CRTC approves BCE’s purchase of CTVglobemedia

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 7, 2011 — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today approved BCE Inc.’s acquisition of CTVglobemedia Inc. This transaction will improve access to local programming through the carriage of at least 43 additional conventional and community television stations on BCE’s satellite television service.

“We are pleased that BCE has addressed our questions regarding how this transaction would contribute to the vitality of the Canadian broadcasting system,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “BCE will provide stability to the CTV Television Network. It will also invest $245 million in the Canadian broadcasting system, of which more than $140 million will be allocated to new Canadian television and radio programming.”

The CRTC’s policy for ownership transactions in the broadcasting sector requires the buyer to make specific commitments to fund initiatives that will improve the broadcasting system. Further to a review of the proposed benefits package, the CRTC is requiring BCE to spend $245 million over the next seven years to:

Today’s decision follows a proceeding that included a public hearing, which was held from February 1 to 4, 2011, in Gatineau, Que.

Programming rights exclusivity

This transaction furthers the trend of convergence and vertical integration within the Canadian broadcasting industry. As previously announced, the CRTC will hold a public hearing in June 2011 to determine whether specific rules are needed to guide commercial negotiations for programming rights in this new market reality.

Several parties to the CRTC’s public hearing on the BCE transaction expressed concerns over the acquisition of Canada’s largest private broadcaster by one of the largest providers in the broadcast distribution, Internet and wireless sectors.  In particular, they were preoccupied that BCE could make certain programming available exclusively to its mobile subscribers.

The CRTC has imposed a moratorium on BCE until the close of its proceeding on vertical integration. BCE will not be able to enter into new exclusive agreements that would prevent it from making the rights to its television programming available to competitors for broadcast on mobile devices and over the Internet.

The CRTC also expressed its firm expectation that other integrated communications companies will abide by this moratorium as well.

 

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-163

 

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.


 

Reference documents:

News release, “CRTC launches consultation on the possible effects of consolidation in the Canadian broadcasting industry,” October 22, 2010

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-926

 

 

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Additional information on the BCE/CTVglobemedia transaction

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved BCE Inc.’s application to purchase CTVglobemedia Inc. BCE previously owned 15% of the voting interest in CTVglobemedia. As a result, BCE has acquired control of the following licensed broadcasting services:

Conventional television stations

Province Television stations
Alberta CFCN-TV Calgary
CFCN-TV-5 Lethbridge
CFRN-TV Edmonton
CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer
British Columbia CIVI-TV Victoria
CIVT-TV Vancouver
Manitoba CKY-TV Winnipeg
New Brunswick CKCW-TV Moncton
CKLT-TV Saint John
Nova Scotia CJCB-TV Sydney
CJCH-TV Halifax
Ontario CFPL-TV London
CFTO-TV Toronto
CHBX-TV Sault Ste Marie
CHRO-TV Pembroke
CHRO-TV-43 Ottawa
CHWI Wheatley
CICI-TV Sudbury
CITO-TV Timmins
CJOH-TV Ottawa
CKCO-TV Kitchener
CKNY-TV North Bay
CKVR-TV Barrie
Quebec CFCF-TV Montreal
Saskatchewan CFQC-TV Saskatoon
CICC-TV Yorkton
CIPA-TV Prince Albert
CKCK-TV Regina

 

Specialty television channels

Type of Licence Specialty service
Analog Bravo!
Business News Network
Comedy Network
CP24
CTV News Channel
Discovery Channel
E! (formerly Star! TV)
MTV Canada
MuchMoreMusic
Réseau des sports (RDS)
Space: The Imagination Station (SPACE)
The Sports Network (TSN)
Category A Animal Planet
Book Television
Discovery Science (formerly Discovery Civilization)
Fashion Television
MTV2
MuchMusic
MuchLoud
MuchMoreRetro
MuchVibe
The NHL Network (minority interest)
PunchMuch
Réseau Info Sports (RIS)
Category B Comedy Gold (formerly TV Land)
Discovery World HD
ESPN Classic
Investigation Discovery (formerly Court TV)
Satellite-to-cable2 ACCESS (and its transmitters CIAN-TV Calgary and CJAL-TV Edmonton)
A Atlantic (formerly the Atlantic Satellite Network)
Pay-per-view Viewers Choice Canada (minority interest)

 

Radio stations

Province Radio stations
Alberta CKCE-FM Calgary
British Columbia CFBT-FM Vancouver
CFTE Vancouver
CHQM-FM Vancouver
CKST Vancouver
CFAX Victoria
CHBE-FM Victoria
Manitoba CFRW Winnipeg
CFWM-FM Winnipeg
CHIQ-FM Winnipeg
Nova Scotia CIOO-FM Halifax
CJCH-FM Halifax
Ontario CFJR-FM Brockville
CJPT-FM Brockville
CFLY-FM Kingston
CKLC-FM Kingston
CFCA-FM Kitchener
CKKW-FM Kitchener
CKLY-FM Lindsay
CFGO Ottawa
CFRA Ottawa
CJMJ-FM Ottawa
CKKL-FM Ottawa
CKPT-FM Peterborough
CKQM-FM Peterborough
CFXJ-FM Toronto
CHUM Toronto
CHUM -FM Toronto
CIDR-FM Windsor
CIMX-FM Windsor
CKLW Windsor
CKWW  Windsor
Quebec CKGM Montreal

[1] The $5.7 million for this accessibility fund comes from revenues generated by previous benefits investments.

[2] A “satellite-to-cable” television service is defined as a local television station that is available on the basic cable package, but does not have any terrestrial transmitters.

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