BCE’s arch-rival accounted for 35 per cent of viewership of French television viewing in 2011, while Bell only accounted for 6 per cent. Astral, meanwhile, owned 26 per cent of the market and would help Bell increase its presence in the province.
Sources say the new bid, which has not yet been made public but has been filed with the CRTC, outlines which English radio stations and television services the company is willing to part with in order to reduce its viewership numbers in English Canada – a key reason the previous deal was rejected.
“We feel really good about this one,” said Mirko Bibic, the company’s chief regulatory officer. “We need to move away from the mechanics of the transaction and say there’s a vision here, and that’s to deliver more to both viewers and listeners.”
Because the company filed a new application to the CRTC, the entire process that led to the first deal’s rejection must unfold again. That means CRTC staff is now reviewing the submission, and will let the public see the details of the proposal when it opens the case for public comments prior to a hearing.