enter into a Program Supply Agreement with Bell Media to Broadcast CTV Programming". Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Corus Entertainment. "CRTC Application 2012-0197-0 (.zip format)". Retrieved 2012-04-11.