Blue Ant Media has acquired Sydney, Australia-based RACAT Group

TV/FILM/VIDEO:

Blue Ant Media has acquired Sydney, Australia-based RACAT Group, which includes production houses NHNZ (formerly Natural History New Zealand), Beach House Pictures, Northern Pictures; international children’s nature broadcaster ZooMoo Networks and Runaway Play, a mobile game developer and publisher. Blue Ant is also appointing RACAT consultant Ward Platt to the newly-created role of CEO kids and global networks. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds have announced funding for 18 documentaries under the Theatrical Documentary Program. Of the $2.5M in projects funded, more than half are directed, written and/or produced by women, including Man Machine Poem chronicling the Tragically Hip’s 2016 tour, written and co-directed by Jennifer Baichwal. You can view the full list of projects here.

Le Journal de Montreal reports that following last week’s CRTC policy changes, Séries + has abandoned several French-language projects. The projects were reportedly tabled after a ruling that channel owner Corus Entertainment will no longer be required to invest $1.5 million annually in Quebec productions, which funded series like Plan B, The Cradle of Angels, Sequelles, Sur-Vie and Mirador in recent years. Meantime, NDP MP Pierre Nantel tweeted that he will be calling on the CRTC to explain its policy decisions before a parliamentary committee.

The CRTC will examine whether TV providers are following regulations regarding community channels in October, following apparent non-compliances in various markets by Shaw Cablesystems Limited, Cogeco Connexion Inc., Bragg Communications Inc., carrying on business as Eastlink, Rogers Communications Canada Inc. and Videotron Ltd. The deadline for interventions is June 27.

The CRTC has revoked the broadcasting license for a French-language community television station operated by Diffusion communautaire des Îles inc. in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec. The station ceased operation in Aug. 2015.

Paul Bagnell

BNN (Business News Network)  is now starting its broadcast day an hour earlier at 6 a.m. with an expanded two-hour edition of The Street with Paul Bagnell. The show leads into Business Day and the rest of the regular BNN schedule. BNN.ca and the BNN GO app are being updated with breaking news earlier in the morning, while the BNN Daily Chase newsletter is being sent to subscribers by 7 a.m. ET, a full two hours earlier than before.

A Tribe Called Red

A Tribe Called Red, Grimes, and Shawn Mendes lead the nominations for the 2017 iHeartRadio MMVAs with four each. The awards simulcast on Much, Much.com, CTV, and VRAK on Sunday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET. For the full list of nominees, click here.

Groupe Média TFO was recognized with a 2017 BIG (Business Intelligence Group) Innovation Award, in the Organization category, for its Virtual Universe Lab (LUV). Launched in 2016, the LUV is the first of its kind and only virtual set to use unique video game technology to create educational audiovisual content.

Sportsnet has struck a deal with ESL, the world’s largest esports league, by acquiring the exclusive rights to esportsTV, the first global 24/7 esports television channel. Launching this fall, esportsTV, will be available exclusively in Canada on Sportsnet NOW. In addition, a weekly esports news, highlights and analysis program will air on Sportsnet 360 beginning in July. The agreement makes Rogers the first Canadian telecommunications company to land an exclusive esports content agreement.

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