Stingray Acquires Classical Music Channel Classica


MONTREAL: Stingray Digital Group has inked a deal with UNITEL to acquire, operate and distribute its international, premium pay-TV channel Classica.

Under the agreement, UNITEL will continue to produce and deliver the programming for Classica, while Stingray will gain unrestricted access to the exclusive catalog of more than 1,500 titles and 2,000 hours of premium content produced and owned by UNITEL. Stingray will debut more than 50 classical music concerts per year.

Classica, which first launched in 1996, presents operas, ballets and concerts from renowned opera houses, concert halls and music festivals. The channel is currently distributed by UNITEL through existing partnerships spanning 40 territories and is available to approximately 20 million subscribers.

“The acquisition of Classica marks the logical next step in our product development strategy, and demonstrates our intent and ability to act as an industry consolidator,” said Eric Boyko, the president, co-founder and CEO of Stingray. “With this acquisition, Stingray becomes the undisputed leading provider of classical music programming worldwide. With an estimated 10 to 15 percent of the population in major markets attending at least one classical music concert each year, Stingray is poised to respond to demand from discerning TV viewers everywhere. This transaction will accelerate our growth and strengthen our relationship with cutting-edge providers that are always on the lookout for new and exciting content.”

Ernst Buchrucker, the managing director of UNITEL, noted: “In Stingray, we have found a partner with global reach who shares our vision of making the fascinating world of classical music accessible to the broadest and most diverse audience possible. UNITEL will continue to produce top-quality world premieres as well as legendary opera and ballet recordings that will be featured on Classica. We are confident that with Stingray’s cooperation, UNITEL will expand its audience and bring the joy of classical music to enthusiasts around the globe.”

“Stingray’s strength lies in the scope of curated products and services we can provide our clients,” added Mathieu Péloquin, the senior VP of marketing and communications at Stingray. “The high-quality content produced by UNITEL perfectly complements Stingray’s existing world-class classical music offering, which includes the recently acquired 440 titles from Euro-Arts and the Stingray Brava TV channel. We look forward to reintroducing the definitive channel for lovers of classical music, opera and ballet in every region of the world.”