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
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
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
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 http://www.bce.ca/data/documents/BCE_CTV_Opening_Stmt_EN.pdf.
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 bce.ca/mentalhealth.
Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell products and
service information, please visit www.bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit www.bce.ca.
SOURCE BELL CANADA
For further information:
Bell Media Relations
BCE Investor Relations