CRTC approves BCE’s bid to acquire Astral’s television and radio services Conditions imposed will ensure the transaction benefits Canadians and the Canadian broadcasting system

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 27, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved an application by Astral
Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional
television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc. The CRTC’s approval
comes with a number of conditions that are necessary to uphold the public
interest.
“Astral’s application put forward a different approach and responded to
many of our concerns” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “Yet
there remained a significant risk that BCE could exert its market power to
limit choice and competition. To ensure the public interest is served, we
are requiring BCE to invest in new Canadian programming and sell more than
a dozen services, and we are putting in place a number of competitive
safeguards. This will maintain a healthy and competitive broadcasting
system that offers more programming choices to Canadian consumers and
citizens and more opportunities for Canadian creators.”

A healthy and competitive broadcasting system

The scale of the newly consolidated entity will facilitate the creation of
diverse and high-quality Canadian programming in both languages and its
distribution through conventional and digital media distribution channels.
The CRTC is taking action to ensure Canadians reap the full benefits of
this transaction. This includes making sure that Canadians have access to
a healthy and competitive broadcasting system, in which independent
broadcasters and distributors are treated fairly by large, integrated
companies.

The application filed in agreement with the Competition Bureau included a
proposal to sell 10 radio stations and 11 television services as well as
certain restrictions, such as a prohibition on imposing restrictive
bundling requirements on providers. The CRTC’s decision builds on the
Competition Bureau’s assessment and includes specific measures to
attenuate concerns related to competition, ownership concentration in the
television and radio markets, vertical integration and the exercise of
market power in the communications system.

Following the divestitures, BCE’s share of the French-language television
market will be 22.6 per cent. Consumers in this market will benefit from a
more competitive landscape. In the English-language market, its share will
be 35.8 per cent, which required a careful examination of this
transaction’s impact on the broadcasting system.

As a result, the Commission has put in place further measures to address
potential anti-competitive behaviour, to maintain a dynamic marketplace
and to ensure Canadian listeners and viewers will continue to have access
to a diversity of voices in the market. Among other things, BCE must:

- adhere, as a condition of licence, to certain sections of the CRTC’s
code of conduct for commercial arrangements that limit potential
anti-competitive behaviour and ensure fair treatment for independent
programming services and distributors

- not unduly withhold non-linear rights from competing distributors,
even if BCE is not exploiting such rights itself

- provide reasonable access to advertising opportunities on its radio
stations to all competitors

- file with the CRTC affiliation agreements with programming services
and television distributors

- enter into a CRTC-supervised dispute resolution process if an
affiliation agreement is not reached 120 days before the expiry date of
the existing agreement.

More choice for consumers and citizens, opportunities for creators

BCE will be required to invest $246.9 million in tangible benefits over
the next seven years, which is $72 million more than it had proposed. This
amount reflects the CRTC’s revised value of the transaction, as well as
the size and exceptional nature of the transaction.

In particular, BCE must spend $175.4 million on initiatives related to the
television sector, which is equivalent to 10 per cent of the value of
Astral’s television services. These investments will notably result in the
creation of original Canadian dramas, comedies, documentaries and award
shows by independent producers. BCE will also support youth programming
and initiatives designed to promote Canadian content on multiple
platforms. A portion of programming expenditures will be reserved for
official-language minority communities in each language.

Additionally, BCE will be required to support the development, production
and promotion of Canadian feature films, notably through additional
contributions to the Harold Greenberg Fund and Telefilm Canada, financial
support of Canadian film festivals and initiatives to promote Canadian
feature films.

BCE must also spend $71.5 million on initiatives related to the radio
sector, which is equivalent to 7 per cent of the value of Astral’s radio
stations. The company will provide funding to not-for-profit organizations
that contribute to the growth and development of the Canadian music
industry, help launch the careers of emerging artists and support campus
and community radio stations.

This transaction will therefore enable the Canadian creative industries to
innovate and contribute to the creation of more original programming for
Canadian and global audiences.

Local programming

The CRTC is also ensuring that Canadians in 29 markets across the country
continue to have access to local programming on television, including
local news and information. BCE must keep open all of its existing local
television stations, as well as the two stations it has acquired from
Astral, at least until 2017. BCE must also maintain the stations’ current
levels of local programming during this period.

CKGM Montréal

Finally, the CRTC is allowing BCE to operate four English-language radio
stations in the Montreal market, including CKGM. Given the strong support
expressed by Montreal’s English-language minority community for this
station, BCE will have to maintain its current sports format for at least
seven years. This decision constitutes a positive measure that will ensure
the needs of the community are well served.

Corporate reorganization

The CRTC also approved two corporate reorganizations – one within Astral
and the other within BCE – which are necessary to finalize the
transaction.

Today’s decision follows a proceeding that included a public hearing,
which was held from May 6 to 10, 2013. The CRTC received more than 800
interventions during this public proceeding, as well as two petitions
totalling more than 16,000 signatures.

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-308
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2013/2013-308.htm

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-309
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2013/2013-309.htm

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-310
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2013/2013-310.htm

The CRTC

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.



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Additional information on the CRTC’s decision
i) List of services purchased

French-language pay and specialty television

- Canal D
- Canal Vie
- CINÉPOP
- Super Écran
- VRAK.TV
- Ztélé

English-language pay and specialty television

- The Movie Network
- TMN Encore
- Viewer’s Choice Canada (DTH)
- Viewer’s Choice Canada (Terr.)

English-language conventional television

- CFTK-TV Terrace, BC
- CJDC-TV Dawson Creek, BC

French-language radio

- CFVM-FM Amqui, QC
- CFIX-FM Chicoutimi, QC
- CJAB-FM Chicoutimi, QC
- CHRD-FM Drummondville, QC
- CJDM-FM Drummondville, QC
- CIMO-FM Magog, QC
- CITE-FM Montréal, QC
- CKMF-FM Montréal, QC
- CHIK-FM Québec, QC
- CITF-FM Québec, QC
- CIKI-FM Rimouski, QC
- CJOI-FM Rimouski, QC
- CJMM-FM Rouyn-Noranda, QC
- CFZZ-FM Saint-Jean-Iberville, QC
- CITE-FM-1 Sherbrooke, QC
- CFEI-FM St-Hyacinthe, QC
- CHEY-FM Trois-Rivières, QC
- CIGB-FM Trois-Rivières, QC
- CJMV-FM Val d’Or, QC
- CIMF-FM Ottawa-Gatineau, ON-QC
- CKTF-FM Ottawa-Gatineau, ON-QC

English-language radio

- CJDC-AM Dawson Creek, BC
- CKRX-FM Fort Nelson, BC
- CHRX-FM Fort St. John, BC
- CKNL-FM Fort St. John, BC
- CKGR-FM Golden, BC
- CHSU-FM Kelowna, BC
- CILK-FM Kelowna, BC
- CKFR-AM Kelowna, BC
- CKTK-FM Kitimat, BC
- CKKC-FM Nelson, BC
- CJOR-AM Osoyoos, BC
- CJMG-FM Penticton, BC
- CKOR-AM Penticton, BC
- CHTK-FM Prince Rupert, BC
- CIOR-AM Princeton, BC
- CKCR-FM Revelstoke, BC
- CKXR-FM Salmon Arm, BC
- CHOR-FM Summerland, BC
- CJFW-FM Terrace, BC
- CFTK-AM Terrace, BC
- CJAT-FM Trail, BC
- CICF-FM Vernon, BC
- CIBK-FM Calgary, AB
- CJAY-FM Calgary, AB
- CKMX-AM Calgary, AB
- CFBR-FM Edmonton, AB
- CFMG-FM Edmonton, AB
- CFRN-AM Edmonton, AB
- CHBD-FM Regina, SK
- CKX-FM Brandon, MB
- CKXA-FM Brandon, MB
- CKMM-FM Winnipeg, MB
- CKLH-FM Hamilton, ON
- CHAM-AM Hamilton, ON
- CKOC-AM Hamilton, ON
- CIQM-FM London, ON
- CJBX-FM London, ON
- CJBK-AM London, ON
- CKSL-AM London, ON
- CHVR-FM Pembroke, ON
- CKFM-FM Toronto, ON
- CFRB-AM Toronto, ON
- CHRE-FM St. Catharines, ON
- CHTZ-FM St. Catharines, ON
- CKTB-AM St. Catharines, ON
- CHOM-FM Montréal, QC
- CJFM-FM Montréal, QC
- CJAD-AM Montréal, QC
- CKBC-FM Bathurst, NB
- CFXY-FM Fredericton, NB
- CIBX-FM Fredericton, NB
- CKHJ-AM Fredericton, NB
- CIKX-FM Grand Falls, NB
- CJCJ-FM Woodstock, NB
- CKTO-FM Truro, NS
- CKTY-FM Truro, NS

ii) List of services that must be divested

French-language television

- Disney Junior
- Historia
- MusiquePlus
- MusiMax
- Séries+
- Teletoon/Télétoon*
- Télétoon Rétro

English-language television

- Cartoon Network
- Disney XD
- Teletoon/Télétoon*
- Teletoon Retro
- The Family Channel

English-language radio

- CHHR-FM Vancouver, BC
- CISL Vancouver, BC
- CKZZ-FM Vancouver, BC
- CKCE-FM Calgary, AB
- CHIQ-FM Winnipeg, MB
- CFQX-FM Selkirk, MB
- CFXJ-FM Toronto, ON
- CHBM-FM Toronto, ON
- CJOT-FM Ottawa-Gatineau, ON-QC
- CKQB-FM Ottawa-Gatineau, ON-QC

* Teletoon and Télétoon are feeds of the English- and French-language
specialty service known as Teletoon/Télétoon.
iii) List of television stations BCE must keep in operation until at least
2017
English-language conventional television

- CIVT-DT Vancouver, BC
- CIVI-DT Victoria, BC
- CFTK-TV Terrace, BC
- CJDC-TV Dawson Creek, BC
- CFCN-DT Calgary, AB
- CFCN-DT-5 Lethbridge, AB
- CFRN-DT Edmonton, AB
- CFRN-TV-6 Red Deer, AB
- CFQC-DT Saskatoon, SK
- CICC-TV Yorkton, SK
- CIPA-TV Prince Albert, SK
- CKCK-DT Regina, SK
- CKY- DT Winnipeg, MB
- CFPL-DT London, ON
- CFTO-DT Toronto, ON
- CHBX-TV Sault Ste. Marie, ON
- CHRO-TV Pembroke, ON
- CHRO-DT-43 Ottawa, ON
- CJOH-DT Ottawa, ON
- CHWI-DT Wheatley, ON
- CICI-TV Sudbury, ON
- CITO-TV Timmins, ON
- CKCO-DT Kitchener, ON
- CKNY-TV North Bay, ON
- CKVR-DT Barrie, ON
- CFCF-DT Montréal, QC
- CKCW-DT Moncton, NB
- CKLT-DT Saint John, NB
- CJCB-TV Sydney, NS
- CJCH-DT Halifax, NS
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CRTC approves BCE’s bid to acquire Astral’s television and radio services Conditions imposed will ensure the transaction benefits Canadians and the Canadian broadcasting system

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 27, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved an application by Astral
Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional
television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc. The CRTC’s approval
comes with a number of conditions that are necessary to uphold the public
interest.
 Continue reading "CRTC approves BCE’s bid to acquire Astral’s television and radio services Conditions imposed will ensure the transaction benefits Canadians and the Canadian broadcasting system" 
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