Smithsonian Networks And Blue Ant Media Partner To Launch Smithsonian Channel™ In Canada This Fall

Agreement Marks First International Expansion For Smithsonian Channel

New Network To Feature Smithsonian Channel's Critically-Acclaimed and Award-Winning Programming

NEW YORK AND TORONTO, July 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, and Blue Ant Media are partnering to launch Smithsonian Channel in Canada this fall. This marks Smithsonian Channel's first expansion into an international market. The HD channel will feature an extensive assortment of exclusive content for broadcast, digital and mobile platforms. The announcement was made today by Michael MacMillan, CEO Blue Ant Media and Tom Hayden, President of Smithsonian Channel.

Smithsonian Channel "brings amazing to life" with award-winning programming - largely inspired by the assets of the world's largest museum complex - that entertains, educates and inspires. Program genres include air and space, science and nature, pop culture and history. Smithsonian Channel travels beyond the ordinary to reveal a vast scope of exciting stories and experiences to fuel the curiosity in all of us.

"Our agreement with Smithsonian Channel allows one of the most unique U.S. television networks to provide the Canadian market with programming that we feel our viewers will really respond to," said MacMillan. "This channel will be a significant addition to our premium high definition specialty television services as we continue to build a strong, independent media company."

"Partnering with Blue Ant Media to bring the Smithsonian Channel to Canada is something we could not be more pleased with," said Hayden. "We are excited to bring our entertaining brand of storytelling to a new international audience."

"Smithsonian Channel is one of the fastest growing channels in America and we anticipate considerable interest for this brand in the Canadian market," said Raja Khanna, CEO Television and Digital, Blue Ant Media.  "Audiences can expect to have Smithsonian Channel's distinct, quality programming across all platforms when we launch this fall."

"Smithsonian Channel will carry a robust selection of exclusive titles with new content being added regularly to provide our viewers with the very best programming," said Vanessa Case, EVP Programming, Blue Ant Media. "We intend on making this a uniquely Canadian offering by building on the outstanding programming provided by our partner."

Premium specialty channel eqhd will rebrand to Smithsonian Channel this fall and will be available throughout Canada through all major distribution partners.  The Canadian channel will also make mobile applications available to Canadians.  Smithsonian Channel's mobile apps in the US for iOS and Android platforms have been downloaded over 1 million times. Smithsonian Channel in Canada will complement the Blue Ant Media premium, commercial-free brands Oasis HD, HIFI and radX.

Blue Ant Media is a privately held integrated Canadian media company that creates and distributes great content in lifestyle, travel, documentary, music and entertainment categories. The company owns specialty channels Bold, Travel+Escape, Bite TV, and AUX TV along with four premium, commercial-free channels Oasis HD, HIFI, eqhd, radX and their companion websites. Blue Ant Media's digital publishing division produces daily content for its web and mobile sites, AUX Magazine, a monthly music tablet magazine and recently launched Travel+Escape Magazine, a monthly travel tablet magazine. Producing over 400 hours of original content, Blue Ant Media develops both in house programming and co-productions with international partners. Blue Ant recently acquired Cottage Life Media, publishers of Cottage Life, Cottage, and Outdoor Canada and producers of the Spring & Fall Cottage Life consumer shows. Cottage Life, a national television channel will be launching this fall.  Blue Ant Media was named Marketing Magazine's 2012 Media Player of the YearBlueAntMedia.ca  Follow us on: Twitter / Linked in

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL
Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution.  Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the world's largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America's historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.

SOURCE: Blue Ant Media

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Mason
 Director Marketing & Communications
Blue Ant Media
416-456-1042

Jennifer.mason@blueantmedia.ca

Josh Gross Director, Corporate Communications
Smithsonian Networks
212-708-1578
j.gross@smithsoniannetworks.com

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Blue Ant Media

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