Bell Media has applied to the CRTC to flip Sports “TSN 990” CKGM Montreal to French Sports “RDS 990“.
The move would be made to get Bell under regulatory ownership limits in Montreal caused by its acquisition of Astral Media earlier this year. The CRTC limits stations in a market by language so moving CKGM from English to French would enable it to retain ownership of the station once it adds Astral’s three English stations in the market. One of those stations, News/Talk 800 CJAD would acquire some of 990’s existing programming including play-by-play of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.
Last year CKGM received CRTC approval to move to 690 which would enable it to upgrade to 50kW. No word yet from the CRTC if this application or the merger itself will prevent the move to 690.
The Press Release announcing Bell’s intentions follows:
Bell Media announced today that it has filed an application with the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) expressing its intention to convert TSN Radio 990 to RDS Radio 990 in Montreal.
The decision to convert TSN Radio 990 to RDS Radio 990 results from Bell’s acquisition of Astral Media, announced in March 2012, and the CRTC’s Commercial Radio Policy that outlines certain limitations surrounding the ownership of multiple radio stations in a given market.
With a continued focus on local sports, RDS Radio 990 is an extension of RDS’s powerful brand as the #1 French-language specialty channel in Canada. As the country’s 24-hour all-sports Francophone radio station, RDS Radio 990 will have comprehensive coverage of the Montreal sports scene, along with best-in-class analysis from RDS sports experts and Insiders.
English-language broadcasts of the Montreal Canadiens will move to Astral’s CJAD 800, pending CRTC approval. The Montreal Canadiens broadcast is a great fit for CJAD 800, whose impressive stable of programming also includes the exclusive English radio broadcast of the Montreal Alouettes and the Montreal Impact games.
“With RDS Radio 990, we’re presented with a formidable opportunity to enhance and extend the RDS brand by delivering best-in-class sports content and coverage across another platform to our fans,” said Gerry Frappier, President, RDS. “For the past 23 years, RDS has set the benchmark for French-language sports broadcasting in Canada, and we look forward to raising the bar even higher now with RDS Radio 990.”
“Powered by the strength of the RDS brand and its exceptional roster of on-air personalities, RDS Radio 990 is a natural and logical fit for francophone fans in the Montreal market,” said Chris Gordon, President, Radio and Local TV. “We’re excited to make an impact on the Montreal sports scene and engage listeners with the local stories and athletic coverage that matter to them the most.”
About RDS: Le RÃ©seau des sports (RDS) is a French-language sports network offering a comprehensive, world-class programming line-up. Since its inception in 1989, RDS has developed an unparalleled programming grid featuring major events and properties that include the exclusive broadcast rights to the Montreal Canadiens and other NHL hockey games, the Stanley Cup playoffs and finals, MLS and Montreal Impact, CFL and NFL football, the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl, exclusive 2012 Tour de France, F1 and NASCAR racing, MLB baseball including the World Series, over 30 PGA Tour golf tournaments (including 3 Majors), ATP tennis and all Grand Slam, FIFA World Cup from 2015 to 2022, Euro 2012 – 2016, Barclays Premier League as well as the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, Skate Canada, Canada Cup of curling. RDS will also be the official broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympic Games. RDS is a division of Bell Media, wich is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more details on RDS, please visit RDS.ca.
About Bell Media: Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media entertains, informs and inspires Canadians. Bell Media owns 28 conventional stations, including CTV, Canada’s #1 television network and lead broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and owns and operates 29 specialty channels, including TSN, Canada’s #1 specialty channel and RDS, Canada’s #1 French-language specialty channel. Bell Media also owns 33 radio stations, dozens of websites including the Sympatico.ca portal, and Dome Productions Inc. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.