Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Impropriety alleged on Bell-Astral issue

  • Print

MONTREAL -- The CEOs of three major Canadian multimedia companies have written to the minister of Canadian Heritage, complaining two federally funded agencies have gotten involved in the $3.4-billion Bell-Astral deal.

They say it's inappropriate for a local RCMP detachment in Terrace, B.C., and for Telefilm Canada to have made submissions to the CRTC in favour of a deal they oppose.

The heads of Cogeco Cable Inc., Eastlink, and Quebecor Inc. say they're concerned about the independence of other federal agencies reviewing the transaction -- the CRTC and Competition Bureau.

The CEOs say the RCMP and Telefilm Canada are funded by tax dollars and the CEOs have asked Heritage Minister James Moore to have their letters withdrawn.

Cogeco, Eastlink and Quebecor, which compete against BCE Inc.'s Bell and Astral Media, launched a high-profile campaign last week against the transaction. Telus Corp. voiced similar concerns Monday.

Telus said Bell could have a 49.5 per cent share of the English-language television audience with its purchase of Montreal-based Astral, along with its ownership in the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment TV assets and its stake in joint-venture assets such as Teletoon. The consortium pegs the figure at 37.6 per cent.

However, Bell said they have both over-estimated the potential English-language audience with the inclusion of the MLSE TV assets -- including Leafs TV, NBA and soccer channels -- and put it at 33.5 per cent instead of almost half.

The CRTC approved the sale of the sports television channels Thursday, saying it has been convinced that the deal will benefit Canadians and lead to the creation of new homegrown sports programming.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2012 B6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The Whiteboard - Jets' 5-on-3 penalty kill

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think it's a good idea for Theresa Oswald to enter NDP leadership race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google