Bell Media Inks Content Deal with United Artists Media Group and Highway Entertainment

— October 15, 2014

To tweet this release:

CANNES, France (October 15, 2014) – Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company, announced today from MIPCOM a multi-faceted partnership with United Artists Media Group (a newly formed joint venture among MGM, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and Hearst Entertainment) and Omnicom Canada Corp.’s Highway Entertainment to create new television formats for Canadian and international audiences. As a result of the partnership, pilots for several new formats are currently in development and pre-production at Bell Media, parent company of conventional broadcaster CTV, the leading adapter of formats for the Canadian market. Terms of the deal were not released.

“We are thrilled to partner with Mark Burnett, a pioneer in format television, and United Artists Media Group, along with Canada’s Highway Entertainment,” said Phil King, President – CTV, Sports, and Entertainment Programming, Bell Media. “With enormous pedigree and an incredible track record for hit format creation, we look forward to not only developing content for our own market, but internationally as well.”

“CTV and Omnicom are important strategic partners for United Artists Media Group. CTV’s desire to produce more original content and Highway Entertainment’s ability to come in with funding is something we are really excited about,” said C. Scot Cru, Executive Vice President, International Strategy and Business Development, United Artists Media Group. “Phil and his team are the great collaborators, we’re looking forward to bringing these new shows not only to Canada but distributing them worldwide through our partnership with MGM.”

“Highway Entertainment is in the business of funding great programming,” said Adam Ivers, President and CEO, Highway Entertainment. “Doing so with creative forces like Mark Burnett and Bell Media reinforces the strength of our model and the true spirit of partnership at a time when our industry is looking to innovate.”

CTV has developed and broadcast some of the most successful format adaptations in Canadian history, including THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the most-watched Canadian television program on record, as well as MASTERCHEF CANADA, the #1 new competition series in 2014, and CANADIAN IDOL, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA, and WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, among others.

About Mark Burnett
Mark Burnett, Chief Executive Officer of the United Artists Media Group (an MGM company), is a six-time Emmy Award winner. Burnett has produced more than 2,900 hours of television programming, which regularly airs in more than 70 countries worldwide. The company Burnett leads, United Artist Media Group (UAMG), currently has network series including SURVIVOR (CBS), THE VOICE (NBC), CELEBRITY APPRENTICE (NBC), and SHARK TANK (ABC). Burnett is one of very few producers to have had a renewed series on each of the four major networks and to have multiple series win their time slots on five nights of television in the same week.  

Additionally, Burnett and his wife Roma Downey have produced (under UAMG’s LightWorkers Media banner) the 10-hour miniseries THE BIBLE that premiered on History Channel in March 2013 and the 2014 feature film Son of God (20th Century Fox). They are currently in production on “A.D.” (NBC) and THE DOVEKEEPERS (CBS), both scheduled to premiere in 2015. They are also in pre-production on the feature film Ben Hur with Paramount and MGM, set to be released in 2016.

Mark's television profile includes a strong presence in award show franchises, having produced the MTV MOVIE AWARDS from 2007 to 2011, the VIDEO GAME AWARDS, and the 2011 PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS. Burnett and UAMG are set to produce the 2015 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS, which Burnett has produced since 2010.

Time magazine named Mr. Burnett one of the world's most influential people. He has won BRANDWEEK'S Marketer of the Year Award, The Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the PGA Norman Lear Award and the prestigious ROSE D'OR FRAPA Format Award. Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2010 and was honoured with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. He served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles. Burnett became CEO of United Artists Media Group in 2014.

About United Artists Media Group

United Artists Media Group (UAMG) is a joint venture among MGM, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Hearst Corporation, focused on developing, producing and financing premium content across all platforms, including scripted and non-scripted television programs, motion pictures and digital content.

About Highway Entertainment
Highway Entertainment is a division of Omnicom Canada Corp., part of the Omnicom Media Group. Highway Entertainment was founded in 1996 to create programming opportunities. Highway Entertainment operates in the areas of program development, financing, production and distribution.

About Omnicom Media Group
Omnicom Media Group (OMG) is the media services division of
Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), the leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Omnicom Media Group includes the full service media networks OMD and PHD as well as a number of specialty media communications companies.

About Bell Media
With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada's most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada's most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 9,500 advertising faces in Québec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites, delivers TV Everywhere with its innovative GO video streaming services, including CTV GO, TMN GO, and TSN GO, holds an equity stake in digital startup Hubub, and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit



For more information:

Renee Dupuis, Bell Media, 416.384.3154 or