Bell & Rogers buy the Leafs. What does it mean?

Now that Bell (who own TSN) and Rogers have bought a majority of the Leafs, what does this mean, if anything, for the CFL?

TSN is a CFL supporter
Rogers is NFL supporter

Does this affect the prospects of NHL in Hamilton?

How will the two business competitors work as partners?

Do the fans win or lose?

I have no idea how this will play out, how this will affect Canadian sports. This is unprecedented.

“The Competition Bureau will be investigating the transaction to see if it results in a lessening or prevention of competition,? said a spokesperson for Melanie Aitken, the head of the federal bureau charged with rooting out anti-competitive corporate behaviour....

...Aitken, a former Toronto lawyer who took over the Competition Bureau in 2009, has not shown any hesitation in taking some of the biggest names in Canadian business of competition issues.

The bureau broke new ground earlier this summer when Bell Canada agreed to pay a $10 million penalty and overhaul its marketing after Aitken accused the phone giant of charging higher prices than advertised on many services, including home phone, Internet, satellite TV and wireless.

And the bureau has questioned Rogers Communications over claims made about Rogers’ Chatr discount cellphone service

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1099678
The blockbuster deal between Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. to acquire sports giant Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. will encourage, not hinder, competition between the bitter rivals, Nadir Mohamed, chief executive with Rogers, said Friday.

“The best way to monetize it is for as many people to view it as possible,? Mr. Mohamed said after a packed morning press conference at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, announcing the $1.4-billion deal.

“Could we have it so the only people who watch the Leafs are with one carrier? It doesn’t make sense. We should make it as accessbile to Canadians as possible. The more people do that, the more the value of what we’ve done goes up,? he said. “There’s no misalignment. It’s all about content distribution. And the idea of restricting access is something that’s living in the past.?

Rogers and Bell, owners of leading TV and radio sports channels Sportsnet and TSN, will both have a presence on the MLSE board. However, Larry Tanenbaum will remain the company’s chairman and its public face.

[url=http://business.financialpost.com/2011/12/09/mlse-deal-will-drive-competition-between-rogers-and-bce-mohamed/]http://business.financialpost.com/2011/ ... e-mohamed/[/url]

First of all, it means that Bell and Rogers stand to make even more money than they already do.

It does not mean that the teams have any better chance of winning a championship than they have had in the past.
Ownership does not necessarily mean a drastic change in management, which is desperately needed if fortunes are to change.

Best of all, though, it means that within the next two years, CBC will be out of the picture. Ron McLean may not be overjoyed about this prospect, but the rest of can can celebrate.

I love Ron MacLean, and hope Rogers and TSN can find a spot for him, maybe even "buy" HNIC, with or without the aging Don Cherry ( much as I love him too).

I just wonder if, or how, this affects TSN's relationship with the CFL, and Rogers' perception of CFL as valuable media content.

Reports are saying they are looking for media content.

These dollar amounts dwarf any such dollar amounts associated with the CFL. They could easily buy the entire league.

Or buy the Argos and build a new stadium. As I was saying on the main board, if the new reno goes ahead at The Ralph with a 30 year lease, that's about all she wrote for an NFL team for Toronto any time soon and I think Rogers would be a bit pissed having bought into helping the Bills stay put in Buffalo, not their goal when they got into the Bills venture.

So how could Rogers/MLSE justify buying into the Argos when they have had NFL aspirations, especially buying the Bills? Easily with a statement like this:

[b]We have purchased the Argonaut Football Club and while we will continue to explore any NFL opportunity should these arise, this in no way detracts from developing the Argonauts into a leader of the Canadian Football League.[/b]

So they could look at building a CFL stadium at Downsview that can be easily expanded for whatever reason or renovating BMO and using the RC when necessary as the Als do. Hey, it could all work IMHO.

Rogers already owns the stadium. No way will they incur the cost of building a new one. Skydome is a fine football stadium, when full.

Packed Argo home games and increased TV ratings in the GTA would be great for TSN as well.

But is any increased partnership between these two business rivals just a fantasy?

You're probably right about a stadium Captain I will admit.

Increased partnership? Anything that could add to the value of the Leafs and Blue Jays might be a trigger. I've already said if these two giants really are interested in the Argos and CFL and show it with their money, I'll turn into a Leafs fan from a Habs fan in a second and even take in a TFC game or two and a few more Jays games.

You can count on more pay TV to watch your favorite team, more money for the big guys. Anybody in TV or radio who says anything will be out of work real fast. :wink:

Here's the crux of it I believe:

The two companies are promising that fans of the NHL's Leafs and the other teams owned by MLSE — including the NBA's Raptors and the Toronto FC soccer club — will get more than just live coverage.

They say their networks will be able to deliver a variety of core programming as well digital extras such as multiple camera angles that can be played on TV, tablets and smartphones.

But they haven't yet spelled out any plans that would indicate how much new wireless access or additional features will cost fans — nor how they'll pay for them.

Bell (TSX:BCE) already owns sports channel TSN through Bell Media, while Rogers Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) owns the Sportsnet franchise.

A decision by the CRTC earlier this year means that programs offered on broadcast television may not be offered exclusively on mobile devices. But the CRTC ruling allows for content produced exclusively for mobile devices and other platforms to be offered on an exclusive basis.


http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/rogers-and-bell-promise-more-live-sports-on-mobile-and-other-devices-135334728.html
Although the CRTC has made it clear in a recent ruling that companies cannot deny rivals access to their content for a fair price, Levy believes Bell and Rogers will focus on value-added content that they don’t have to share.

Beyond just watching a game, people are interacting with a broadcast. That means if a player scores a goal, with special applications, viewers can watch a replay, or call up different camera angles, or just look at statistics.

Levy believes Bell and Rogers will make the apps free, just like offering free handsets and tablets, tied to phone contracts, but could eventually generate subscription-based revenue down the line.

In addition, he thinks carriers will at some point offer different tiers of service for data plans, just like cable ranges from basic to pricier packages, dependent on usage.


But the CRTC ruling allows for content produced exclusively for mobile devices and other platforms to be offered on an exclusive basis

Interesting Captain. I know that my Playbook, when I hook it up via a micro HDMI cable to my TV, turns my TV easily and instantly into a computer and it mirrors what is on the Playbook screen almost exactly and in high def, it's awesome actually and as I say for a non-techie like me, plug and playish.

Wilf wrote:

"Best of all, though, it means that within the next two years, CBC will be out of the picture"

Not necessarily. In doing some reading on this earlier, I found a piece that stated that HNIC negotiates the broadcast rights directly through the NHL, and not with the individual teams. So, they may be unaffected by this purchase.

So Rogers now owns the Jays, the Raptors, the Leafs, the Marlies and Toronto FC. Suppose the next logical step is to go after an NFL team.

Except that Rogers is likely to drive up the price for broadcasting rights and put CBC out of the hockey broadcasting business:

[url=http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/12/09/the-end-of-hockey-night-in-canada/]http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/12/ ... in-canada/[/url]

$100 mill plus reno at The Ralph plus 30 year lease extension = no Toronto NFL team. Watch for good things to happen in Toronto for the Argos. Stay tuned. Rogers has been embarrased a bit helping to pay to KEEP The Bills in Buffalo and they won't forget unless they are stupid.

Hey Wilf:

Maybe the HNIC group MIGHT be out of the picture in a couple of years. From the CBC site:

"CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, which broadcasts 24 Maple Leafs games, doesn't expire until after the 2013-14 season. That's also the case for TSN's workweek national package. The contract for regional rights for Maple Leafs games isn't up until 2015.

The breakdown for Maple Leafs games shown on television this season will be 24 games on HNIC, seven nationally on TSN and 51 regional games either on Sportsnet, TSN or Leafs TV.

Pelley said that a decision on plans for Leafs TV or Raptors TV would be made down the road.

Will Rogers and Bell get together again in two-plus years to make a bid for HNIC's package?

Pelley remarked that Rogers could not go alone on a bid for HNIC package right now, but in two years he felt confident that his company would be in a position to make a bid. But could Pelley see both Rogers and Bell combining again to make a bid for the HNIC tradition?

"We'll continue to look at any strategic alliances that make sense going forward," Pelley said."

No doubt these will be interesting times on the Toronto and national sports landscape for the next few years...and beyond.

Cap'n, we don't see this the same way at all.

I can't stand either McLean or Cherry. The former strikes me as a Dickie Smothers clone (you know, the more rational brother who rolls his eyes and shakes his head knowingly at the audience during the inane rants and antics of the other member of the duo). The latter has always come across to me as a phony with a contrived, semi-literate redneck persona whose ideas and attitudes have been retrograde for pretty much the whole time he has been espousing them.

Other than that, I think they're both terrific.

One interesting aspect of the deal......In an interview, one of the principals was speculating that an ideal TV property would see the Leafs and Habs competing in a Stanley Cup Final. You could almost see the dollar signs flashing before his eyes.
He obviously is not aware that such a finale could never happen, since both teams are in the same conference.
Just an overenthusiastic slip, wishful thinking, or ignorance of the facts?

There are elements in the CBC (the artsy types) that for many years have wanted to get rid of HNIC...if you can believe it. :roll: I am retired from the CBC. However the advertising money that HNIC generates is too much to ignore.
I see that yesterday the CBC was guaranteed its funding to 2015...about the same time as its present deal with the NHL expires.
Who knows if the CBC budget will be cut the next time around....but regardless the bidding from TSN/Rogers will be strong for such a lucrative selection of games as HNIC. And who knows what pressure they will now be able to exert on the NHL to drop the deal with the CBC.
My guess is that the CBC will be outbid if they decide they want to keep HNIC after 2015.
I like Ron MacLean but I think the gabfest with him and Don Cherry is hokey and bush-league. The viewers deserve better.
Back to the CFL though....maybe David Brealey will sell the Blue team to MLSE. That way at least Toronto's CFL team will get some better coverage. :slight_smile:

I could see that happening and I think I'd like that. As long as the Argos play at BMO field except for play-off games and Grey Cup :wink:

But the Argos are not going to play at BMO field and no plans to play there. It was ruled out in 2009

"According the MLSE chief operating officer Tom Anselmi, without significant renovations BMO Field could only fit a 100-yard field with 15-yard endzones or a 110-yard field with 10-yard endzones, which is 20-yards short of the standard 110-yard field and 20-yard endzones.[11] On December 16, 2009, the Argonauts officially abandoned the idea following receipt of the CFL study, which stated that "Canadian football could not be played there in its current state."[12] As of 2010, Toronto FC are contemplating the possibility of expanding the facility. BMO Field could accommodate an additional 8000 spectators without making fundamental changes to the existing facility, increasing the ground's total capacity upwards of 30,000.[13]"

Toronto FC are adamant that there is NO way they are going to give up their "soccer specific" stadium, the crowds are behind the goal and close to the field. One of the reasons why they are proud of their stadium, they don't have to share it and lose the intimate atmosphere of and it's one of the few soccer stadiums in North America. They don't want to lose that.

As for MLSE buying the Argos? why? they don't make money and not a good investment. It was difficult to find a buyer a few years ago when no one wanted them and it was Braley that stepped up and agreed to run two football teams.
If Torontonians don't start coming out to the Rogers Centre to watch the Argos, Braley will walk away.