Disney/ABC TV Group to Launch ABC Spark Channel in Canada

Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) and Corus Entertainment today announced that they have entered into an expansive licensing agreement to launch ABC Spark, a dedicated millennial-focused channel and multi-platform offering, in Canada in Spring 2012. The channel will build on the foundation that DATG has created with ABC Family, its incredibly successful millennial brand in the U.S. This deal marks the first time in history that these two companies have entered into this type of licensing agreement for a 24-hour channel.

ABC Spark will be a destination for Canada’s young adult millennial viewers, telling stories that matter most to this audience while utilizing the technology millennials rely on to connect to their world in a corresponding multi-platform offering. The agreement was brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television with Corus Entertainment.

“We are very pleased to work with Corus in bringing ABC Family’s well-known, popular programming into the Canadian marketplace,” commented Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

“We are thrilled to partner with Disney/ABC Television Group and to announce the launch of ABC Spark in Canada, a network with values and attributes that align with our own,” said Doug Murphy, president, Corus Television. “Bridging the gap between our kids and women’s networks, ABC Spark will be a national service with compelling programming directed at the fast-expanding millennial generation.”

ABC Family is a top performing destination for millennials in the U.S., delivering seven consecutive years of stellar growth. ABC Family has also become an emerging global brand though the successful sale of many of its key programs to more than 200 territories around the world. Its newest series, “Switched at Birth,” launched as the network’s No. 1 series debut of all time in key demos this past summer, and ranked as the top rated new series across all basic cable in those demos as well. Other groundbreaking original programming included in the deal are “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Make It or Break It,” “Melissa & Joey” and upcoming series “Jane By Design.”

Michael Riley, president, ABC Family, added: “As the leader in millennial programming, we’re thrilled to join Corus in bringing our successful series and resonant millennial brand to Canada. We’re confident that Canadian viewers will respond passionately to shows like ‘Switched at Birth,’ ‘The Lying Game’ and ‘Secret Life of the American Teenager’ in this new branded environment, just as viewers have in the U.S. and around the world.”

Comprising more than 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, millennials are an optimistic and goal-oriented generation. They represent the largest demographic bubble in both U.S. and Canadian history. Millennials constitute over 85 million 15 to 34 year-olds in the U.S. In Canada there are nearly 10 million millennials, constituting more than 30% of the current population.

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