Bell buys TSN/CTV

[url=] ... ctv_DW.htm[/url]

There is major drama on the Canadian media landscape and telecommunications front.

Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. has announced today it has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of CTV, Canada’s No. 1 media and leader in specialty television, digital media, conventional TV and radio broadcasting. How much is the deal worth? A cool $1.3 billion.

The deal gives Bell full ownership of Canada’s best media assets and will enhance the growth of Bell’s TV, wireless and online services in the future.

“Bell’s acquisition of CTV underscores the strength of our No.1 conventional, specialty, digital and radio assets, and our leading creative and content management expertise,? said Ivan Fecan, CEO of CTV in a release.

“In today’s digital age, it is extremely important to be part of a vertically integrated company that can take advantage of video delivered on multiple screens. CTV has emerged stronger than ever from the recession, and is now perfectly positioned to take advantage of an improving economy.

“This is the right deal at the right time.?

If the deal goes through (it has yet to be cleared by federal regulators), BCE acquires all of CTV's television assets, including the CTV network and specialty cable channels such as TSN, Discovery, MTV, MuchMusic and Bravo!.

That also means CTVglobemedia Inc., which was created a decade ago when CTV merged with The Globe and Mail, will cease to exist. Woodbridge Co. Ltd will regain majority ownership of the Globe with an 85 per cent share, while BCE will retain the remaining 15 per cent stake of Canada’s largest circulation national newspaper, and its related websites.

“Acquiring CTV’s range of premier video content enhances Bell’s execution of our strategic imperatives by leveraging our significant broadband network investments, accelerating Bell’s video growth across all three screens — mobile, online and TV — and achieving a competitive cost structure,? said George Cope, president and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. “100 per cent ownership of CTV enables Bell to maximize strategic and operating synergies with CTV, including the efficiency of our content and advertising spend.

“Our industry is changing rapidly … Our acquisition of CTV more than levels the playing field in our increasingly competitive industry.?

Is Bell gaining back control of CTV a response to its rivals’ moves? The acquisition is a chance for Bell to spread content across multiple platforms, including its satellite TV service. And this deal also gives Bell an edge in its battle for market share against other smart phone providers (ahem, Rogers Communications Inc., and Quebecor Inc.’s Vidéotron). Rogers has already begun experimenting with video content designed specifically for smart phones.

Shaw Communications Inc., based in Calgary, is the most powerful cable company in Western Canada. In May, Shaw offered up $2 billion to buy Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s TV assets so the company could offer content over phones, iPads or other wireless devices.

The merger of Canada’s largest telecom carrier and the country’s No. 1 broadcaster is the latest in a series of deals heralding a new era of convergence between media companies and the cable and phone giants that distribute their content. In December, U.S. cable operator Comcast snagged NBC Universal for $37 billion. That deal, like Shaw with Canwest, is still going through the regulatory process.

what does this mean for the CFL? does anything change? does this provide more opportunity or less opportunity for the CFL?

just tell me that rogers has nothing to do with Bell

Bell is just as bad as Rogers, in my opinion. I hate both companies.

Holly Sh.... Not sure If I should cry or jump for joy.

you mean just as bad as in pro NFL, not so much CFL???

When it comes to the CFL, I couldn't say if this is good or bad... I just hate both companies, so I'm not all that thrilled...

But you got to laugh at Rogers management, while they are busy trying to buy an overpriced underperforming NFL team and spending precious capital, their biggest competitor comes in and grabs the biggest broadcaster in the country LOL !

And Rogers has got new competitors coming in the Wireless business.

so noone really knows what this means for the CFL?
i guess we’ll just wait and see.

Short term it has no effect on the CFL IMO. The contract with TSN doesn’t change because of a change of ownership. I don’t think it will affect the future negatively seeing as how incredible the ratings have been for the CFL on TSN.

Maybe this will open the door to the CFL on CTV.

It means the Bell logo will flash at the end of games like it did a couple of years ago.

I wouldn't expect CTV to show CFL games during the week and it won't do it on weekends.

I have yet to recall any such mega-acquisition or merger, whether it be in the media, energy, financial, et cetera industry, work out for the best for the consumer about a year after the "seamless transition" horse manure.

Usually they find a way to try to screw you before too long.

Here in the US for example, we've never had such bad overall cable programming with so many informercials on top yet somehow the rates going up.

Banks are trying to charge us fees for what we have long known as free even after being bailed out by federal tax dollars, and whoever had the idea to let the energy firms merge back in the late 1990s was severely paid off or misguided as refineries are closing.

For the most part what happens is that the "shareholders," a great number of whom are those on the board of the corporations and their institutional investment management crony friends, benefit short-term and leave the rest of us holding the bad as some of them just retire happily.

But does anybody go after the executive parties for the ill-gotten wealth for sake of some restitution whenever, as in almost always, these mergers do not work out in the "public interest?"

Exactly -- they don't and that's all this is about ultimately for the sake of the dominant benefit of a few greedy bastards.

I don't suspect it will mean much for the CFL but I don't think Rogers likes it too much having a giant of a company with such resources at it's fingertips as competition.

Hopefully not for sake of the CFL, but it's not just a matter of the CFL when these transactions take place.

One real question for every cable subscriber whether CFL viewer or not is one year from now will your bills go up or down? Also after a merger will have their real costs (not necessarily those reported) gone up or down? It's not like they are scrambling to add new improved pipes in most places you know.

And in turn will you have more informercials and cross- and self-promotion, including for Bell's other offerings and any informercials especially late at night for the 24-hr service for which we all pay, or less? Do we really have to continue to hear all those extra self-promotional dumb ads? Why?

Either you should have your choice of improved content to include TSN coverage of the CFL for the same price or be able to cut out that other crap, even beyond the promos and informercials, and pay less if any such merger is truly in the "public interest," but has THAT ever happened?

That has not happened since 2000 as long as I have been following the cable industry, so this talk of a review of the "public interest" is a total sham of horsecrap.

Agree Paolo, how often is it really in the public's best interests for sure. :?

this is fantastic.

finally the CTV network's gonna get their ass kicked and they'll either drop the NFL and when the CFL contract is up, Bell will offer at least double of what TSN offered last time, and the GREY CUP will be on CTV!

this is possibly the best NEWS that the CFL could hear in years!

Actually, Bell bought out it's partners as it wanted the rights to the NFL in Canada to stream live NFL games on the Bell cellphone network. CTV will never broadcast CFL games because they can buy American programs cheaper to run in primetime...and generate much higher ratings than CFL games. The CFL is just an afterthought for huge conglomerates like CTVGlobmedia.

There is not much point broadcasting CFL games on CTV but I can see them simulcasting the Grey Cup.

it shouldn't be!

CTV should stop trying to please their American morons and give their Canadian Audience what it wants.

I think Canadian sports fans have come to accept that sports are broadcasted on specialty channnels. I think it is very difficult for a mainstream channel to provide the quality that a SPEED or a TSN can provide. Look how critical fans were about the poor quality of broadcasts on CBC.

Remember the silent games during the strike ! That was a new low.