Canada’s Bell Media acquires stake in ‘Transplant’ indie Sphere Media


Canadian broadcasting giant Bell Media has acquired a minority stake in Montreal-based indie Sphere Media, the production firm behind shows including Sort Of and Transplant.

Financial terms of the deal, which closed in late March, have not been disclosed.

Sphere Media produces both English and French language content across TV, film and animation, and also distributes content in Canada and internationally. The company is behind CTV and NBC medical drama Transplant, which was recently renewed for a fourth season, as well as CBC/MAX comedy Sort Of, which is returning for a third season, and CBC and BET+ drama The Porter.

Sphere has grown in recent years to become one of Canada’s largest production entities, through M&A deals of its own, including BGM and Cardinal producer Sienna Films in 2020, and GO Films in 2018.

Bell Media, which operates assets including the CTV network and Crave streaming platform, gains potential access to more bilingual content for its services through the deal.

Sort Of

New structure

Last year, Sphere Media restructured its business, bringing companies including Sienna Films and BGM (formerly Bristow Global Media) together under a single brand.

It also created an animation division, made up of Oasis Animation and Sardine Productions, which last month was brought together under one Kids and Family banner alongside its English language children’s factual, scripted, to be headed by Marlo Miazga, formerly president, unscripted and documentaries.

The reorganisation of Sphere Kids and Family is part of the strategic plan that started last April, when the company rebranded its specialist units under the Sphere banner.

News of Bell Media taking a stake in Sphere was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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