BELL CANADA - ASTRAL MEDIA INC. MERGER WILL EXCEED CRTC THRESHOLD FOR CONCERN
MONTREAL, Sept. 4, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released their annual Communications Monitoring Report providing television viewing numbers for the 2010 - 2011 season. The numbers presented prove that Bell Canada has understated their audience share numbers in relation to their bid to acquire Astral Media Inc. and confirms that the proposed transaction is well over the CRTC's threshold for concern.
The CRTC data confirmed that Bell Canada's English-language market share would amount to 39.7%. When Astral Media Inc.'s jointly-owned channels are included, Bell Canada's English-language market share would be 42.8%.
Bell Canada has claimed that a combined viewing share after the proposed merger would be lower and achieves that argument by using a different methodology than the CRTC. Bell Canada has stated:
"Bell Media's national viewership share will be 33.5% for English-language TV and 24% for French-language." (1) (2)
Bell Canada's numbers combine television audience and share, while the CRTC evaluates audience share based on combined television audience and share that excludes viewing non-Canadian services.
About the website at SayNoToBell.ca
The SayNoToBell.ca website and public information campaign are initiatives of Canadians who are concerned about increasing media concentration in Canada. We are opposed to the proposed $3.38 billion Bell Canada acquisition of Astral Media Inc. and wish to inform the public and regulatory bodies about the risks posed by the merger. We call on the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Government of Canada to block this deal.
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