BCE urges CRTC to refuse Rogers-Show deal, independent demands safeguards

Gatineau, Que. –BCE Inc. announced Thursday at Rogers Communications Inc. Has asked CRTC to reject the $ 26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. proposed by the independent operator, but independent operators are seeking more protection.

Gatineau speaks on the second day from the end of the hearing in Ke. This week (focusing on the impact of the transaction on broadcasting), BCE representatives raised the market advantages Rogers would have if the transaction was approved by broadcasters, producers and distributors. I repeated my concerns.

“The market power Rogers is trying to gain has a long-term negative impact on this interdependent ecosystem as a whole,” said Robert Malcolmson, BCE’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer. ..

“If successful, Rogers will have some control over the broadcast sector at previously unthinkable levels without a clear counter-effect to Canada’s broadcast system.”

Malcolmson noted that the CRTC was the first to refuse BCE’s acquisition of Astral Media in 2012. This is due to the size of the market, which is created as a clear precedent for not refusing. At the very least, we need a commitment from Rogers to sell our assets to reduce the resulting market share.

Sarah Farrugia, Vice President of Content and Business Intelligence at Bell, is an online streaming service at the expense of the broadcast system if Rogers is allowed to secure 47% of English broadcast subscribers.

“It is very clear that this transaction will allow Rogers to benefit from a dominant position in the transportation negotiations, resulting in a reduction in revenue for the Canadian channel.”

Rogers argues that it needs to scale up to counter intensifying competition with companies like Netflix and Amazon, while keeping subscribers within a regulated broadcast system.

Telus Corp. And BCE Inc. Rogers’ direct competitors, such as, are totally against this deal, but companies that rely on Rogers and Shaw to host programming are more targeted and many demands are specific. The focus is on maintaining the status quo for the period. ..

The Independent Broadcast Group is calling for a commitment to maintain 50 independent channels compared to the 40 channels Rogers has announced to maintain for three years.

The Ethnic Channels Group requires CRTC not to reduce subscriber income to independent ethnic producers for five years. Children’s television producer WildBrain has asked regulators to force Rogers to take over an independent person for five years now at Rogers or the show. Others have asked Rogers to be forced to maintain the satellite transportation services that Shaw currently offers.

Earlier Thursday, Reynolds Mastin, CEO of the Canadian Media Producers Association, said Rogers’ proposed $ 5.7 million wasn’t proportional to the size of the deal, seeking more specific profits from the deal.

“The Commission must ensure that the applicant promises a specific benefits package proportional to the size and nature of the transaction and will clearly and clearly benefit Canadians and their broadcast systems.”

Unifor expressed concern about Rogers’ plans to expand its own City News network by diverting $ 13 million annually from Shaw to Global News. The plan states that there is a risk of losing diverse opinions in small markets.

The hearing at CRTC will focus on the broadcast aspect of the merger, but other issues such as mobile wireless services will be reviewed by the Competition Bureau and the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Department of Canada.

Rogers is scheduled for Friday to address the issues raised that week.

This report by Canadian Press was first published on November 25, 2021.

BCE is the parent company of Bell Media. CP24 is a division of Bell Media.

BCE urges CRTC to refuse Rogers-Show deal, independent demands safeguards

Source link BCE urges CRTC to refuse Rogers-Show deal, independent demands safeguards

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