Bell-CTV transaction offers significant benefits to Canadian broadcasting

Companies would contribute at least $143 million as part of CRTC approval process
Commitments to new programming, local newscasts, accelerated HD news production

MONTREAL, Feb. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - BCE (Bell) and CTV today confirmed they would pay significant tangible benefits to the Canadian broadcasting industry as a condition of approval of the Bell-CTV transaction by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

"Bell and CTV are proposing a compelling benefits package valued at $143 million to $221 million that offers significant commitments to new Canadian programming, local news expansion and accelerated HD news production," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell. "We are pleased by the significant support each of these benefit proposals has received from Canadians from coast to coast, who believe our plan offers significant, tangible and positive improvements for our nation's broadcasting system."

This new benefits package is in addition to the significant benefits - a record $230 million - that Bell paid to acquire CTV in the first place in 2000.

The benefits package proposed by Bell and CTV includes:

  • Support for new Canadian independently produced programs of national interest, such as dramas, documentaries and new media content
  • Enhanced local news content and HD news production, especially in the underserved Western Canada market. That includes 100 hours of incremental news programming a week and 80 new jobs in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver
  • Increased satellite carriage of small local TV stations, with a commitment from Bell Satellite TV to carry every over-the-air TV station eligible for the CRTC's Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF)
  • Enhanced support for CTV's /A\ channels, including enhanced support for their digital transition, HD infrastructure and new local programming.

According to CRTC policy, any transaction involving a change in control of a broadcast entity must include a package of tangible benefits to be paid into the Canadian broadcast industry at the CRTC's direction.

Bell announced in September, 2010 that it would acquire CTV, Canada's #1 media company, in order to accelerate the delivery of media to Canadians across multiple digital platforms. Bell has invested billions of dollars in its fibre and wireless broadband networks to enable the delivery of video and other media content across all four screens - TV, online, smartphone and tablet.

The transaction also levels the competitive playing field in a marketplace where most of Bell's competitors are integrated companies both offering phone, Internet, wireless and video services and operating significant broadcasting and other media properties.

Bell and CTV's opening remarks at today's CRTC hearing into the transaction are available at

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including 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.

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 is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell products and service information, please visit For BCE corporate information, please visit


For further information:

Media inquiries:
Jacqueline Michelis
Bell Media Relations
(613) 785-1427

Investor inquiries:
Thane Fotopoulos
BCE Investor Relations
(514) 870-4619

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