2019 American Music Awards

Music Publisher Ole Buys Interest In WGBH Catalog

Canadian music publishing firm ole has purchased a worldwide majority ownership interest in the music rights of the catalog of WGBH Boston, the producer of television and on-line programming for PBS. The amount paid for the deal was not disclosed.

The terms of the deal include co-ownership of the music in 1,200 individual episodes and programs, as well as a substantial stake in the music rights for all WGBH programming in the near future. WGBH programs include "Antiques Roadshow," "American Experience," "Nova," "Frontline," "Masterpiece," "Arthur" and "Curious George."

“ole welcomes the opportunity to cultivate the world-class music legacy that WGBH has produced and to continue to add value in the years to come,” ole chairman and CEO Robert Ott said in a statement.

According to the press release announcing the deal, WGBH is the source for one-third of PBS’ prime-time lineup; is the number one producer of Web sites on pbs.org, one of the most-visited dot-org websites in the world; and is the co-producer of the six-time Emmy-award winning PBS Kids Go!(SM) animated series. In addition to producing lifestyle shows and children’s programs for television, WGBH also produces "The Takeaway" on public radio.

Also, WGBH, which has its shows being viewed in more than 80 countries with over 3,000 active licenses, continues to produce volumes of new television programs yearly and distributes these programs worldwide.

“We're pleased to welcome ole as a partner in this aspect of our intellectual property,” WGBH Educational Foundation VP David Bernstein said in a statement. “ole has the expertise and the desire to aggressively work our substantial WGBH music rights catalog — as well as the music rights in our future programming — and maximize these assets to our mutual benefit.”

In 2007, ole purchased WGBH's share of the music rights in the "Arthur" television series in 2007. Ole’s Ott said the latest deal is indicative of an ongoing, aggressive acquisition path for ole in 2009.
“2008 was a fantastic year for ole,” Ott said. “And ole has added substantially to its acquisitions funding with a view to increased activity
in 2009.”

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