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breaking news: CRTC Approves Bell/Astral Merger

This is significant. We wrote about it a while back, but it looks like it’s come to pass. Canada’s media regulator, the CRTC, has approved the latest bid by Bell Media-parent BCE to acquire Astral Media for roughly US$3.4 billion. As a condition of this deal, Astral has to sell off certain assets, among them the Teletoon channels, including Teltoon itself, Teletoon Retro and Cartoon Network Canada. These particular channels are being picked up by Corus Entertainment as part of a CDN$494 million deal. Corus, for those who aren’t familiar, is the parent company of the animation producer Nelvana, and of broadcasters such as YTV and Treehouse.

Here’s the Globe and Mail coverage.




  1. Daniel Tynan Daniel Tynan June 27, 2013

    Worth noting that along with Teletoon, Bell also has to sell off Disney Channels. which also contains a lot of Canadian produced content. Not sure who will be buying that. . but certainly it will be bought by another network.

  2. Murray Bain Murray Bain June 27, 2013

    ironically, the reason the Deal was blocked by the CRTC was it gave to much control of the canadian media to one company;(bell) but by astral selling it’s remaining teletoon assets to Corus it gives Corus an almost complete monopoly of the Canadian animation industry,and complete vertical integration, make it on the first floor at Nelvana, sell it to themselves on the top floor, and broadcast it downstairs at teletoon.

    here’s this:

    from which I highlight the following:
    Where a Broadcaster expresses an interest in developing a project, the Broadcaster and the producer must use best efforts to execute a development agreement within 60 days. Each phase of development must be specified in the development agreement and the Broadcaster has no more than 18 days (40 days in the case of animation co-production) following the receipt of development materials to inform the producer of whether it approves the submitted development materials. If the Broadcaster chooses to turn down the proposal, the Broadcaster is only entitled to reimbursement from the producer of its out-of-pocket cash investment in the development of the project. If the project is ultimately greenlit by another Broadcaster, this reimbursement is to be paid on the first day of principal photography or key animation.

    Once the final deliverables under the development agreement have been received, the Broadcaster has 6 months to decide whether it wishes to license the project. At the end of this 6 month period, the Agreement requires the Broadcaster to either (i) order the project (subject to negotiation and agreement of the licence terms), (ii) agree with the producer to continue to further develop the project, or (iii) release its interest in the project in writing.

    I know for a fact while this deal was in limbo, tons of projects were not held to these terms. But do you bite the hand that somewhat, possibly, maybe- will feed you down the line?

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