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CRTC Approves Bell/Astral Merger

Bell Canada Astral Merger Purchase Sale CRTC Virgin Radio Boom NRJ Rouge EZ Rock CHUMThe CRTC has approved the second attempt by Bell Canada to acquire Astral Media.

“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.”

BCE must 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.

The companies have already agreed to sell Classic Hits “Boom 99.7” CJOT and Rock “106.9 The Bear” CKQB Ottawa to Shaw Media and Rhythmic AC “Kool 101.5” CKCE Calgary, Classic Hits “Fab 94.3” CHIQ and Country “QX 104” CFQX Winnipeg to Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Still up for sale are Urban “Flow 93.5” CFXJ and Classic Hits “Boom 97.3” CHBM Toronto, Oldies “AM 650” CISL, CHR “Virgin Radio 95.3” CKZZ, and AAA “Shore 104.3” CHRR Vancouver.

Bell has also gained it waiver to retain Sports “TSN 690” CKGM Montreal as long as it maintains the current format for at least seven years.

The full decision with its impacts on the Canadian television industry can be read here.

The full list of stations Bell Media will own follows:

French Stations:
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 Stations:
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

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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