ICYMI: NBA gets into e-sports, Planet Earth coming to Snapchat

In case you missed it: The NBA is the first North American sports league to add e-sports to its portfolio, Cineplex president Salah Bachir has been honoured for his philanthropy, cameras are rolling on Killjoys and more.

NBA launches e-sports league

The NBA has partnered with software developers Take-Two Interactive to launch the NBA 2K eLeague, an e-sports platform specializing in basketball-themed gaming. The league, which will be open to players and brand sponsors from around the world (including Canada) will launch in 2018, and will consist of teams operated by existing NBA franchises. A traditional sport format will be followed, competing head-to-head throughout a regular season before participating in a bracketed playoff system and concluding with a championship. The NBA 2K eLeague is the first e-sports marks the first official e-sports group owned by a U.S. professional sports league. The rising star of the e-sports industry has caught the attention of numerous traditional media companies and businesses, such as Cineplex, which paired with WorldGaming in 2015 to host annual e-sports championships.

BBC Worldwide inks Snapchat deal for Planet Earth

Less than one week after Snap’s IPO, it has signed an agreement with BBC Worldwide to launch exclusive Snapchat content for Planet Earth II. Footage filmed for the series will launch on Snapchat’s Discover platform on Feb. 17, the day before the series premieres on BBC Earth in Canada. The content, produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, will be rolled out over six weeks and will complement the theme of each week’s TV episode. The move comes following not only the IPO of parent company Snap but also a partnership between Snap and Nielsen on third-party ratings measurement similar to those on TV programming.

Quebecor hires new EVP of music development

Music industry veteran Anne Vivien has been appointed as Quebecor’s new EVP of music development. Vivien will helm Quebecor’s music division, Musicor, and Distribution Select. She will report to Lyne Robitaille, SVP of newspapers, books and music and will work closely with Christian Breton, VP of the company’s music sector, and Michael Granger, VP of sports and entertainment. The hiring of Vivien in the new role is part of Quebecor’s strategy to building its music business, recruiting new artists and creating better digital marketing strategies for albums.

Production begins on new Killjoys season

Production has begun on season three of the sci-fi adventure series Killjoys, which airs on Space. The season will consist of 10 one-hour episodes and will see the core cast of Hannah John-Kamen (Dutch), Aaron Ashmore (John Jaqobis) and Luke MacFarlane (D’avin Jaqobis) return, along with showrunner Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl). While no premiere date has been set yet for the season, it will arrive on Space sometime in 2017. Killjoys currently ranks as Space’s most-watched original show, with the second season pulling in an average of 1.1 million viewers per week.

Hootsuite re-launches Hootsuite Ads, partners with AdEspresso

BC-based social media management company Hootsuite has acquired Facebook advertising partner AdEspresso, which offers a Facebook and Instagram advertising suite. It’s also re-launched Hootsuite Ads and will build customizable services on Facebook’s open APIs. Hootsuite, which was first established as a one-stop destination for social media managers to monitor activity and buzz, is now building its resources into paid media offerings, allowing users to actively market to fans based around their online activity.

Cineplex president honoured

Salah Bachir, president of Cineplex Media, has been named the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), an international association which recognizes people who have coordinated and motivated donors and volunteers for charities and nonprofits. Bachir, who will receive his award at the AFP’s International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco on April 30, has helped generate millions in funding for HIV/AIDS research and has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights in Canada and the Middle East. He has also donated more than $1 million to Toronto’s 519 Community Centre, which provides support and services for the city’s LGBTQ community. Bachir was also named to the Order of Canada in June 2016 for his philanthropy work. His frequent hosting of charity galas has earned him the nickname “Gala Salah” in the philanthropy and media communities.

Federal government and Corus invest in healthy eating initiative

The Government of Canada has partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada as well as Corus Entertainment to fund the online content hub Kid Food Nation as part of an effort to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles among kids and families. The program will also feature a national recipe competition later this year to encourage children to submit original recipes for a chance to be featured online. The Public Health Agency of Canada has invested approximately $5 million in funding over five years for the project, with Corus’s contributions bringing the investment to approximately $10 million.


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