DISNEY/ABC TELEVISION GROUP ENTERS INTO EXPANSIVE LICENSING AGREEMENT
WITH CORUS ENTERTAINMENT TO BRING ITS SUCCESSFUL MILLENNIAL-TARGETED
BRAND TO CANADA WITH A DEDICATED 24-HOUR CHANNEL NAMED ABC SPARK
Burbank, CA and Toronto, Canada -- October 26, 2011 - Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) and Corus Entertainment today announced that they have entered into an expansive licensing agreement to launch ABC Spark, a dedicated millennial-focused channel and multi-platform offering, in Canada in Spring 2012. The channel will build on the foundation that DATG has created with ABC Family, its incredibly successful millennial brand in the U.S. This deal marks the first time in history that these two companies have entered into this type of licensing agreement for a 24-hour channel.
ABC Spark will be a destination for Canada's young adult millennial viewers, telling stories that matter most to this audience while utilizing the technology millennials rely on to connect to their world in a corresponding multi-platform offering. The agreement was brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television with Corus Entertainment.
"We are very pleased to work with Corus in bringing ABC Family's well-known, popular programming into the Canadian marketplace," commented Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
"We are thrilled to partner with Disney/ABC Television Group and to announce the launch of ABC Spark in Canada, a network with values and attributes that align with our own," said Doug Murphy, president, Corus Television. "Bridging the gap between our kids and women's networks, ABC Spark will be a national service with compelling programming directed at the fast-expanding millennial generation."
ABC Family is a top performing destination for millennials in the U.S., delivering seven consecutive years of stellar growth. ABC Family has also become an emerging global brand though the successful sale of many of its key programs to more than 200 territories around the world. Its newest series, "Switched at Birth," launched as the network's No. 1 series debut of all time in key demos this past summer, and ranked as the top rated new series across all basic cable in those demos as well. Other groundbreaking original programming included in the deal are "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Make It or Break It," "Melissa & Joey" and upcoming series "Jane By Design."
Michael Riley, president, ABC Family, added: "As the leader in millennial programming, we're thrilled to join Corus in bringing our successful series and resonant millennial brand to Canada. We're confident that Canadian viewers will respond passionately to shows like 'Switched at Birth,' 'The Lying Game' and 'Secret Life of the American Teenager' in this new branded environment, just as viewers have in the U.S. and around the world."
Comprising more than 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, millennials are an optimistic and goal-oriented generation. They represent the largest demographic bubble in both U.S. and Canadian history. Millennials constitute over 85 million 15 to 34 year-olds in the U.S. In Canada there are nearly 10 million millennials, constituting more than 30% of the current population.
Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 98 million U.S. homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today's families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relatable programming about today's relationships - told with a mix of diversity, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family's programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with "13 Nights of Halloween" and "25 Days of Christmas." ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.
Disney-ABC Domestic Television (DADT) is the content distribution arm for The Walt Disney Company within the United States and Canada. DADT distributes premier motion picture and television content across a wide array of media platforms and businesses including e sell-through, video-on-demand/pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand, pay television, basic cable, broadcast television, mobile, broadband and other digital technologies. An industry leader, DADT distributes properties from Disney, Disney·Pixar, Marvel, DreamWorks Studios, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment, ABC Family and Disney Channel. Disney-ABC Domestic Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The Company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CJR.B). Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.