Corus invests $6 million in Movie Central


Corus Entertainment plans to invest over $6 million on the launch of Movie Central, Western Canada's new pay-TV movie service which will replace the two existing services, Superchannel and MovieMax! on April 1, 2001.

The multi-million dollar investment in new programming and a complete brand overhaul of the service was timed with the launch of The Sopranos, which is already a runaway hit in Eastern Canada and the U.S. The company has settled a long-standing court case between the former pay-TV channels and HBO (launched when the former WIC owned the pay services), clearing the western pay service to carry HBO programming, which it never has before.

The re-branding, which was done entirely in-house, was done to ensure growth and propel the digital rollout to cable and satellite customers says Bruce Nelson, general manager and vice-president of Movie Central. "By investing heavily in programming and branding we plan to drive subscriber numbers and have a substantial impact on the growth of digital television in Western Canada."

The overall relaunch consists of expanding the existing pay-TV service from two channels to six, distinct genre-based channels which will create new branding and positioning for the service in effect rebuilding it from the ground up. A team at Corus-owned YTV, which has won awards for its branding efforts, created the new logos and branding.

As well, In addition, Corus is doubling the number of movies currently scheduled each month and spending an additional $1.5 million on new programming this year, including The Sopranos. "Our research confirmed that consumers want more movies, and they want
their movies presented in genre-based channels," says Susan Schaefer, acting v-p, marketing.

The new Movie Central channels include: Movie Central (recent releases, blockbusters and exclusives); Adrenaline Drive (action and adventure); Shadow Lane (mystery and suspense); Heartland Road (romantic/dramatic); Encore Avenue (new and old classics) and Comic Strip (comedies).

The company is also launching a new web site (, is redesigning Prime Time magazine, the service's monthly TV guide for customers and will soon launch a new radio and print ad campaign.

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