CRTC Approves Bell Media Purchase of Quebec’s V Network with Conditions

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has announced it has authorized Bell Canada to acquire Quebec’s V Network.

According to the CRTC, the following conditions were imposed on Bell Canada as part of the approval:

  • V Stations must broadcast 5 hours of local programming per week for the Montreal and Quebec City markets in 2020-2021 (it’ll increase to 8.5 hours in 2021-2022
  • Broadcast at least 5 hours of local programming per week for the Trois-Rivières, Saguenay and Sherbrooke markets.
  • spend at least 40% of the previous year’s revenues in Canadian programming
  • Spend at least 18% of the previous year’s revenues in programs of national interest
  • invest more than $3 million to the Canada Media Fund and Bell Fund in equal annual payments over 7 consecutive broadcast years.

Current spending thresholds are at 35% for Bell’s Canadian programming and 10% for V Network’s programs of national interest, says the CRTC.

The CRTC said the conditions were made to “guarantee adequate levels of investments in local programming and original French-language Canadian programming.”

Bell Media announced it would acquire V Network, along with the latter’s streaming service Noovo last July.

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