Alliance Atlantis

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Coordinates: 43°40′11.47″N79°23′7.92″W / 43.6698528°N 79.3855333°W / 43.6698528; -79.3855333


Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.
Type Public
Founded1998;23 years ago (1998)
Defunct2008;13 years ago (2008)
Headquarters121 Bloor Street East, ,
Subsidiaries Alliance Atlantis Cinemas

Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. (commonly known as Alliance Atlantis and commonly shortened to simply Alliance or Atlantis and formerly traded as TSX:AAC) was a Canadian media company that operated primarily as a specialty service operator in Canada. Alliance Atlantis also had offices in Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Shannon, and Sydney.

Alliance Atlantis was a merger of two companies founded in 1978 as Atlantis Communications and in 1985 as Alliance Communications . Both companies merged in 1998.

The company ceased to exist in 2007 as the broadcasting division acquired by Canwest Global Communications and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs in 2007, with the motion picture division was then spun off and operated independently as Alliance Films, headquartered in Montreal (subsequently sold to Entertainment One), and the international television distribution division is now owned by Echo Bridge Entertainment.

All of the former Alliance Atlantis specialty networks, except for the now-defunct BBC Kids, are now owned by Corus Entertainment. [1] The films division was later acquired by Entertainment One group and folded into eOne on January 9, 2013.

The Alliance name currently survives under the Alliance Cinemas banner now owned by Cineplex Entertainment.

Formation and history

Alliance Atlantis was formed in 1998 from the merger of two former production companies, Alliance Communications (founded in 1985) and Atlantis Communications (founded in 1978). [2] As President and Board Director of the subsequent combined Alliance Atlantis, Lewis Rose was responsible for leading the teams which arranged the merger financing of $545 million and which achieved in excess of $20 million in savings and synergies from the combination of the two companies in the year following the merger. (The merger was also parodied on Made in Canada , when that show's Pyramid Productions merged with a company called Prodigy.)

At the time of the merger, both companies had launched various Canadian specialty television services; in 1995, Alliance launched Showcase Television while Atlantis launched Life Network (which has since been renamed "Slice"); in fall 1997 the companies launched History Television and HGTV Canada respectively. Earlier that year, Alliance Atlantis teamed up with Hallmark Cards to create Crayola Kids Adventures, a series of three direct-to-video adaptations of famous children's novels. Atlantis had also been a major investor in YTV in its first few years before selling out to what is now Corus Entertainment.

In 1998, the company purchased 75% of Cineplex Odeon Films. [3]

In 2001, the company purchased Salter Street Films, which produced a number of television shows for both the Canadian and international market. However, soon after the acquisition, Salter Street was disbanded and its active projects were transferred to Alliance Atlantis' own television production/development division.

Citing lower profits, Alliance Atlantis has all but closed its production arm, aside from the highly profitable CSI: Crime Scene Investigation family of series, which it co-produces with CBS Television Studios. It briefly maintained Salter Street's long-running This Hour Has 22 Minutes before transferring the show to the Halifax Film Company, made up of former Salter Street employees.

Its primary business became its ownership of a number of Canadian specialty services, which, in addition to those listed above, now include Food Network, Discovery Health (now FYI Canada), BBC Canada, BBC Kids and more.

In 2007, Alliance Atlantis was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, as published in Maclean's magazine, the only broadcaster to be included on the list. [4]

Sale to CanWest / Goldman Sachs

On December 20, 2006, the company announced that it was "exploring strategic alternatives", effectively putting the company up for sale. Expected bidders included Canwest Global, Corus Entertainment, Astral Media, and Rogers Communications. [5] The rights to CSI were expected to be sold separately, with CBS Paramount Television as the most likely bidder. [6] A similar announcement was made previously regarding the Motion Picture Distribution unit, which is also expected to be sold separately while finding a bidder to acquire most parts of the company.

On January 10, 2007, it was announced that Alliance Atlantis would be acquired by a consortium of Canwest Global and GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs.


Following Canwest seeking creditor protection in late 2009, Shaw Communications subsequently took over most of Alliance Atlantis's former broadcasting assets as of October 27, 2010. after CRTC approval for the sale was announced on October 22. [8] Alliance Atlantis (CW Media) became part of the Shaw Media division. [9] Corus Entertainment acquired Shaw Media on April 1, 2016. [10]

Entertainment One would later acquire Alliance Films on January 9, 2013 and all of their subsidiaries from Goldman Sachs Group, similar to the purchase of Maple Pictures a year prior. [11] [12] On November 20, 2014, Echo Bridge Entertainment sold Alliance Atlantis' children's programs, including the international distribution rights to the Degrassi franchise, to DHX Media while Sony Pictures Television holds syndication rights. [13] eOne in turn was acquired by American toy maker Hasbro in 2019.



Specialty Channels


NOTE: Channels marked in BOLD lettering indicates Alliance Atlantis was the managing partner.


Alliance Atlantis owned a chain of cinemas called Alliance Atlantis Cinemas (now known as Alliance Cinemas). The chain owned movie theatres in British Columbia and Ontario and is based in Toronto.


This division of Alliance Atlantis developed and distributed various television programmes to Canadian, American and International broadcasters. The programs ranged from series, lifestyle and documentaries. Some documentaries were produced through the AAC Fact unit. Children's programs were produced through the AAC Kids unit; most of the AAC Kids library (with some exceptions) is now owned by WildBrain. They include:

AAC Kids

Comedy and Drama Programs

Feature films

Short films

Alliance Films

Alliance Films was a major motion picture distribution/production company which serves Canada, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Formally known as Motion Picture Distribution LP, it was re branded and relaunched in 2007 due to the break-up of its preceding company, Alliance Atlantis, which was sold off piece by piece to Canwest Global, GS Capital Partners, along with several other smaller companies. Alliance Atlantis and Vivafilm home video releases were manufactured and distributed by NBCUniversal's Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Entertainment One (eOne) later acquired Alliance Films on January 9, 2013 for $225 million and merged Alliance Films and all of their subsidiaries under the Entertainment One brand. [14]

Related Research Articles

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Action (Canadian TV channel) Defunct Canadian television network

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Lifetime is a Canadian English language specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment. Based on the American cable network of the same name, Lifetime broadcasts films, dramatic television series, and reality series aimed at women.

Canwest Global Communications Corporation, which operated under the corporate name Canwest, was a major Canadian media conglomerate based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with its head offices at Canwest Place. It held radio, television broadcasting and publishing assets in several countries, primarily in Canada.

Corus Entertainment Canadian media/broadcasting company

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FYI (Canadian TV channel)

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Western International Communications Former Canadian media company

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Food Network (Canadian TV channel)

Food Network, formerly called Food Network Canada, is a Canadian English language specialty channel based on the American cable network of the same name. It airs programming related to food, cooking, cuisine, and the food industry. The Canadian version of Food Network is a joint venture between Corus Entertainment and the American network's parent company Television Food Network, G.P..

History (Canadian TV network)

History is a Canadian English language specialty channel that primarily broadcast programming related to history and historical fiction. It is owned by Corus Entertainment, with the History branding used under a licensing agreement with A+E Networks. The channel operates two time-shifted feeds: East and West. The West Coast feed was launched on September 1, 2006.

Slice (TV channel) TV channel

Slice is a Canadian English language discretionary service channel owned by Corus Entertainment. The channel primarily broadcasts reality shows targeting young adult women, typically dealing in subjects such as fashion and lifestyles.

SériesPlus Canadian French television channel

SériesPlus is a Canadian French language specialty channel devoted to French-language scripted comedy and dramatic programming. The channel is owned by Corus Entertainment.

Showcase (Canadian TV channel) Canadian television channel

Showcase is a Canadian English-language specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment. The channel deals primarily in scripted television series and films and was well known in its early years for featuring unconventional and often risqué programming.

HGTV (Canadian TV channel) Canadian pay TV channel

HGTV is a Canadian English-language Category A cable and satellite specialty channel owned as a joint venture between Corus Entertainment and Discovery Inc.. HGTV broadcasts programs relating to real estate, home and garden design, and renovations.

IFC (Canadian TV channel)

IFC was a Canadian English language specialty channel was owned by Corus Entertainment. The channel broadcast independent films, documentaries, and television series. Its name was licensed from the American company AMC Networks, the owner of IFC. The channel ceased operations on September 30, 2019.

National Geographic is a Canadian English language specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment and National Geographic Channel (U.S.). It features documentary and human interest programming that explores the natural world. The service, like its international counterparts, is based on National Geographic Magazine.

Historia (TV channel) French-Canadian cable channel

Historia is a Canadian discretionary service owned by Corus Entertainment. The network broadcasts French-language programming related to history and historical fiction, and is a sister network to the English-language History; both channels operate as Canadian licencees of the U.S. network History.

Dusk was a Canadian English language specialty channel. Dusk broadcast programming consisting of films, television dramas, and reality TV, and documentary-style television series from the thriller, suspense and supernatural genres.

DIY Network (Canadian TV channel) Canadian pay TV channel

DIY Network is a Canadian pay television channel centred on do it yourself home improvement projects. The channel is a joint venture between Corus Entertainment and Discovery Inc.

Shaw Media

Shaw Media was the television broadcasting division of Shaw Communications. Shaw Media owned the Global Television Network, which broadcasts nationally via 13 television stations, as well as 19 specialty channels including Slice, HGTV Canada, Showcase, Food Network Canada, and History.


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  2. "Atlantis Films | Media Commons" . Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  3. September 18, y Hoffman; 1998. "Odeon operating independently" . Retrieved 2019-08-06.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. "Reasons for Selection, 2007 Canada's Top 100 Employers". Archived from the original on 2012-08-01.
  5. " Business". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on January 9, 2009.
  6. Guider, Elizabeth; Tillson, Tamsen (December 20, 2006). "CBS eyes a 'CSI' buyout". Variety.
  7. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2008-12-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Shaw Communications (press release) (2010-10-22). "SHAW ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF CANWEST BROADCASTING ASSETS EXPECTED TO CLOSE OCTOBER 27, 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  9. "Shaw Communications closes purchase of Canwest TV assets, rebrands as Shaw Media". The Canadian Press (via Winnipeg Free Press). 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2010-10-27.[ dead link ]
  10. "Corus Entertainment Completes Acquisition of Shaw Media". Corus Entertainment. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  11. EOne confirms talks to buy Alliance Films
  12. NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor (2013-01-09). "EOne Completes Alliance Films Acquisition; Victor Loewy, Charles Layton Exit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  13. DHX Media acquires library of children's and family TV content
  14. Tartaglione, Nancy. EOne Completes Alliance Films Acquisition; Victor Loewy, Charles Layton Exit. Deadline Hollywood (January 9, 2012)