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Smithsonian Channel to Make International Debut in Canada

The Smithsonian Channel will mark its initial international foray, when it bows north of the border this fall.

Smithsonian Networks, the joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is teaming with Blue Ant Media to convert one of the independent Canadian media company's services into the channel.

Toronto-headquartered Blue Ant will rebrand its premium specialty network eqhd into Smithsonian Channel this fall, when it will be made available to the nation’s major distributors. Smithsonian Channel in Canada will complement Blue Ant Media’s premium, commercial-free brands Oasis HD, HIFI and radX.

Smithsonian Channel, whose mobile apps in the U.S. for iOS and Android platforms have been downloaded over 1 million times, will also make mobile apps accessible for Canadians.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Blue Ant Media also owns specialty channels Bold, Travel+Escape, Bite TV, and Aux TV, while its digital publishing division produces daily content for its web and mobile sites, Aux Magazine, a monthly music tablet magazine and recently launched Travel+Escape Magazine, a monthly travel tablet title.

"Our agreement with Smithsonian Channel allows one of the most unique U.S. television networks to provide the Canadian market with programming that we feel our viewers will really respond to," said Michael MacMillan, CEO Blue Ant Media, in a statement. "This channel will be a significant addition to our premium high definition specialty television services as we continue to build a strong, independent media company.”

Noted Smithsonian Channel president Tom Hayden: "Partnering with Blue Ant Media to bring Smithsonian Channel to Canada is something we could not be more pleased with. We are excited to bring our entertaining brand of storytelling to a new international audience."