SparkNetworks has inked an exclusive representation deal with U.K.-based multimedia production company TEN ALPS to market and distribute its programming.
First on the list -- a new two-hour documentary called Freddie Mercury, the 20th Anniversary.
The broadcast will be aired across Canada on several radio stations (see below) between November 19th and November 24th, Spark reports.
The announcement comes as previously unreleased tracks recorded by Mercury and Queen are being set for release; a new bio-flick and travelling stage show also seek to encapsulate the controversial artist's life and work.
Freddie Mercury is known as a charismatic and innovative performer, yet his flamboyant stage personality was a front for an extremely shy and reserved man who rarely gave interviews.
To mark the 20th anniversary of his death, musician Midge Ure goes in search of the real Freddie Mercury.
Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in 1946 to Indian parents in Zanzibar when it was still part of the British Empire. At the age of 17, he and his family moved to Feltham, Middlesex and he became a British citizen. After studying at art college, his music career took off in 1970 when he joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor and together, they became 'Queen'.
Queen became famous for a unique sound that has been described as a fusion of hard rock and glam rock. The band continued to draw massive crowds around the world. One of their most famous performances was at the Live Aid charity concert in 1985. A departure from his usual skin-tight spandex costumes, Mercury was dressed in a tank top and jeans where he led the crowd through some of the band's greatest hits with huge energy and style. He got the thousands of music fans at London's Wembley Stadium to chant along to "We Will Rock You."
In the years following his triumph at Live Aid, Freddie Mercury was rarely seen in public. Rumours about Mercury's health problems began to circulate, even though his colleagues and friends continually denied there was anything wrong with him. Finally on the day before his death, Mercury made a public statement confirming that he was HIV positive and he had AIDS. The rock world suffered the loss of one of its most engaging and versatile performers. Gone but not forgotten, in 2001, Mercury and the rest of Queen were recognized for their contributions to American music history upon their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Melissa Fitzgerald produced the documentary, working with Blakeway Productions and TEN ALPS; the show also airs on BBC Radio 4.
SparkNetworks is the full service radio & Web syndication and marketing division of SparkNet Communications, and a joint venture partnership with SparkNet Communications and Jean-Marie Heimrath, a principal architect of network radio in Canada.
SparkNet are the owners and managers of the JACK FM radio brand in the United States and Europe.
SparkNetworks co-founder Jean-Marie Heimrath told Mediacaster Magazine that several stations have already signed up for the two-hour show, with more outlet announcements expected shortly:
Q-107 - Toronto
CHEZ-FM - Ottawa
CITI-FM - Winnipeg
CJRQ-FM - Sudbury
CKFX-FM - North Bay
CJQQ-FM - Timmins
CKQK-FM - Charlottetown
CJRX-FM - Lethbridge
CIRK-FM - Edmonton
CHFT-FM - Fort McMurray
CFGQ-FM - Calgary link