Canada

The Rapid Expansion of CanWest Global

The CanWest Global Communications Corp. began in the 1970s with CKND-TV in Winnipeg. But it's not just a small television station anymore.

CanWest Global is now an international company with interests in radio, new media, television and film production and distribution, specialty TV, and newspapers.

Here are some important events in the company's history:

The 1970s

Canadian lawyer and businessperson I.H. Asper applies to add a new television station in Winnipeg. The application is approved in 1974. The following year, CKND-TV goes on the air.

Asper then founds the CanWest Capital Corp. and looks to Toronto where the newly-licensed Global Television, providing programming for CKND-TV, is bordering bankruptcy. Asper solves Global's financial woes and buys up the company.

CanWest enters the pay-TV market, incorporating Universal Subscription Television and establishing operations in the U.S.

The 1980s

CanWest expands to include stations in Vancouver, Regina and Saskatoon. It ends the decade buying up the rest of Global Television.

The early 1990s

CanWest Global shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In 1991, the company reaches beyond North America for the first time, investing in TV3 New Zealand, and later, Network TEN Australia. CanWest Global also launches TV4 New Zealand.

Expansion in Canada continues with the purchase of MITV in Halifax and Saint John and the addition of five new rebroadcasters in Ontario.

Controlling interest in CKMI-TV in Quebec City is also bought.

The late 1990s

By 1995, the market value of CanWest Global hits $1 billion. In 1996, shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

CanWest Global starts buying into Western International Communications, WIC. A station in Quebec is added to the roster.

CanWest Global enters the radio business, buying 'More FM' in New Zealand and enters the specialty cable market by launching 'Prime TV' in Canada.

Entering the film and television production and distribution business, CanWest buys the Toronto production company Fireworks Entertainment Inc. Later, it creates Fireworks Entertainment International, a television-programming distributor headquartered in London, England.

CanWest Global buys into Ulster Television in Northern Ireland and TV3 Ireland.

The buying spree continues with the purchase of more than 1 million shares of Alliance Atlantis Communications, 20 per cent of that company's voting interest.

Interactive Media division launched. Investment put into in Internet Broadcasting Systems and LifeServ Corp., two U.S.-based Internet content providers, and Medbroadcast Corp., a Canadian company that provides health information. Globaltv.com is launched.

In 2000

CanWest Global buys the conventional television assets of WIC. Three stations in Alberta are added, completing the new national Global Television Network that stretches across the country.

Under the WIC deal, CanWest Global also obtains the independent stations CHCH in Hamilton, CHEK in Victoria and BCTV in Vancouver, the CBC affiliates CHBC Kelowna and CKRD Red Deer, and a stake in ROBTV.

CanWest Global also buys Allarcom Studios, Apple Box Productions and StudioPost Film Labs from WIC. In addition, it purchases 5.6 million shares in CTV and 70 per cent of RadioWorks New Zealand, which operates four national radio networks and 27 local stations.

July 31, 2000

CanWest Global enters the newspaper business, signing a $3.5 billion deal with Hollinger Inc. Under the deal CanWest will obtain 13 major daily newspapers, 136 smaller papers and 85 trade publications.

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