DHX Media has acquired four children’s channels in Canada, including Family, the most-viewed kids’ channel in the country, for $170 million in cash.
In addition to Family, DHX has also agreed to buy Disney XD, the Disney Junior English-language channel and the Disney Junior French-language channel from their current owner Bell Media.
“The acquisition of these high-quality Canadian channels represents an exciting new addition to DHX, one that complements and enhances all areas of our business and positions us for our next stage of growth,” says Michael Donovan, chief executive officer, DHX Media.
The transaction is expected to close in 2014 pending approval by the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
“Broadcasting is a natural extension for the company,” says Steven DeNure, president and chief operating officer, DHX Media. “The acquisition of Family Channel further enhances our ability to operate as a vertically integrated player in the global children's content business."
About DHX’s new channels:
- Family, which was launched in 1988, is the No. 1 channel across all kids’ audiences with approximately 5.7 million subscribers and an English market share of 29.6 percent for viewers ages 2 to 17 (based on Broadcast Bureau of Measurement data for 2011/2012). The channel offers a blend of shows celebrating family life, comprised of Canadian productions alongside acquired series, 60 percent of which come from Disney.
- Disney Junior (English) delivers a range of developmental-based programming for kids ages 2 to 7. Launched in 2007, the channel has approximately 4.9 million subscribers, representing a market share of 13.4 percent among its primary target audience of kids ages 2 to 7.
- Disney Junior (French) offers commercial-free entertainment focused musical and developmental-based programming for kids ages 2 to 6. Disney Junior (French) was launched in 2010 and has approximately half a million subscribers.
- Disney XD is an advertising-supported network that features live-action and animated series and movies of a comedic and adventurous nature. Launched in 2011, it has approximately 4.5 million subscribers, representing a market share of 3.5 percent among its primary target audience of boys ages 6 to 12.