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DHX gets $158m Family Channel takeover approval

TeletubbiesCanadian regulators have given DHX Media final approval to acquire Family Channel and three Disney-branded networks for C$170 million (US$158 million).

Having gained the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s permission to go ahead with the deal, DHX can now complete the deal with broadcaster Bell Media.

Completion is expected on July 31, giving Teletubbies owner DHX control of Family Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior’s English- and French-language networks.

According to DHX, approval was substantially obtained through a request to permit Family Channel to source up to 40% of its Canadian programming schedule from related companies.

The Competition Bureau had approved the deal in December 2013.

Bell had been forced to put the channels up for sale following the closure of its takeover of Canadian cable rival Astral in 2013. Since March that year, they have been held in a blind trust by French-Canadian businessman Pierre Boivin.

“Family is the number one channel across all kids’ audiences in Canada, and we are delighted that CRTC approval puts us on track to close the acquisition of this preeminent outlet, along with the highly successful Disney XD and the Disney Junior channels,” said Michael Donovan, CEO of DHX Media.