Friday, May 10, 2013

Bell digs in on Astral

Bell would walk away from buying Astral Media if it's asked to sell any more of the TV specialty and radio company's assets in order to win regulatory approval for the $3.4-billion merger, chief executive George Cope said Friday.
Cope said there wouldn't be any "strategic rationale" to buy Astral if it had to sell more of its assets to obtain the OK from the CRTC, which has already turned down the deal once.
"If we were to be asked to divest any more of the channels or content, we would not move forward with the transaction," Cope said.
Rogers Communications has asked the CRTC to force Bell to sell Astral's English language pay TV service, the Movie Network, as a condition of approving the revised deal. Rogers has told the CRTC it would them take a look at buying the Movie Network itself.
Bell said it wouldn't be able to make its strategy of more content available on multiple platforms and more competition work if forced to sell more of Astral's assets.

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