On April 12th 2000, Astral Networks and Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting acquired 50%-50% ownership and control of the assets of the French language specialty channels Series+ (formerly Canal Fiction) and Historia (formerly Canal Histoire). The original licences for these channels had been granted to Alliance and its then partner Premier Choix on May 21st 1999. Canal Fiction was to be a service devoted to ‘great drama programs of yesterday and today’, while Canal Histoire was to be ‘a service devoted to history and recent events.’
Canal Histoire, now known as Historia, was launched on January 31st 2000.
On January 18th 2008, CanWest acquired Atlantis, and with it 50% of Historia and Series +. On October 10th 2010, Shaw Media acquired CanWest, and with it the 50% interests in Historia and Series+. On March 4th 2013, Corus Entertainment announced that, as an adjunct to a proposed deal for BCE to acquire Astral, Corus would acquire ownership of both Historia and Series + from Bell and Shaw.
On June 27, 2013, the CRTC approved the application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc., including Historia and Series +.
It was a condition of the approval that BCE must divest itself of ownership of several television and radio programming undertakings, including Historia and Series +. Pending eventual sale, the Commission directed BCE Inc. to transfer the interim management and control of Historia and Series + to a trustee pursuant to the terms of the voting trust agreement addressed in a letter of approval issued 27 June 2013, by no later than 29 July 2013.
On December 20th 2013, the CRTC approved, subject to certain modifications and conditions, three applications by Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus), on its behalf and on behalf of 8504644 Canada Inc. and 8504652 Canada Inc., for authority to acquire from Shaw Media Inc. and 8504610 Canada Inc., partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Historia & Séries+ s.e.n.c., the assets of the French-language specialty Category A services Historia and Séries+ and to change the effective control so that it would be exercised by Corus.
On October 21st, Corus Media and A+E Networks announced that they had reached an agreement which would bring content and branding from HISTORY to Historia in Quebec.
Slated to roll out in the winter of 2014, Historia would carry a number of global hit franchises from the U.S. HISTORY catalogue such as Mountain Men, Appalachian Outlaws, Down East Dickering and No Man’s Land. Historia was broadcasting a number of series from the History catalogue, including Pawn Stars, American Pickers, American Restoration and Counting Cars. Historia would also incorporate the iconic gold HISTORY ‘H’ into its logo.
“We’re delighted to partner with one of the biggest players in the television business,” said Corus President Mario Cecchini. “This deal will enrich our broadcasting package with shows produced by a world-renowned brand.”
Written by Pip Wedge – July, 2013
Start Year: 2000