Starting September 1st, international producers and broadcasters eager to coproduce factual fare with Canada’s Alliance Atlantis should turn to Patricia Phillips. To take the reins as senior VP, international coproductions, AAC Fact, Phillips leaves her post as president of Canadian prodco Great North Productions (the remaining 61% of which was acquired by Alliance Atlantis in June 2000 for CDN$6.1 million) – a position she has held for the last three years. Laurie McInnes will take over as VP and GM of Great North Productions, in addition to her duties as head of business affairs for AAC Fact.
Phillips revealed she will take an office under Alliance Atlantis’ roof on the same day the company announced record first quarter operating results (first quarter ended June 30). Revenue is reported to be up 63.6%, with first quarter figures coming in at CDN$172.8 million (US$112.3 million) compared to CDN$105.6 million (US$68.6 million) in the previous year. The increase is attributed in part to continued growth in subscriber and advertising revenue for the Broadcast Group’s operating channels, which count Showcase, Life Network, History Television, HGTV and Food Network Canada among them. Revenues for this group rose 21.3% from CDN$26.7 million (US$17.4 million) to CDN$32.4 million (US$21.1 million). French language channels Series+ and Historia also realized higher revenues.
Growth is also credited to increased production deliveries within Alliance Atlantis’ Television Group. Revenue was CDN$62 million (US$40.3 million) – an increase of 62.3% – with 34.5 production hours delivered as compared to 19.5 last year. For AAC Fact specifically, 9.5 production hours have been delivered compared to one last year. In other words, 5% of the current year’s slate.
Additionally, Alliance Atlantis’ first quarter saw carriage agreements inked for seven new digital channels scheduled to launch in the fall. Among these are Discovery Health Channel Canada, National Geographic Channel, BBC Canada and BBC Kids.