CRTC finds Bell Mobility in breach of rules over exclusive programming rights

Image result for Bell Canada

Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) found that Bell Mobility gave itself a significant competitive
advantage by entering into exclusive agreements for the mobile rights to
popular National Hockey League (NHL) and National Football League (NFL)

“Canadians shouldn’t be forced to subscribe to a wireless service from a
specific company to access their favourite content,” said Konrad von
Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “Healthy and fair competition
between service providers will promote greater choice for Canadians.”

Today’s decision was triggered by a complaint filed by Telus
Communications after it had unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate for the
rights owned exclusively by Bell Mobility. The NHL content in question
includes games and video highlights, while the NFL content includes
prime-time games, all playoff games (including the Super Bowl) and access
to NFL Network programming.

Bell Mobility must file a report within 30 days explaining how it will
ensure that Telus has access to its NHL and NFL content at reasonable

This ruling was made pursuant to the CRTC’s new media exemption order,
which prohibits undue preference, a notion that was further elaborated in
the recent vertical integration policy.

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-765

Reference document:
Broadcasting Order CRTC 2009-660
News release, “CRTC takes action to ensure a wide choice of television
programming on all platforms,” September 21, 2011,
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-601


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