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January 23, 2015

Empire comes to City in a Special Television Event, January 28

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From co-creators and executive producers Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) and Danny Strong (The Butler) comes Empire, the series critics are calling a  “bonifide, big honking hit,” that chronicles the family saga of music legend Lucious Lyon (Oscar® nominee Terrence Howard, The Butler), the head of a music empire who is not only battling a debilitating disease, but also his three sons and ex-wife...who are all vying for his throne.

Following its hotly anticipated series debut on January 7, this season’s most popular and electrifying new drama comes to City next Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings), with Episode 4, “False Imposition” in a special television event. The episode will also air in simulcast on OMNI Television.

Episode 4, “False Imposition,” sees Lucious make an attempt to steal a hot artist who's topping the charts from his rival at Safe House Records. Meanwhile, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) struggles with writer's block; and Cookie tries to mend her broken relationship with Hakeem (Bryshere Gray).

Top 10 Reasons to Watch Empire Today!
Lucious’s bad-ass ex-wife Cookie (Oscar® nominee Taraji P. Henson, Person of Interest)
Original and exclusive music produced by hip-hop legend, Timbaland
The most critically acclaimed new drama of the season, and the one everyone is talking about
A-list guest stars like Cuba Gooding Jr. (Selma), Courtney Love (Sons of Anarchy, Hole), and super model Naomi Campbell (New York Undercover)
From the creative minds of critically acclaimed, award-winning Lee Daniels and Danny Strong
Cookie
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) stars as Lucious’s sassy assistant
Secrets….SO many secrets….
Fierce fashions
Did we say Cookie?

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January 23, 2015

Independent Producers and Canadian Screenwriters Reach Agreement

Toronto, January 23, 2015-- The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) and the Association Québecoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM) have reached an agreement in principle with the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) on a new 2015-2017 Independent Production Agreement (IPA).

CMPA Chief Negotiator and Chief Legal Officer Reynolds Mastin says, “This was a tough negotiation but we are happy we were able to reach a deal that recognizes the needs of Canadian producers, yet fairly compensates WGC screenwriters across the country.”

Details of the agreement will be released to the public once the agreement is ratified.

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January 23, 2015

#iCraveFridays: Acclaimed British Mini-series THE ESCAPE ARTIST Launches Today on CraveTV

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CraveTV’s #iCraveFridays release schedule continues today with the debut of THE ESCAPE ARTIST starring David Tennant. The three-part BBC mini-series is the latest exclusive series added to CraveTV and can be found in the What’s New Collection.

The critically-acclaimed and award-winning mini-series THE ESCAPE ARTIST stars David Tennant (DOCTOR WHO, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as Will Burton, a brilliant defense lawyer coined “The Escape Artist” for his infamous ability to free criminals. When Burton helps to free an obviously-guilty client based on a technicality, his life takes a dramatic turn: the client begins to stalk Burton’s wife (Ashley Jensen, UGLY BETTY) and young son (Gus Berry), forcing Burton to face the reality that the actions of his morally-questionable career may have devastating consequences.

THE ESCAPE ARTIST will also be available in the British TV and Crime & Mystery collections.

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January 23, 2015

THE 2015 JUNO AWARD Nominations to be Announced Live on CTV.ca, CTVNews.ca, and CP24.com, January 27

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Bell Media brings Canadians exclusive live coverage of THE 2015 JUNO AWARDS nominee press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 27. The nominations, announced from The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto at 11 a.m. ET, will be available for live streaming in their entirety on CTV.ca, CTVNews.ca, and CP24.com. Coverage will also appear on CP24, subject to breaking news.

Currently scheduled to perform on THE 2015 JUNO AWARDS are Hedley, Kiesza, MAGIC!, and Shawn Mendes, with additional talent announcements to be made in the coming weeks.

THE 2015 JUNO AWARDS airs Sunday, March 15 on CTV and CTV GO from Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre.

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January 22, 2015

Distributel TV launch signals a new era of independent television options for Canadians

TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's leading independent telecommunications company, Distributel Communications Limited (Distributel), today announces the official launch of Distributel TV. Available in select English and French markets across Ontario and Quebec, Distributel is Canada's first major independent Internet Service Provider (ISP) to offer television services.

"Distributel is once again taking a leadership role in Canadian telecommunications with its launch of its new TV service," says Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. "Distributel TV means that Canadians finally have a real alternative to the television offerings of the country's big cable and phone companies," Stein adds. "We're constantly looking to evolve our services and offerings in Canada, and working to become the country's leading alternative communications company."

Stein, who joined the company as CEO in 2014, is aggressively looking to build new opportunities for Distributel – a company that has fought for and provided competitive Long Distance and Internet choices to Canadians for more than a quarter of a century.  "Distributel is continuing its tradition of innovation with the launch of this new television service," Stein says.

Distributel TV, offered in conjunction with Distributel partner Zazeen, is now available to more than one third of all Canadians. It boasts value and volume with more than 90 popular television channels included in its base packages. Distributel TV offers various TV Packages, each including Distributel Internet and ranging in price from $99.95/month to $149.95/month. The independent telecommunications leader is also planning to expand its TV offering into additional Canadian markets in the future. With most of its channels available in HD and included for free in every package, Canadians no longer have to pay more to watch their favorite programs in high definition.
For more information, visit: www.distributel.ca

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January 22, 2015

TMN GO Now Available to Shaw Direct and Shaw Cable Subscribers

TORONTO (January 22, 2015) – The Movie Network today announced that The Movie Network GO (TMN GO) is now available to Eastern Canadian customers of television providers Shaw Direct and Shaw Cable. The service is available to virtually every TMN subscriber, including those subscribing to Bell Fibe TV, Bell TV, Bell Aliant, Cogeco Cable, Eastlink TV, Rogers Cable, Source Cable, Videotron, as well as many small-to-medium sized independent television providers who are members of the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA). In addition to the thousands of hours of programming that were already offered on the service, with HBO Canada’s recently announced expanded multiplatform offering TMN GO is now home to all previous and current seasons of some of HBO’s most popular and acclaimed series, including GAME OF THRONES, GIRLS, TRUE BLOOD, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, THE NEWSROOM, and TREME.

“We are delighted to welcome Shaw subscribers to TMN GO and its unrivalled programming,” said Domenic Vivolo, Executive Vice-President, Content Sales, and Distribution Marketing, Bell Media. “With nearly universal penetration, we’re proud of the leadership role of TMN GO in Canada’s TV Everywhere landscape.”

TMN GO is also available in the Xbox App store on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in Canada, on the Windows App store, as well as Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players, iOS and Android tablets and phones, and on the web at tmngo.ca.

With a sleek cinematic design and interface that offers superior functionality, TMN GO, HBO GO Canada, and TMN Encore GO are best-in-class services that allow subscribers to engage with more than 1,000 hours of premium content. Programming available on TMN GO includes hit series, movies, sports programming, and documentaries exclusive to The Movie Network, including: new episodes of upcoming new and returning HBO series GIRLS, LOOKING, TOGETHERNESS, BANSHEE, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, and many more; all previous seasons of HBO series GAME OF THRONES, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, TRUE DETECTIVE, VEEP, THE NEWSROOM, TREME, TRUE BLOOD, EASTBOUND & DOWN, and many more; acclaimed HBO films, miniseries and documentaries like OLIVE KITTERIDGE and TERROR AT THE MALL; the IFC comedy THE BIRTHDAY BOYS; new episodes of upcoming SHOWTIME series HOUSE OF LIES, EPISODES, and SHAMELESS; the latest full seasons of the SHOWTIME series MASTERS OF SEX and NURSE JACKIE; hit Hollywood movies such as August: Osage County, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider Man 2, Last Vegas, Divergent, Muppets Most Wanted, and many more; acclaimed, award-winning Canadian series and movies like SENSITIVE SKIN, 19-2, TRANSPORTER – THE SERIES, LESS THAN KIND, CALL ME FITZ, and many more; and hundreds of classic movies from every genre and era offered by The Movie Network Encore such as Dumb and Dumber, We Are Marshall, Superman Returns, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Meatballs, Stand By Me, Charlie’s Angels, and many more. 

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January 22, 2015

BravoFACT Declares 2015 The Year of the Female Filmmaker

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TORONTO (January 22, 2015) – Bell Media’s BravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) announced today that it is declaring 2015 as The Year of the Female Filmmaker. In an effort to foster and support up-and-coming female filmmakers across the country, BravoFACT is committing a guaranteed minimum of 50% of its funds, in perpetuity, to female-led projects, commencing with the February 2015 BravoFACT award recipients. To be eligible, a submission must include a female producer and/or director. As part of this initiative, each BravoFACT and BravoFACTUAL jury in 2015 will include a prominent female filmmaker as guest juror. Anchoring the February 2015 BravoFACT jury is singer, actor, writer, and director Amy Jo Johnson (FLASHPOINT), who is currently in development on her debut feature film, The Space Between.

“BravoFACT’s mandate has always been to nurture and develop Canada’s diverse and talented filmmakers, and we want to continue to shine a spotlight on the flourishing group of talented women in the Canadian film industry,” said Tracey Pearce, Senior Vice-President, Specialty and Pay, Bell Media. “With this new initiative, we hope to encourage more female-led submissions, and look forward to funding a multitude of ground-breaking short films, both scripted and factual, this year.”

Providing funding for short films since its inception in 1995, BravoFACT awards grants on four cycles per year: two grant cycles per year for scripted shorts via BravoFACT, and two grant cycles for short documentary projects via BravoFACTUAL. The next submission deadline for BravoFACTUAL is April 1, 2015. The next submission deadline for BravoFACT is June 12, 2015.

Also as part of The Year of the Female Filmmaker initiative, BravoFACT recently announced a first ever partnership between BravoFACT and Women In Film & Television-ATLANTIC (WIFT-ATLANTIC) for a female-only pitch contest. Launching at the 5th anniversary of WIFT-AT: Women Making Waves conference in March, the BravoFACT WIFT-AT pitch contest welcomes interested WIFT-AT members to submit their short film pitch for a chance to win the $35,000 award. For more information and contest rules, applicants can visit here.

For information about BravoFACT and BravoFACTUAL program requirements, and application guidelines, visit http://bravofact.com.

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January 22, 2015

DISNEY XD CANADA REMAINS CANADA’S LEADING DIGITAL CHANNEL WITH RECORD GROWTH IN FALL 2014

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TORONTO, January 22, 2015 – Ranking #1 with key kids demographics, DHX Media’s digital specialty network Disney XD Canada continues to be the country’s leading digital channel.1 The network is reporting its best fall on record since its launch in June 2011, positioning the channel for continued growth throughout the completion of the broadcast year. 2

For the first four months of the 2014/2015 broadcast year:

Disney XD Canada was the #1 kids digital channel with kids, boys and girls in the 6-11 and 7-11 demographics for AMA, share and rating;3
Disney XD Canada has seen growth amongst its primary demographic of kids 6-11, as well as boys 6-11
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Disney XD Canada was the only kids digital specialty network to grow viewership with kids 7-11 and boys 7-11;
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Disney XD Canada is currently outpacing the competition, which is down or stagnant compared to their 2013/2014 broadcast year performance.
6
The record-breaking performance of Disney XD Canada during Fall 2014* can be largely attributed to the network’s new top-rated series, Star Wars Rebels. Performance highlights include:

Since launch, Star Wars Rebels is the highest ranking animated program across all kids digital channels for the fall;7
Star Wars Rebels holds the top four spots for Disney XD Canada’s programming amongst viewers 2+ for Fall 2014;
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On October 26, the new Star Wars Rebels episode brought in Disney XD Canada’s highest recorded fall audience since launch with 274,500 viewers (2+).
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Disney XD Canada looks ahead to a strong second quarter, with the return of the Canadian Screen Award-nominated series Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage) and the debut of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero in February. This weekend fans can tune into a brand new episode of Star Wars Rebels on Sunday, January 25 at 8 p.m. ET featuring Billy Dee Williams reprising his original trilogy role of Lando Calrissian.

Source:

1.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Cdn Digital English Channels/AMA(000)/Four-year combined station ranker from BY2011-2012 to BY2014-2015 STD: 8/29/2011-1/4/2015.

2.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Disney XD/SHR%, AMA(000)/Fall 2011: 8/29/11-12/31/11, vs. Fall 2012: 8/27/12-12/31/12, vs. Fall 2013: 8/26/13-12/31/13, vs. Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14.

3.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Cdn Digital English Channels/AMA(000)/Four-year combined station ranker from BY2011-2012 to BY2014-2015 STD: 8/29/2011-1/4/2015.

4.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Cdn Kids Digital Channels: Disney XD, Teletoon Retro, Nickelodeon, ABC Spark, Cartoon Network, BBC Kids/SHR%, AMA(000)/Fall 2011: 8/29/11-12/31/11, vs. Fall 2012: 8/27/12-12/31/12, vs. Fall 2013: 8/26/13-12/31/13, vs. Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14.

5.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Cdn Kids Digital Channels: Disney XD, Teletoon Retro, Nickelodeon, ABC Spark, Cartoon Network, BBC Kids/SHR%, AMA(000)/Fall 2011: 8/29/11-12/31/11, vs. Fall 2012: 8/27/12-12/31/12, vs. Fall 2013: 8/26/13-12/31/13, vs. Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14.

6.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Cdn Kids Digital Channels: Disney XD, Teletoon Retro, Nickelodeon, ABC Spark, Cartoon Network, BBC Kids/SHR%, AMA(000)/Fall 2011: 8/29/11-12/31/11, vs. Fall 2012: 8/27/12-12/31/12, vs. Fall 2013: 8/26/13-12/31/13, vs. Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14.

7.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Cdn Kids Digital Channels: Disney XD, Teletoon Retro, Nickelodeon, ABC Spark, Cartoon Network, BBC Kids/SHR%, AMA(000)/ Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14, Fall season only program ranker, 2+ airings.

8.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Disney XD/AMA(000)/Fall 2011: 8/29/11-12/31/11, vs. Fall 2012: 8/27/12-12/31/12, vs. Fall 2013: 8/26/13-12/31/13, vs. Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14, Fall seasons only combined program ranker, 1+ airings.

9.     Numeris (BBM Canada)/Total Canada/Disney XD/AMA(000)/Fall 2011: 8/29/11-12/31/11, vs. Fall 2012: 8/27/12-12/31/12, vs. Fall 2013: 8/26/13-12/31/13, vs. Fall 2014: 9/1/14-12/31/14, Fall seasons only combined program ranker, 1+ airings.

 

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January 22, 2015

shomi™ just got better with shomi Exclusives, bringing critically acclaimed Original Series to Canadians for the first time. Ever.

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TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's best streaming service just got better with shomi Exclusives, a new selection of never-before-seen titles in Canada.

As part of the shomi Exclusives launch, shomi has signed an agreement with Sony Pictures Television in Canadathat provides Canadians with exclusive SVOD access to a lineup of Amazon Original Series, never-before-seen north of the border.  The agreement includes the award-winning series Transparent – a groundbreaking drama from creator, writer and director Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under) that just won a pair of Golden Globes – as well as Betas, Alpha House and Mozart in the Jungle.  Currently, these groundbreaking series are unavailable on any other linear TV channel or SVOD service in Canada.

"The thing that's most exciting about Amazon Originals is the level of talent their series are attracting," said Marni Shulman, Head of Content & Programming, shomi. "Some real Hollywood heavyweights have signed on and the results are clear. These are incredible stories with multidimensional characters you can't help but love and root for. The production value is second to none - Transparent's recent two-time Golden Globe win proves just how good they are."

All 10 episodes of Transparent will be available on shomi tomorrow. Launch dates for Mozart in the Jungle, Alpha House, and Betas will be announced in the coming weeks.

Here's what's new for shomi members, as part of the shomi Exclusives' lineup of Amazon Original Series:

Transparent
When Maura, who has spent her life as Mort, the Pfefferman family patriarch, reintroduces herself to her family, everyone's secrets finally start to come out. Her children – meandering Ali, record producer Josh, and sexually conflicted Sarah – start to spin in different directions as they begin to figure out who they are.

Stars Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, The Hangover), Gaby Hoffman (Veronica Mars, Field of Dreams), Jay Duplass (The Mindy Project), Amy Landecker (Dan in Real Life), and Judith Light (Ugly Betty, Who's The Boss?).

Mozart in the Jungle
Mozart in the Jungle is a half hour comedic drama that draws back the curtain at the New York Symphony, where artistic dedication and creativity collide with mind games, politicking and survival instincts. Based on the critically acclaimed memoir by Blair Tindall, the series is seen through the eyes of a young oboist, Hailey, who tries to navigate through the egos and eccentricities of a world-renowned orchestra, and new conductor Rodrigo, an enfant terrible whose passion for purity threatens the plans of the orchestra's old guard.

Stars Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Lola Kirke (Flores Rares), Saffron Burrows (Boston Legal), Peter Vick (As the World Turns), and Bernadette Peters (Smash).

Alpha House
Re-election battles, looming indictments, parties, their Party… these four Washington D.C. senators need a drink. And a new housemate. This political comedy stars John Goodman and is based on four real-life members of congress who live together in their own "man cave."

Stars John Goodman (Damages), Mark Consuelos (American Horror Story), Clark Johnson (The Wire), and Matt Mallory (Royal Pains).

Betas
In Silicon Valley, the right algorithm can make you a king, and these four friends think they have finally cracked the code. Trey and his guys have an app, and a plan – now they need an investor.

Stars Joe Dinicol (The L.A. Complex), Karen Soni (Mighty Med), Jon Daly (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Charlie Saxton (Workaholics), Maya Erskine (Hart of Dixie), and Ed Begley Jr. (Arrested Development).

shomi is available now in beta first to Rogers and Shaw Internet or cable customers, while conversations continue with other BDUs. With an all-star lineup of exclusive past-seasons of many of the hottest shows on television as well as movie favourites, Canadians are able to enjoy shomi online and on select tablets, mobile devices, and set top boxes (on Rogers Channel 300 or through the Shaw On Demand menu) and Xbox 360. shomi will also be coming soon to Chromecast.

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January 21, 2015

W Network and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) Announces Nature’s Bounty® Hair, Skin & Nails Challenge campaign

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OWN Theatre host Vivianne Collins participates in Nature’s Bounty® 30 Day Challenge 

(January 21, 2015 – Toronto, Canada) Corus Entertainment’s W Network and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) announce Nature’s Bounty® campaign and sponsorship. The unique initiative will have OWN Theatre host Vivianne Collins participate in the Nature’s Bounty® Hair, Skin & Nails Challenge for 30 days following her reaction and progress while on the supplement. Segments will be filmed for 30 second vignettes that will air on-air and be posted on online starting January 26.  Viewers can visit NaturesBounty.ca to participate in the 30-day challenge alongside Collins.

“This is the first time we have done a multi-channel client marketing initiative using OWN Canada and W Network,” said Lynn Chambers, Vice President, Client Marketing, Corus Entertainment. “The Nature’s Bounty® Hair, Skin & Nails 30 Day Challenge was the perfect opportunity to work with Vivianne and allow her to connect with our viewers as she participates in the challenge herself and shares her journey with our audience.”

The national, multi-tiered, on-air campaign was secured for Nature’s Bounty® by its media agency Havas Media, and targets Women 35+. The on-air campaign will include 30 second vignettes chronicling Vivianne’s experience while taking the supplement, 15-second product spots created by the Corus Client Marketing team, and 15 brandsell spots that will air on W Network and OWN Canada. Online the campaign will drive to WNetwork.com and NaturesBounty.ca with a client-branded product page on WNetwork.com. Additionally there will be online videos, digital advertising placement and an article featured on WNetwork.com’s suite of sites.

The vignettes will be hosted by Collins and will encourage viewers to follow her progress and personal experience using the Hair & Nail’s capsules, designed to contribute to the support of the integumentary system. Viewers can sign up to take the challenge online and receive an electronic coupon with a $5 value which they can use towards buying a bottle of Nature’s Bounty® Hair & Nails. Viewers can take the product for 30 days and if it doesn’t work for them, Nature’s Bounty® will give them their money back, up to the full purchase price less 1 cent. For more details visit, https://www.naturesBounty.com/challenge/.

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January 21, 2015

SiriusXM Canada sets up shop in Columbus for full coverage of 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Subscribers across North America get expert analysis and play-by-play coverage from SiriusXM NHL Network Radio team live from Columbus, Ohio

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - SiriusXM Canada (TSX: XSR), the country's leading audio entertainment company, today announced it will offer subscribers full coverage of the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game, 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and more on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™, XM channel 218 and Sirius Premier channel 211.

The 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend™ celebrates the best of the NHL® as top players from across the League face off in host city Columbus, Ohio. Fans voted for their top picks to play in the big game with the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote™ presented by SiriusXM. The full roster has now been chosen and NHL All-Stars representing all 30 Clubs will take to the ice in Columbus.

Coverage from the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio team will start on Friday, January 23 with reporting from across the weekend's action-packed activities:

2015 NHL All-Star Media Day presented by DraftKings:
Kicking off SiriusXM's coverage, hosts
Scott Laughlin and NHL alumnus Matthew Barnaby will be live at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio for Media Day to talk shop with players, coaches, alumni and more.
Friday, January 23
at 12 pm ET 2 pm ET

2015 NHL Fan Fair™:
The Power Play, SiriusXM NHL Network's flagship afternoon show, will be live from the NHL Fan Fair™ at the
Greater Columbus Convention Center. Laughlin and Barnaby will be joined by guest co-host Todd Lewis throughout the weekend as they get up close and personal with special guests from across the hockey world, including NHL Alumni™, young stars, coaches and more.
Friday, January 23
at 3 pm ET 7 pm ET, Saturday, January 24 at 11 am ET 3 pm ET, Sunday, January 25 at 11 am ET 3 pm ET

NHL All-Star Red Carpet:

SiriusXM subscribers can also enjoy Laughlin and Barnaby covering all the action at the red carpet ceremonies as the hottest hockey talent head into the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™.
Saturday, January 24
at 4 pm ET 5 pm ET

2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™:
Listeners will get full play-by-play and analysis of the competition, showcasing the extraordinary talent from across the League.
Saturday, January 24
at 7 pm ET 10 pm ET

2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game:
From pre-game to puck-drop to post-game coverage, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™ will have all of the action as hockey's biggest stars lace up for the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena. Renowned sportscasters
Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will bring listeners all the play-by-play from the game.
Sunday, January 25
at 4:30 pm ET 8 pm ET

Those satellite radio subscribers who add SiriusXM Internet Radio access to their subscription can also listen to full coverage, including the live game, on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online.

SiriusXM NHL Network Radio offers exclusive, expert hockey talk 24/7, plus season long play-by-play action. It joins SiriusXM's comprehensive coverage of every major sport, including NFL, NASCAR, MLB, NBA, PGA, CFL and more.

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January 21, 2015

Bell Let's Talk thanks leading Canadian organizations for their support

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MONTREAL, Jan. 21, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - With 7 days to go until Bell Let's Talk Day on January 28, Bell would like to thank the many leading Canadian organizations supporting mental health and helping to build a country free of the stigma around mental illness.

"Thank you to so many great individuals, companies and other organizations from all around Canada who have stepped up to help to create a stigma-free Canada," said Clara Hughes, Canada's 6-time Olympic medallist and national spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk. "This incredible support is really helping move the mental health conversation forward as we gear up for another great Bell Let's Talk Day on January 28. I hope you will join us too!"

The growing list of organizations working to end the stigma of mental illness includes leading Canadian media companies, major league sports teams and associations, the Canadian Armed Forces, and Bell partners and competitors. Support for the Bell Let's Talk message is taking many forms, including TV, radio, newspaper, out-of-home, online and cinema advertising, rink boards at major sports arenas, promotional events and media coverage discussing Canadian mental health in depth.

Bell Let's Talk extends sincere thanks and appreciation to:
Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
AOL Canada
Banff World Media Festival
Basketball Canada
Calgary Stampede
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Curling Association
Canadian Film Centre
Canadian Media Production Association
Canadian Olympic Committee
Canadian Paralympic Committee
Canadian Soccer Association
Caribbean Carnival Toronto Festival
Cinémas Guzzo
Cineplex
Cogeco / MetroMedia
Culture Days
Facebook
Festival d'été de Québec
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Francofolies
Hot Docs
The Globe and Mail
Google
Lamar Advertising
La Presse / Gesca
Mediacity
Metronews
MLSE - Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
Montréal Canadiens
Montréal en Lumière
Monster Media
National Basketball Association Canada
National Football League Canada
National Newswatch
National Post / Postmedia Network
Ottawa
Senators
Outfront Media
Pattison Outdoor
Radio-Canada
Rogers Communications
TELUS
Toronto
International Film Festival
Toronto FC
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Star / Torstar
Twitter Canada
Universal Music Canada
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
V Télé
The Weather Network / Météomédia
The Writers Guild of Canada
Zoom media

In addition, more than 200 Bell community and mental health partners, as well as chambers of commerce, colleges and universities across Canada are joining the conversation and helping to spread the word through events, social media, websites, and newsletters.

Join the conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day
On January 28, for every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of that day's Bell Let's Talk Day image atFacebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs.

In 2014, Canadians answered the call with a total of 109,451,718 messages including texts, wireless and long distance calls, tweets and Facebook shares, meaning Bell added another $5,472,585,90 to its Bell Let's Talk funding commitment. Based on its original $50 million donation and the results of the last 4 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell has now committed more than $67.5 million to Canadian mental health.

Bell's donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let's Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply.

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January 21, 2015

DHX Media announces multiple international broadcast deals for Dr Dimensionpants

HALIFAX, Jan. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - DHX Media Ltd. ("DHX" or the "Company") (TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B), a key player internationally in the creation of content for families and children, has signed broadcast deals across Europe, Latin America, Australia and the Middle East for its new proprietary animated children's series, Dr. Dimensionpants.

In a multi-territorial agreement, Turner Broadcasting has acquired rights to air Dr. Dimensionpants on its channels inLatin America, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Spain, Italy, Poland andPortugal. In other deals, France Télévisions has acquired free-to-air TV rights to the series in France, while further deals have been signed with ABC Australia, MBC in the Middle East, and Noga in Israel.

Commissioned by TELETOON in Canada, the series is aimed at kids 6-11 years and is created by Brad Peyton, best known for directing Cats & Dogs 2: Revenge of Kitty Galore and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Josh Scherba, SVP Distribution at DHX Media, said: "We have assembled a stellar line-up of channels for this series internationally, along with a strong broadcaster domestically in TELETOON. Brad Peyton has created a riotous comedy perfectly fitting for the 6-11 demographic and with demonstrable international appeal."

Dr. Dimensionpants follows Kyle Lipton, who, for all his life was just like the other kids – playful, happy and without a care in the world until one day an inter-dimensional portal opened up and dropped onto his lap a pair of GLOWING PANTS! Now Kyle is Dr. Dimensionpants, a super-hero with a super intense attitude who must deal with the constant threat of inter-dimensional villains bent on destroying the UNIVERSE! Okay, not the universe but his hometown of Ganderville, which is like the universe to a 12-year-old boy.

On top of all that, Kyle still has to deal with day-to-day issues like homework, chores, and his annoyingly smart seven-year-old sister. But the worst part is that NOBODY believes that Kyle is Dr. Dimensionpants! He goes to great lengths to let everyone know his alter-ego, but since he can only wear the cosmic pants in an emergency, no one recognizes him!

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January 20, 2015

Hemisphere Media Group and TLN Telelatino expand alliance to deliver more Spanish-language TV Channels to growing Canadian Hispanic Population

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(Toronto, January 20, 2015) – Hemisphere Media Group and TLN Telelatino Network announced today at the NATPE Market & Conference that they will expand their collaboration in Canada beyond leading Spanish-language movie channel Cinelatino to deliver three additional Hemisphere Media all-Spanish language TV channels to the country’s 1.6 million strong and growing Spanish speaking community.

The additional Hemisphere Media TV channels to be exclusively represented and promoted in Canada by Telelatino are:

Centroamerica TV, a general entertainment channel that features the best news (more than 40 hours of LIVE weekly content), entertainment, series and lifestyle programming from Central America, PLUS exclusive access to live coverage of the best Central American soccer tournaments with more than 100 soccer games a year from the national teams of El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.

WAPA America, the cable-network arm of WAPA Television, Puerto Rico’s #1 broadcast station. WAPA America delivers more than 75 hours a week of live, original news and entertainment programming from Puerto Rico, as well as exclusive coverage of the Puerto Rican Basketball League, the most popular sports league on the Island.

Television Dominicana, the go-to channel for direct access to the most popular news, entertainment and sports programming from the Dominican Republic including exclusive carriage of the Dominican baseball league (baseball coverage 5 days a week during the regular season and playoffs).

“We’re pleased to partner with TLN to make more of our channels available in Canada and provide more top-quality, relevant programming choices to Canada’s burgeoning Hispanic population,” said Alan J. Sokol, president and CEO of Hemisphere Media Group. “We are confident our channels will help drive subscriptions for our Canadian distribution partners looking to attract and retain Hispanic viewers.”

“TLN pioneered and has developed an expertise in the Canadian Hispanic media market over our 30 year history,” states TLN President Aldo Di Felice.  “The introduction of these TV channels further solidifies our ongoing commitment to serving the needs and interests of Canada’s Spanish speaking market which has grown into the leading foreign language community in the country.”  

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January 20, 2015

CEOs and EMTs Return to The Comedy Network in the Season 2 Premieres of GROUND FLOOR and SIRENS

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TORONTO (January 20, 2015) – Workplace hijinks continue on The Comedy Network this winter with the return of fan-favourites GROUND FLOOR and SIRENS. It all begins Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT with the Season 2 premiere of romantic comedy GROUND FLOOR, following the ups and downs of an inter-office relationship between hot-shot money manager Brody (Skylar Astin, Pitch Perfect) and maintenance department head Jenny (Briga Heelan, COUGAR TOWN). Season 2 of SIRENS premieres Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT with the return of Chicago’s finest EMT trio Johnny (Michael Mosley, LONGMIRE), Hank (Kevin Daniels, MODERN FAMILY), and Brian (Kevin Bigley, BONES).

The return of the 10-episode, half-hour series GROUND FLOOR sees Brody (Astin) attempt to get back in the good graces of Mansfield (John C. McGinley, SCRUBS), and regain his place on top of the corporate ladder. Season 1 of GROUND FLOOR amassed a loyal following, reaching 1.8 million viewers in its first season. The show increased Comedy’s audience in the timeslot by 44% throughout its run.

From Executive Producers Denis Leary (RESCUE ME) and Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers), the 10-episode, half-hour comedy SIRENS shows the loveable, self-destructive emergency medical technicians who excel at their profession, but struggle with their own personal endeavours. SIRENS was the #1 new series on Comedy, increasing audience in its timeslot by a whopping 73%. Throughout its run, it reached 499,000 viewers each week, and a total of 2.7 million viewers.

In the Season 2 premiere of GROUND FLOOR, “Unforgiven,” (Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT), when Brody and Jenny return from Paris, Brody has to face the music for abandoning Mansfield, and Jenny has to deal with the fact that a spurned Harvard has fired almost everyone on the ground floor. Getting back in Mansfield's good books will be harder than Brody ever imagined, especially now that the number smart (but people challenged) Lindsay has already taken his place.

In the Season 2 premiere of SIRENS, “Superdick,” (Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT), Johnny finds a perfect apartment to share with Theresa (Jessica McNamee, PACKED TO THE RAFTERS) thanks to a landlord with a nut allergy. Meanwhile, Brian struggles with his platonic love affair with Voodoo (Kelly O’Sullivan, BATTLEGROUND), Billy (Josh Segarra, CHICAGO P.D.) begins dating Theresa's sister, and Hank wonders if he'll ever find love.

Source: Numeris, Ground Floor: 11/14/2014 to 2/6/2014, Sirens: 3/13/2014 to 5/15/2014, P2+, Timeslot audience comparisons based on Thursday 10:30 p.m. in same weeks last year

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January 20, 2015

Sportsnet Bolsters TV and Radio Lineup

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- Tim & Sid Moving to TV; New Morning Show, Dean Blundell & Co., to Debut on Sportsnet 590 The FAN -

TORONTO (January 20, 2015) Sportsnet today announced exciting additions to its radio and TV lineups beginning this spring, as Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro –co-hosts of the immensely popular sports-talk radio show Tim & Sid – will be moving to television, while the new radio morning show Dean Blundell & Co. will be debuting on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Tim & Sid’s move to television will be headlined by a new show, airing weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, starting July 1.  Details of the new show will be announced in the coming months.  The duo, whose last radio show airs March 27, will make special appearances on other Sportsnet programming throughout the spring.

“Tim & Sid are tremendous stars - they’ve revolutionized sports talk radio with their innovative format and infectious personalities,” said Scott Moore, President, Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers.  “This is the natural next step for them, and it increases our television offering by creating a new type of late afternoon sports program. I can’t wait to see what they do.”

On the radio side, Dean Blundell joins Sportsnet 590 The FAN to co-host the new morning show, Dean Blundell & Co., alongside Andrew Walker. Dean Blundell & Co. debuts on March 2, and will air weekdays from 5:30 to 9 a.m. ET. Greg Brady, co-host of the current morning show Brady & Walker, will take over the 1 to 4 p.m. ET timeslot previously hosted by Tim & Sid, starting March 30.

“Sportsnet 590 The FAN is the number one sports radio station in Toronto,” said Moore. “With the addition of a big talent in Dean Blundell to host our morning show, a ratings winner in Greg Brady taking over early afternoons, all capped off in the evenings with Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown – the top sports radio show in the country – we’re well positioned to continue to dominate in this market.”

Starting this spring, the new weekday lineup for Sportsnet 590 The FAN is as follows:

5:30 – 9 a.m. ET – Dean Blundell & Co.
9 a.m. – Noon ET – The Jeff Blair Show
Noon – 1 p.m. ET – Hockey Central @ Noon
1 – 4 p.m. ET – Greg Brady
4 – 7 p.m. ET – Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown

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January 20, 2015

Comedy Central Announces Justin Bieber as Headliner for Next Comedy Central Roast

Comedy Central announced earlier this morning that Canadian pop megastar Justin Bieber is the next “roastee” on the chopping block. Set to air on The Comedy Network in Canada, the antics of the highly publicized singer-songwriter are sure to go up in flames in THE ROAST OF JUSTIN BIEBER. Tape and airdate to be announced shortly.

Bieber took to his Twitter account to express his excitement about the #BieberRoast: “@justinbieber For years I have wanted Comedy Central to roast me. They said only if I provided them w/ more material so for a year now I have worked hard”

Additional information, including broadcast date and roasters to be announced. 

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January 20, 2015

marblemedia CONTINUES ITS EXPANSION BY WELCOMING SEAN CONNOLLY AS VICE PRESIDENT, PRIMETIME UNSCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT

Toronto, Canada (January 20, 2015) - Award-winning content creation company marblemedia has hired former Our House Media executive Sean Connolly, in the newly created role of Vice President, Primetime Unscripted Development as part of the company’s ongoing expansion into primetime.

Reporting to Co-CEO and Executive Producer Matt Hornburg, Sean is charged with building the company’s slate of unscripted projects, originating ideas in-house as well as fostering key creative relationships with producers, international format holders and broadcasters in Canada, the U.S. and U.K.

“Sean brings a wealth of expertise with over a decade of experience at some of the industry’s top indie companies,” said Matt Hornburg, Co-CEO and Executive Producer, marblemedia. “Sean is a passionate storyteller and a tremendous collaborator. He is a terrific addition to our team and will further fuel the company’s growth.” 

Sean has held various executive roles at a number of notable companies including Red Apple Entertainment, Proper Television and his own indie Gorilla Media, where he created the international format Make The Politician Work (CBC), which was a ratings hit in New Zealand. He also has an extensive credit list with titles including Junk Raiders, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, Love Hunters and many more.

Sean will be joining the marblemedia team at the end of January for the Realscreen Summit, where they will be actively looking for new development opportunities. 

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January 19, 2015

Two Homegrown Heavyweights. One Dramatic Night. Global Premieres Big Brother Canada and Remedy March 23

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TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - From raucous reality to heart-pumping hospital drama, Shaw Media's colossal Canadian originals Big Brother Canada and Remedy are set to premiere Monday, March 23 at 8pm and 9pm ET/PT on Global.

"Viewers are thirsty for 'watercooler' moments and engaging, edge-of-your-seat content, and our homegrown hits deliver just that," said Christine Shipton, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media. "With Big Brother Canada and Remedy, viewers are in for must-see drama on-screen, interactive and engaging second screen experiences, and non-stop thrills."

Following two seasons, and five Canadian Screen Awards nominations, Big Brother Canada's third run will be its biggest and boldest yet, with 25 hours of non-stop drama broadcast nationally each week.

Big Brother Canada's rousing reality schedule is as follows:

The series airs Mondays at 8pm ET/PT, Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT, and Sundays at 7pm ET/PT on Global.

The Big Brother Canada Side Show returns for its second season in a new, one-hour format Thursdays at 10pm ET/PT beginning March 26 on Slice.

Big Brother Canada After Dark returns Monday through Sunday from 3am to 6am ET/PT beginning March 26 on Slice.

Online, the show's popular live feeds, which streamed over 46.5 million minutes* of content last season, return free-of-charge on www.BigBrotherCanada.ca.

Following a coast-to-coast casting call, a new group of houseguests will move in to a recently renovated Big Brother Canada house outfitted wall-to-wall with cameras and microphones capturing their every move. The houseguests will compete for a grand prize of $100,000 and a $25,000 gift card from The Brick. Based on Endemol's worldwide hit franchise and in association with Shaw Media, Big Brother Canada is produced by Insight Productions Ltd., an award-winning production company most recently honoured with an Academy Icon Award on its 35th anniversary by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

Boasting an impressive four Canadian Screen Awards nominations including Best Dramatic Series, the second season of Remedy (from creator and showrunner Greg Spottiswood) airs in the coveted 9pm timeslot on Mondays. The much anticipated series return kicks off with each member of the Conner family pulled out of their comfort zones and Bethune Hospital in the midst of a colossal shake up. Griffin Conner (Canadian Screen Awards nominee Dillon Casey) seems to finally be getting his life on track with plans to return to medical school and a serious girlfriend, but his dark and troubled past continues to haunt him. Meanwhile, Allen (Enrico Colantoni) is adjusting following his demotion from Chief-of-Staff, while his daughters – surgeon Mel (Sara Canning) and new mom Sandy (Sarah Allen)– search to balance co-parenting baby Maya with work and play. This proven performer, averaging nearly one million viewers each week in its first season (2+)**, welcomes heartthrob ER resident Dr. Cutler (Niall Matter) who shamelessly ruffles feathers and turns heads throughout the halls of Beth-H. The series also stars Genelle Williams, Patrick McKenna, and Martha Burns.

Starting Wednesday, March 18, viewers get an insider's peek into the downstairs world of Beth-H via GlobalTV.com and the Global Go App when the humourous and temperature-raising weekly web series Remedy: To Catch a Thieftakes viewers to uncharted territory: the hospital supply closet. Supervisor of Transport and Housekeeping Frank Kanaskie tries to find the hospital thief by placing a hidden camera in the closet, and in the process captures the audience's favourite Remedy characters including Griffin, Bruno and Nurse Patel doing some unexpected things. This 5-part mystery event of the season shows the beloved Beth-H staff like never before!

Remedy is produced by Indian Grove Productions in association with Shaw Media with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Red Arrow International holds international distribution rights. Bernie Zukerman (King, This is Wonderland) and Greg Spottiswood (King, Shattered) serve as executive producers with Jan Peter Meyboom (Murdoch Mysteries, Listener) producing.

* Source: LiveStream Platform Data 3/5/14 5/9/14
**Source: Numeris (BBM Canada) PPM Data, Feb 24/14 – Apr 28/14, Total Canada (Ind2+)

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January 19, 2015

Rogers Appoints Dirk Woessner to President, Consumer Business Unit

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TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Rogers President and Chief Executive Officer, Guy Laurence announced today the appointment of Dirk Woessner to President of the Consumer Business Unit, effective April 6, 2015.

Woessner joins Rogers from Deutsche Telekom (DT) in Germany where he is responsible for all of their sales and distribution in Germany with over CDN $25 billion in sales serving more than 39.5 million mobile, 20.8 million fixed line and 12.3 million broadband customers. Since joining DT in 2002, he has held a number of leadership positions with Telekom Deutschland and T-Mobile in the UK and Germany. Prior to DT he worked at McKinsey & Company inMunich and Madrid from 1997 to 2002, consulting to Europe's leading telecommunications companies.   Woessner has extensive experience in the communications industry and leading a winning consumer market strategy.

"Dirk is a seasoned executive who has led large scale operations at one of Europe's leading telecommunications providers," said Guy Laurence.  "He brings international experience in the wireless and wireline businesses, and has proven experience operating in a highly competitive and complex environment. Dirk's drive to win, decisiveness and operational savvy make him an excellent addition to the senior team."

As President of the Consumer Business Unit, Woessner will be responsible for delivering the company's Consumer business strategy, including product development, sales channel operations, pricing and customer base management. Woessner will report to CEO Guy Laurence and be a member of the Executive team.

"I joined Rogers because of its impressive mix and breadth of products, services and networks, its focus on innovation and commitment to win with the Rogers 3.0 strategy," said Dirk Woessner. "The Canadian consumer communications market continues to mature and I see a significant opportunity to leverage my experience fromEurope working with the Rogers team to build differentiation and deliver more value for Rogers customers."

Woessner has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Humboldt-Universität in Berlin and a Masters in Chemistry from Technische Universität in Munich. Woessner will succeed Rob Bruce, who announced his plan to leave Rogers after more than a decade with the company.

"Rob has made a number of significant contributions to Rogers over the past 14 years and was instrumental in the growth of our wireless business," said Laurence. "I'd personally like to thank Rob for his support and wish him the very best in his next role." 

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