MONTREAL, Aug. 22, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced the closing of its transaction to acquire an ownership position in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) following all regulatory and sports league approvals.
MLSE offers Bell access to broadcast rights across multiple platforms for the premier professional sports teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, Marlies and Toronto FC - in Canada's largest marketplace.
"Investing in MLSE is part of Bell's strategy to deliver the best content of all kinds to customers across all platforms - TV, radio, mobile and digital," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. "We look forward to making more of MLSE's top-tier sports content available to Bell customers and those of cable, satellite and other content distributors from coast to coast to coast."
Bell is part of the all-Canadian group that announced the acquisition of MLSE from Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan on December 9, 2011. Bell and Rogers Communications Inc. have jointly acquired 75% equity ownership in MLSE, and have formed a holding company to govern their combined ownership position. Kilmer Sports Inc. (KSI) has increased its 20.5% ownership stake in MLSE to 25%. KSI is owned by Larry Tanenbaum, who continues to serve as Chair of MLSE and as a Governor of the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) MLSE, one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), the Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto FC (MLS), Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square and three digital channels - Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GOLTV Canada. MLSE has also invested in five of Toronto's sports facilities - Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies, BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, Lamport Stadium, KIA Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies. MLSE operates and manages events at Ricoh Coliseum and BMO Field. About Bell Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell product and service information, please visit Bell.ca. For Bell Media, please visit BellMedia.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca. The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada via the Bell Let's Talk anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk. SOURCE BELL CANADA
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