Smithsonian Channel to launch in Canada

The partnership between Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks marks the first expansion into an international market for the U.S. channel. (Pictured: Smithsonian Channel show Kingfisher)
July 15, 2013

Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks – a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution – are partnering to launch Smithsonian Channel in Canada this fall.

The deal, announced by Blue Ant Media CEO Michael MacMillan and Smithsonian Channel president Tom Hayden today (July 15), marks the channel’s first expansion into an international market.

Blue Ant’s channel eqHD will rebrand as Smithsonian Channel in the fall, and will be available throughout Canada through major TV distribution partners.

The Canadian channel will also produce digital content and mobile apps for Canadian audiences.

“Our agreement with Smithsonian Channel allows one of the most unique U.S. television networks to provide the Canadian market with programming that we feel our viewers will really respond to. This channel will be a significant addition to our premium high definition specialty television services as we continue to build a strong, independent media company,” said MacMillan in a statement.

“Partnering with Blue Ant Media to bring Smithsonian Channel to Canada is something we could not be more pleased with. We are excited to bring our entertaining brand of storytelling to a new international audience,” Hayden added in his own statement.

Smithsonian Channel programming genres include air and space, science and nature, pop culture and history, “inspired by the assets of the world’s largest museum complex.”

Blue Ant Media EVP of programming Vanessa Case added in a statement that the channel will carry a selection of exclusive titles and new content.

“We intend on making this a uniquely Canadian offering by building on the outstanding programming provided by our partner,” she said.

The HD channel will remain commercial-free, as with Blue Ant’s other premium HD channels Oasis HD, HIFI and radX, however there will be opportunities to integrate advertisers through sponsorship and content marketing initiatives, a Blue Ant Media spokesperson told realscreen‘s sister publication Playback.

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