DHX Media, stylized as dhx media, is a Canadian media production, distribution and broadcasting company. Formed in 2006 by the merger of Decode Entertainment and the Halifax Film Company, the company is the largest prominent producer and international distributor of children's television in the world.
After many acquisitions, DHX's library grew to include those of Cookie Jar Entertainment (formerly known as Cinar and in turn also consists of the libraries of DIC Entertainment, Coliseum and FilmFair), Epitome Pictures, Ragdoll Productions, Studio B Productions, WildBrain, Nerd Corps Entertainment, Colossal Pictures and Iconix Brand Group along with those of their two predecessors Decode Entertainment and Halifax Film Company, thus making DHX Media is the largest independent owner of children's television programming in the industry with 13,000 half hour episodes.
In 2013, DHX entered the broadcasting industry with its acquisition of the Canadian specialty television channel Family Channel, and its three spin-off services, from Astral Media as part of Astral's acquisition by Bell Media.
||Television production, broadcasting
||Merged with Halifax Film Company and rebranded as DHX Studios Toronto
Decode Entertainment was established 1997 by Steven DeNure, Neil Court and John Delmage. This company produced shows such as Radio Free Roscoe, Weird-Oh's, Naturally, Sadie, The Zack Files, Angela Anaconda, Undergrads, The Hoobs, Chop Socky Chooks, Waybuloo, Bromwell High, Planet Sketch, The Adrenaline Project, Be the Creature, The Blobheads, Grandpa in My Pocket, Dragon Tales, How to Be Indie, The Latest Buzz, Our Hero, That's So Weird!, Clang Invasion, Delilah and Julius, Dudson's Modern Tales, Freaky Stories, Girlstuff/Boystuff,Junior Eurovision, Kid vs. Kat, King, Rastamouse, Naughty Naughty Pets, Olliver's Adventures, Rainbow Fish,The Side Show Christmas, Urban Vermin, Watership Down, Little Ninjas Karate, What About Mimi?, Animal Mechanicals, Bo on the Go!, Dirtgirlworld, Franny's Feet, The Mighty Jungle, Poko, Poppets Town, The Save-Ums and Plumo's Mysteries. Since Then, the company has grown to become one of the largest and most important international suppliers of television and interactive programming for children and youth.
Under their current name. DHX Toronto currently co-produce Super Why! with New York City-based Out of the Blue Enterprises for PBS Kids in the USA and Kids' CBC in Canada. They also currently co-produce Emma's Theatre for Disney Junior in the USA and Kids' CBC in Canada.
Halifax Film Company
Halifax Film Company
||Television production, broadcasting
||Merged with Decode Entertainment and rebranded as DHX Studios Halifax
Halifax Film Company was established by former Salter Street Films executives Michael Donovan and Charles Bishop in May 2004. The company produced television shows such as the satirical comedy This Hour Has 22 Minutes (begun as a Salter Street production); children's stop-motion series such as Poko and Lunar Jim; CGI productions such as Bo on the Go!, The Mighty Jungle and Animal Mechanicals; as well as the dramas The Guard and North/South.
As DHX Media
In 2006, Decode Entertainment and Halifax Film Company merged to form a public company known as DHX Media; the name derives from the combination of the names Decode and Halifax from the 2006 merger between Decode Entertainment and Halifax Film Company. Studio B Productions was acquired by and became a subsidiary of DHX Media on December 4, 2007.
A reverse merger deal with Entertainment One was considered in 2008, but was dropped. On March 25, 2008, DHX Media acquired Bulldog Interactive Fitness. On September 8, 2010, all related subsidiaries and divisions were rebranded under the label DHX Media. On September 14, 2010, DHX Media acquired WildBrain.
On August 20, 2012, it was announced that DHX Media would acquire Cookie Jar for $111 million, a deal which would make DHX the world's largest independent owner of children's television programming. The acquisition of Cookie Jar Group by DHX Media closed on October 22, 2012.
In May 2013, DHX introduced three premium, subscription-based channels on YouTube; DHX Junior, DHX Kids, and DHX Retro. DHX executive Michael Hirsh explained that the offerings were meant to leverage the company's library and the growth of digital distribution in the children's television market. DHX was among the first 30 content partners for YouTube's premium channel platform.
On September 16, 2013, DHX acquired Ragdoll Worldwide, a British production company best known for producing the Teletubbies franchise, for $27.7 million.
Expansion into broadcasting, subsequent partnerships
On November 28, 2013, DHX announced that it would acquire four children's specialty television channels from the former Astral Media for $170 million, consisting of Family Channel, Disney Junior (English), Disney Junior (French), and Disney XD. The networks were being sold as a condition of Bell Media's 2013 acquisition of the remainder of Astral Media's assets; its purchase of the networks marked DHX's first foray into television broadcasting. The deal was approved by the CRTC on July 24, 2014, and closed on July 31, 2014. The channels were incorporated into a new unit, DHX Television.
In early 2014, DHX Media acquired Epitome Pictures, the producers of Degrassi, but Epitome did not own international distribution rights. In November, DHX purchased the rights to 117 titles from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, the US distributor that owned the international distribution rights to Degrassi, Instant Star and The L.A. Complex, two other Epitome productions plus 117 children’s and family series consisting of about 1,200 half-hours and another 34 series' distribution rights. Other shows in the purchase included Lunar Jim, Beast Wars: Transformers and Emily of New Moon. Nerd Corps Entertainment, a Canadian animation studio founded by former Mainframe Entertainment producers Asaph Fipke and Chuck Johnson, also the makers of Slugterra, was acquired by DHX Media on December 24.
In April 2015, Corus Entertainment announced that it had acquired Canadian rights to the program library of Disney Channel and its associated brands as part of a deal with the Disney–ABC Television Group; DHX's existing deal with Disney, which covered programming across the four DHX Television services, ended in January 2016. DHX's Disney-branded channels were re-branded as Family Jr., Family Chrgd, and Télémagino.
In August 2015, DHX reached an output deal with AwesomenessTV; the deal includes rights to its programming for Family Channel, along with plans to co-develop new, original content for DHX to distribute and merchandise internationally. In December 2015, DHX reached an output deal with DreamWorks Animation, which included Canadian rights to its original animated television series, and a pact to co-produce 130 episodes of animated programming for the Family networks, with DHX handling Canadian distribution and DreamWorks handling international distribution. Also that month, DHX established a development deal with Mattel to co-develop and handle global sales for content in the Little People and Polly Pocket, franchises, as well as HiT Entertainment properties owned by them such as the Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, franchises, including television and digital video programming.
On September 21, 2016, DHX cut a deal with Air Bud Entertainment (founded by Robert Vince) distribute the Air Bud library of 15 films, including the newest Air Bud production Pup Star.
On May 10, 2017, DHX announced that it had acquired the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group for $345 million. The purchase gave DHX rights to the Strawberry Shortcake franchise and, more prominently, an 80% majority stake in Peanuts Worldwide.
On October 2, 2017, the company announced that it was evaluating strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, following a strategic review of its finances. DHX's debt had increased following the Iconix acquisition, and the company reported a net loss of $18.3 million during its fiscal fourth quarter.
DHX Media's businesses are divided into four areas:
- DHX Brands: The division handles brand development, management and licensing, with offices in Toronto, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and New York. As a part of the business, DHX Media maintains Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG), a licensing agency headquartered in London, United Kingdom, which became DHX's subsidiary in the process of the acquisition of Cookie Jar Entertainment, as well as a 80% stake in Peanuts Worldwide, LLC.
- DHX Distribution: DHX media distributes television shows and specials within their library to various media platforms (including television and online), territory-by-territory. The company maintains distribution offices in Toronto, Beijing, Los Angeles and Paris, and a support team in Toronto.
- DHX Television: DHX Media operates three English language television channels (Family Channel, Family Chrgd and Family Jr.) and one French language channel (Télémagino) in Canada. Previously under Astral Media, DHX purchased the channels in 2013 as a result of Bell Media's acquisition of Astral in the same year.
- DHX Studios: DHX Media maintains four production studios in three locations within Canada: one (the former Halifax Film Company) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, another one (the former Decode Entertainment) in Toronto, Ontario, and the other two (2D animation — formerly Studio B Productions — and 3D animation — formerly Nerd Corps Entertainment) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The studios handle animated, live action and interactive media production, both original and commissioned.
- DHX Media's current library includes
- Cookie Jar Group and its predecessor Cinar, including programs such as the first 15 seasons of Arthur, Caillou, and Johnny Test, it also includes the libraries of.
- Echo Bridge Home Entertainment's family program library including productions from Alliance Atlantis and Salter Street Films.
- Epitome Pictures, including the library of its predecessor Playing With Time Inc.
- Iconix Brand Group's entertainment assets including
- Nerd Corps Entertainment, including Blaze and the Monster Machines for Nickelodeon, Dragon Booster, Rated A for Awesome and Slugterra, excluding co-productions such as Hot Wheels Battle Force 5.
- Ragdoll Productions, including Rosie and Jim, Brum, Teletubbies and In the Night Garden..., excluding the rights to Pob's Programme.
- Studio B Productions, including the first 4 seasons of Martha Speaks and Kid vs. Kat, excluding the rights to co-productions such as My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (owned by Hasbro Studios), and The Legend of Frosty the Snowman (owned by NBCUniversal by way of DreamWorks Animation, which acquired Classic Media in 2012).
- WildBrain, including Yo Gabba Gabba!, excluding co-productions with other companies and co-productions by WildBrain's ancestor companies Colossal Pictures and BIG Pictures.
- Other libraries
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