Astral and Bell are back to the drawing board and have submitted a new proposal to the CRTC for approval. Previously, both companies had their merger proposal rejected by the CRTC over competition concerns, such as Bell having too much marketshare in some areas. Now, both companies have announced they have re-submitted a modified proposal to satisfy the needs of the CRTC.
“We heard Canadians and the CRTC loud and clear – they want assurance that Astral joining with Bell Media will directly benefit consumers and creators. We’re ready to deliver more choice for listeners and viewers, more opportunity for content creators, and more competition for the broadcasting industry,” said George Cope, Bell’s President and CEO. “Bell and Astral are happy to move forward with a new proposal that benefits all Canadians, in both official languages, in communities large and small across the nation, with new ideas, new funding and new choices.”
Changes include a “revised package of tangible benefits to support the creation of exceptional Canadian TV and radio content, promote homegrown talent in a multi-platform universe, and foster consumer engagement in the broadcasting system.” Also, Bell has asked for the Montreal station TSN Radio 690 (CKGM) to continue to operate as an English-language sports talk radio.
The new deal aims to be closed by June 1st of 2013.
What do you think? Should the Bell/Astral merger go through or not?