This week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission conducts five days of hearings into BCE Inc.’s purchase of Astral Media Inc.
You can follow the hearings in one of the following ways:
- In person: The hearings take place at Hôtel Gouverneur Place Dupuis, 1415 St. Hubert St., corner Ste. Catherine St. They are open to the public, though the CRTC is asking journalists who would like to film the proceedings to talk to them first. Headsets for simultaneous translation can be borrowed on site.
- Online video streaming: CPAC is filming the proceedings. The activities of the House of Commons and its committees take priority over CRTC hearings, so these won’t be broadcast on CPAC’s cable channel. But they will be live online. You can watch here: English, French, no translation
- Online audio streaming: The CRTC does its own streaming of its hearings, though these are audio-only. Listen here: English, French, no translation
- Twitter: The CRTC posts documents of presentations on its Twitter account, @CRTCHearings. You can also follow live reports from the hearings from me, the Globe and Mail’s Steve Ladurantaye, Cartt.ca’s Greg O’Brien and others using the hashtags #CRTC and #BellAstral
- Transcripts: They’re posted here the day after each hearing. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4
Here are some links that will help you understand what’s going on:
- The agenda: Day 1 (Monday) is reserved for Bell to make its case and commissioners to ask questions. Days 2, 3 and 4 (Tuesday to Thursday) will be presentations by third parties, some in favour, some against, and others just making comments. Day 5 (Friday) will be Bell’s reply to those comments from the previous three days.
- The notice of hearing: This breaks down, in legal terms, what this application is. It also includes a link to the application itself (.zip)
- The interventions: Every comment from a third party filed with the CRTC is listed here. Some of these will also make oral presentations, but most won’t. The site also has Bell’s reply to those interventions.
- The press release from the Competition Bureau approving of Bell’s Astral takeover with modifications
- My explanation of those modifications
- Pro Bell: Bell’s press release outlining the promises it has made in relation to this application, and its Canadians Deserve More website with its ask-what-you-want Questions page.
- Anti Bell: Statements from OpenMedia.ca and Cogeco, and an opinion piece in La Presse
- The CRTC’s decision denying the first application last year
- My analysis of the major points of the proposal, the breakdown of the tangible benefits plan, the pros and cons of an exemption for CKGM (TSN 690), and Bell’s radio divestment plan
- Day 1: A thorough rundown from Cartt.ca; Canadian Press; Financial Post; Globe and Mail
- Day 2: The Globe on presentations from PIAC and Rogers, and later on Rogers’s plan for a Netflix competitor; Canadian Press on Rogers’s interest in The Movie Network; Financial Post; Canada.com on the presentation of music artist Suzie McNeil
- Day 3: The Canadian Press on Cogeco, the Financial Post on Eastlink’s dire future if the deal is approved