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Bell Media acquires rights to screen classic HBO shows, films in new deal

The logo for Bell Media, owned by BCE Inc., is displayed on a Toronto building in a handout photo. Bell Media has acquired the exclusive Canadian rights to HBO's classic catalogue of television programming. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Bell Media - Darren Goldstein

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The logo for Bell Media, owned by BCE Inc., is displayed on a Toronto building in a handout photo. Bell Media has acquired the exclusive Canadian rights to HBO's classic catalogue of television programming. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Bell Media - Darren Goldstein

TORONTO - Bell Media has acquired the exclusive Canadian rights to HBO's classic catalogue of television programming.

The multimedia giant announced a landmark deal Thursday that will allow it to screen all of HBO's iconic shows that are no longer on the air.

The announcement was made shortly after Bell, which runs HBO Canada, and Corus Entertainment revealed they had acquired all past seasons of HBO's current programming, such as "Game of Thrones" and "Girls."

Bell will be able to offer the shows on streaming video on demand platforms, positioning the company as stronger competitors to Netflix and Shomi, the recently announced streaming service launched by Rogers and Shaw Media.

The acquisition represents more than 850 hours of past scripted programming, such as "The Sopranos" and "The Wire," as well as HBO movies, documentaries and specials.

A Bell Media spokesperson declined to say how much the company paid for the acquisition or how soon classic HBO shows that are no longer in production would appear on video on demand services.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said Corus was part of the deal to acquire classic HBO shows that are no longer in production.

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