Bloomberg to launch Canadian business TV channel

Channel helps feed Canadians' increased desire for financial news coverage

Financial news and data company Bloomberg is getting into Canadian television with a new 24-hour channel aimed at the business community.

Bloomberg TV Canada, set to launch in the middle of this year, will highlight Canadian financial news and combine it with programming from its existing U.S. channel.

The Canadian version will have about 35% of its content produced domestically and be broadcast from a new studio in Toronto’s financial district, near Bloomberg’s Canadian headquarters.

Bloomberg TV Canada will be majority owned by independent broadcaster Channel Zero, the company that rescued CHCH-TV in Hamilton six years ago and turned it into a combination of local news in the day and entertainment at night.

Bloomberg said it will tap into its roster of Canadian reporters while hiring on-air hosts and producers to deliver coverage of domestic companies, the Toronto Stock Exchange and in-depth interviews with top newsmakers and executives.

The company was unable to immediately say how many people it planned to hire.

“Canada is a vital market for us,” founder and majority owner Michael Bloomberg said in a news release.

Bloomberg’s U.S. cable channel is already available to Canadians through some of the country’s cable and satellite operators. The plan is to switch current Bloomberg subscribers over to the new Canadian feed, spokeswoman Lauren Meller said in an email.

Financial news coverage has been a growing market for Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and other media outlets.

Canadian channel Business News Network, which is operated by Bell Media, reported earlier this week that January viewership numbers rose to their highest level in nearly two years, according to figures collected by audience measurement firm Numeris.

During the business day, BNN averaged more than 25,000 adult viewers per minute, an increase of 24 per cent over a year earlier, it said.

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