Corus to launch live entertainment division

The media company is starting with a two-day country music festival

Corus Entertainment says it’s expanding in the live events business, starting with a two-day country music festival in July that’s associated with its CMT specialty TV channel.

The Toronto-based company says the country-music festival will be headlined by Grammy nominee Eric Church on July 8 and the Grammy winning Zac Brown Band on July 9 in Kitchener, Ont., at the Bingemans grounds.

Corus Live is intended to be a new source of revenue for the integrated media company, which owns a variety of TV channels and radio stations and the Nelvana animation studio.

The company says future Corus Live events will be built around its brands for kids, families and women.

Its brands include the Canadian versions of CMT, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel as well as its own YTV, Teletoon and Treehouse channels and radio stations such as Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge, which promotes a number of summer events.

The Corus Live announcement follows a $2.65-billion deal for Corus to buy Shaw Media. That deal is expected to close by May 31, giving Corus Entertainment additional specialty TV channels and the Global conventional television network.

Corus president and CEO Doug Murphy says Corus will promote the CMT Music Fest across the company’s digital, television and radio platforms.

“The creation of Corus Live advances our strategic priorities to expand into new and adjacent markets and engage our audiences,” Murphy, said in a statement Monday.

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