The 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 eq...[Read More]
After rejecting the planned merger of Bell Media and Astral in October, the two companies plans have have been approved by the Competition Bureau. In order to do so, a few swaps will be made with Corus Entertainment and Shaw Media mainly involving ownership stakes in cable television networks but one that has ramifications on the radio industry as Corus will acquire two radio stations in Ottawa: Classic Hits “Boom 99.7” CJOT and Rock “106.9 The Bear” CKQB. Additionally Bell/Astral have agreed to auction off eight additional radio stations. Those stations are Rhythmic AC “Kool 101.5” CKCE Calgary, Urban “Flow 93.5” CFXJ and Classic Hits “Boom 97.3” CHBM Toronto, Oldies “AM 650” CISL, CHR “Virgin Radio 95.3” ...[Read More]
The CRTC has denied Bell Media’s planned $3.38 Billion acquisition of Astral Media. “BCE failed to persuade us that the deal would benefit Canadians,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “It would have placed significant market power in the hands of one of the country’s largest media companies. We could not have ensured a robust Canadian broadcasting system without imposing extensive and intrusive safeguards, which would have been to the detriment of the entire industry.” The proposed transaction raised substantial concerns related to healthy competition, the concentration of ownership in the television and radio markets, vertical integration and the exercise of market power in an anti-competitive manner. The CRTC was not persuaded that the transaction would have provided s...[Read More]
While still broadcasting in English, Bell Media Sports “TSN 990” CKGM Montreal will make the move to 690 on Tuesday, September 4. The CRTC approved the move of CKGM from 990 to 690 in November 2011. The move upgrades the station from a highly directional 50kw signal to non-directional formerly clear channel (not the company) 690. The 690 frequency was last home to French News “Info 690” prior to that station going dark in January 2010. The move of CKGM to 690 will pave the way for Evanov to begin preparations to launch its replacement signal on 990. The station is planned to air French language programming directed at Montreal’s Gay and Lesbian community as “Radio Fierte“. CKGM has a pending application with the CRTC to flip from English Sports to ...[Read More]
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 pr...[Read More]
The CRTC has chosen applicants for two vacant AM’s, while allowing a third to move to a new spot with more power. Bell Media’s Sports “TSN Radio 990” CKGM will move to 690, allowing it to upgrade from its directional Class B spot to non-directional. Evanov Communications will take over 990, launching a French language station dedicated to the gay and lesbian community in Montreal billed as “Radio Fierte”. Evanov runs a similar English format in Toronto, “103.9 Proud-FM“. 940 will become home to a French News/Talk operated by Tietolman Tetrault Media.