Fox Strikes TV Licensing, Distribution Pact with Canada’s Bell Media

Fox Entertainment Global, the nascent international distribution arm of the U.S. network, has unveiled a licensing and distribution deal with Canada’s Bell Media.

The Canadian company and Fox will partner on local originals for Bell Media’s CTV network and Crave streaming platform that in turn will land on the Fox network in the U.S. market. Fox Entertainment Global, which oversees all international distribution and production partnerships at Fox Entertainment and was launched a year ago, will handle global distribution for the Canadian originals.

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The deal covers English-language scripted drama and comedies, unscripted reality competition series and docuseries. The partnership will see joint series produced in Canada by Neshama Entertainment, which is behind the Hallmark original series The Way Home and with whom Fox Entertainment Global unveiled a separate distribution agreement in July 2019.

The licensing and distribution pact will allow Fox and Bell Media to share the costs and risks on TV series to be shot in Canada and that tap local tax credits and currency savings. The series will then be destined for linear TV and streaming platforms on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.

“Working alongside our production partners we look forward to continuing to expand our original content offering, working with Canadian creators and filming in this country, with guaranteed international exposure on Fox and beyond,” Justin Stockman, vp of content development and programming at Bell Media, said in a statement.

Fox can also tap an expanding pool of performers and creators in front and behind the camera in Canada and assure itself of a larger supply of international TV content in the event of future Hollywood production shutdowns.

“The high-level of world-class talent in Canada makes this pact even more attractive, and Neshama and Bell shepherding these projects through the country’s proven production community allows Canadian content to have scale both locally and globally,” Michael Thorn, president, scripted programming, at Fox Entertainment, added in his own statement about the benefits of the pact.

Fox also owns the ad-backed streaming service Tubi, which has entered an increasingly crowded Canadian streaming TV space where Bell Media and other local media players face increasing competition from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other U.S. digital services.

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