CBC to sell specialty channel Bold to Ant Media
Toronto-based media company to buy digital cable channel
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has received approval from the federal government to sell the digital specialty channel Bold.
Blue Ant Media, a privately held media company based in Toronto, will take ownership of the assets after being given the final OK last week. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission had approved the sale in November but it still required cabinet approval.
Bold carries a broad range of different programming that it describes as "focusing on the lives of rural Canadians."
Some of the series that airs on its channel include repeats of Party Down, a comedy about a catering company, and Skins, a dramatic series following a group of British teenagers dealing with a culture of sex, drugs, school and friends.
Blue Ant has said the Bold channel has about 2.6 million subscribers across the country.
The CBC has been looking for ways to cut costs across its operations after the latest federal budget showed the broadcaster would face a $115-million reduction in annual funds, or about 10 per cent less in payments each year.
Last April, the CBC told staff it would cut 650 jobs under a three-year plan and apply for regulatory approval for radio advertising on two of its national music channels.
The broadcaster didn’t tie the sale of Bold to the reduction in funding from the government when it was first announced last summer.
Blue Ant Media owns an array of specialty channels, including Travel+Escape, Bite TV and AUX TV along with four premium, commercial-free channels, Oasis HD, HIFI, eqHD and radX.