Corus, Hallmark ink exclusive content deal

W Network has the exclusive Canadian licensing rights to all movies and scripted shows produced by Crown Media for Hallmark Channel.
Corus

Corus Entertainment’s W Network has become the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of Hallmark programming via a multi-year content deal with Crown Media Family Networks.

Under the deal, W Network has the exclusive Canadian licensing rights to all movies and scripted shows produced by Crown Media for Hallmark Channel and its sister network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

From Nov. 1, Hallmark Channel programming will air on W Network through a number of seasonal Hallmark-branded programming events, kicking off with “Countdown to Christmas.” The festive programming event will feature TV movies such as Christmas at Pemberley Manor starring Jessica Lowndes (90210), Road to Christmas with Jessy Schram (Veronica Mars) and Mingle all the Way with Jen Lilley (The Artist) and Brant Daugherty (Fifty Shades Freed). Other Hallmark-branded events will include “Countdown to Valentine’s Day,” “Spring Fever” and “June Weddings.”

As well, W Net will host branded movie blocks each weekend. After premiering on W Network, all Hallmark titles will launch on W On Demand.

Made-for-TV movies continue to attract strong viewership and sales internationally. Last year, Breakthrough Entertainment sold the second and third installments of the Anne of Green Gables MOW trilogy (produced by Breakthrough for YTV) to U.S. pubcaster PBS. That came after the first film in the trilogy drew an average audience of 3.2 million viewers and was streamed more than 230,000 times on PBS’ digital platforms.

In addition, Netflix partly attributed its strong Q3 results to lighter, romantically-themed film fare. The U.S. streaming giant said that 80 million accounts watched one or more of its romantic comedy-focused film releases, including To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeSierra Burgess Is a Loser and Like Father.

In Canada, Super Channel recently unveiled a slate of 25 new Christmas MOWs for hits Heart & Home channel, including Chesler/Perlmutter Productions’ Entertaining Christmas. 

There are a number of other TV movies shooting in Ontario currently, including Hallmark’s Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe.