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Follow the Bell/Astral CRTC hearings (again)

CPAC will be livestreaming this week's CRTC hearing in Montreal

CPAC will be livestreaming this week’s CRTC hearing in Montreal

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:

Here are some links that will help you understand what’s going on:

Coverage

6 thoughts on “Follow the Bell/Astral CRTC hearings (again)

  1. Media Man

    I really hope Steve that Jean-Pierre Blais stays strong again…he’s gotta say no this, and I were him, I’d be pissed off that Bell went around him with the competition Bureau..which is what that was: an end-run..

    They talk about more money for Canadian programming, but it doesn’t say local..Can’t Bell see that Rogers bit by bit adding more local shows..CTV Montreal, CFCF used to produce more local shows than all CTV affiliates.

    And the TSN thing, all they wanna do there is keep a clear channel frequency…Aren’t there other companies that Astral could sell to..I am tired of getting bullied by Bell..from what you see in this application, is there or do you see grounds for CRTC to say NO, which they really must..I am so frustrated with this Bell thing and mad at myself for neglecting the deadline for a submission as I wanted to appear in person.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I were him, I’d be pissed off that Bell went around him with the competition Bureau..which is what that was: an end-run..

      There’s no end-run here. The Competition Bureau and CRTC are separate bodies, and Bell needs approval from both for this transaction to go through. The fact that it has Competition Bureau support does not mean automatic CRTC approval, and vice-versa.

      They talk about more money for Canadian programming, but it doesn’t say local.

      Bell hasn’t made promises about more local programming on television. It has, however, promised to keep money-losing CTV Two stations running until 2017.

      Can’t Bell see that Rogers bit by bit adding more local shows

      Even counting the recently announced weekly arts program (whose permanence is not assured), City TV Montreal would only have 16 hours a week of local programming. CTV Montreal has the same.

      And the TSN thing, all they wanna do there is keep a clear channel frequency.

      And the station that’s on it. If it wanted the frequency for a different format, it would have changed formats already, no?

      Aren’t there other companies that Astral could sell to.

      Sure. But there’s no guarantee other companies would maintain the all-sports format, especially because it’s a money-loser.

      is there or do you see grounds for CRTC to say NO, which they really must.

      The CRTC could reject the deal for the same reason it did the last time: They don’t feel it benefits the broadcasting system. But that’s up to them to decide.

      Reply
  2. William

    How soon after hearings do you think there will be a final decision?

    How long did they take to knock it down last time?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      How soon after hearings do you think there will be a final decision?

      Probably one to three months. But that’s entirely up to the CRTC. They don’t have a deadline.

      How long did they take to knock it down last time?

      The hearing was Sept. 10-14, and the decision released Oct. 18. That’s just over a month. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be as fast this time. It’s easy to just say no. It’s harder to say “yes, but”

      Reply
      1. Robert G.

        I say early June. The added divestitures already part of the re-application dealt with the broader issues that needed to be reviewed the last time around. This time it’s really down to TMN and TSN 690 (the latter being not-so-complicated to decide since it’s pretty clear that Bell doesn’t seem to be considering it anywhere near the “make-or-break” like TMN). Can’t see wholesale pricing issues, arbitration, etc. being any part of the this ruling outside of whether to hold hearings related to those specifics later nor can I see Blais (especially) and company wanting to spend another whole summer micro-analyzing this file. If I’m wrong on timing, don’t make me wear a Sens shirt! :)

        Reply
  3. Marc

    You know, I’m watching some of this (and when the camera is on Mirko Bibic, you’re in view, Steve :P) and, unless I’ve gone mad, the whole thing sounds like a re-run of the first hearing.

    I think the chances of this being approved aren’t that good.

    Reply

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