$200 million benefits package includes new commitments to Canadian TV,
Northern Canadians to benefit from multi-screen broadcasting
MONTREAL, July 10, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced it is
proposing to contribute tangible benefits valued at $200 million in
support of Canada's broadcasting industry as part of the company's
acquisition of Astral Media.
"Bell's commitment to provide $200 million in additional funding for
Canadian broadcasting initiatives builds on the outstanding
contributions Astral has made to the industry, especially in the
French-language market," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and
Bell. "By increasing funds available for Canadian programming and
talent, and ensuring those in the North can access programming on the
broadband screens of their choice, Canadians in all parts of the
country will gain from this initiative."
The proposed benefits package includes:
$96 million for the development and production of additional Canadian
programming of national interest and other on-screen initiatives in
both official languages (with the majority of funds committed to
$61 million in radio benefits to be allocated as prescribed by the CRTC
and to help support, promote and develop Canadian musical talent, and
assist community radio and other initiatives
$40 million to support Canadian programming by making it more widely
available in Canada's North through the extension of next-generation
broadband wireline and wireless service to all communities served by
Bell subsidiary Northwestel in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories,
Nunavut and Northern British Columbia
$3.5 million in media support for Bell Let's Talk Day, an annual
multi-platform media initiative conducted across the country that
raises both money and awareness to help combat mental health issues
The payment of tangible benefits is a condition of approval by the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
According to CRTC policy, any transaction involving a change of control
of a broadcast entity must include a package of tangible benefits to be
paid into the Canadian broadcasting industry.
CRTC approval of the Astral acquisition will also require Bell to meet
the Commission's Radio Common Ownership Policy and sell 10 radio
stations (nine FM and one AM) in five markets - Toronto, Vancouver,
Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau and Winnipeg.
Bell's acquisition of Astral intensifies competition by leveling the
playing field with Bell's dominant competitor in the important Québec
media marketplace, while improving the ability of all Canadian
programming providers to compete with integrated global players over
multiple platforms by supporting further investment and innovation in
broadband networks and content.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and
business with solutions to all their communications needs: Bell
Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell Satellite TV and Bell
Fibe TV, Bell Home Phone local and long distance, and Bell Business
Markets IP-broadband and information and communications technology
(ICT) services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with
leading assets in television, radio and digital media, including CTV,
Canada's #1 television network, and the country's most-watched
The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a multi-year charitable program
that promotes mental health across Canada via the Bell Let's Talk
anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and
workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell product and
service information, please visit Bell.ca. For Bell Media, please visit BellMedia.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca.
SOURCE BELL CANADA
For further information:
BCE Investor Relations