OTTAWA, Aug. 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - CP articles in circulation yesterday and today appear to misstate the combined English-language market share of Bell Canada and Astral Media Inc. as 33.5%. This number is wrong on two counts:
- The CP article says "From an English perspective, the company would be at 33.5 per cent". The correct number for the Canada-wide English-language viewing share of the combined companies is in fact 41.4%. This goes to the heart of the problems inherent in the proposed transaction: a degree of single company market dominance greatly exceeding that of many industrialized countries. By comparison, the largest communications companies in the United States, Australia, and France have only 18.9%, 24.9%, and 26.1% market shares.
- According to Bell Canada, the 33.5% viewing share number represents the share of the combined Bell Canada and Astral Media Inc. on a national basis (not the English market, as reported). In fact, Bell Canada is wrong in that claim: according to the most recent CRTC viewership data, the actual combined national viewing audience would be 37.6%. Notably, George Cope is referenced saying in the CP article "the limit for market share established by the CRTC is 35 per cent".
Concerned Canadians can voice their opposition to the deal by visiting www.saynotobell.ca and submitting a letter through the website to Canada's Ministers of Heritage and Industry, the Competition Bureau, the CRTC and their own Member of Parliament.
The SayNoToBell.ca website and public information campaign are brought to you by 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.
The CP article:
"Cope called the accusations misleading and wrong, noting that the limit for market share established by the CRTC is 35 per cent.
"With the acquisition of Astral, combined with Bell, we will be at 24 per cent of French language in Quebec.
'In fact, that will be less than Quebecor, the company that yesterday was claiming that we were going to be too large in Quebec.'
From an English perspective, the company would be at 33.5 per cent."
The calculation of the market share of the proposed combination of Bell Canada and Astral Media Inc. is based up CRTC data, published in July 2011.
37.6% is based on CRTC 2011 Communications Monitoring Report, Table 4.3.9, aggregated across English and French language markets.
The combined English-language market share is 41.4% of 607.8 million hours.
The combined French-language market share is 28.6% of 214 million hours.
The weighted national average is 37.6%.
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