OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 7, 2011 — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today approved BCE Inc.’s acquisition of CTVglobemedia Inc. This transaction will improve access to local programming through the carriage of at least 43 additional conventional and community television stations on BCE’s satellite television service.
“We are pleased that BCE has addressed our questions regarding how this transaction would contribute to the vitality of the Canadian broadcasting system,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “BCE will provide stability to the CTV Television Network. It will also invest $245 million in the Canadian broadcasting system, of which more than $140 million will be allocated to new Canadian television and radio programming.”
The CRTC’s policy for ownership transactions in the broadcasting sector requires the buyer to make specific commitments to fund initiatives that will improve the broadcasting system. Further to a review of the proposed benefits package, the CRTC is requiring BCE to spend $245 million over the next seven years. Read the full decicion here. CHUM’s 32 radio stations did not warrant a mention in the decision, but they are listed in a chart at the end of the decision.