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April 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Inc. (Astral) and BCE Inc. (Bell) today announced they have replied to interventions filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), part of the CRTC's process to review the proposed transaction to unite Astral and Bell Media.
"Astral and Bell Media are happy to present our plan to deliver great new TV, radio and film content across all platforms and to enhance competition in a rapidly evolving broadcasting system," said
Kevin Crull, President of Bell Media. "We appreciate the letters of support received from Canadian consumers, creators, and broadcast and cable companies, and we acknowledge those who question the transaction. We believe our plan fully addresses their concerns, and we look forward to detailing the benefits of the transaction during the CRTC's public hearing in May."
"Astral is proud of our long history of creating world-class content and world-class opportunities here in Québec and across Canada," said
Jacques Parisien, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Astral. "By joining with Bell Media, we'll build on that proud legacy, ensuring consumers and creators benefit from accelerated investment and innovation in new programming, especially in the French-language media marketplace."
Under both an agreement with the Competition Bureau and their amended application to the CRTC, Astral and Bell Media will sell several Astral TV services. The divestitures include 100% of Astral's English-language specialty TV services and 50% of its French-language specialty TV.
After selling a total of 11 Astral TV services, Bell Media would retain 8 Astral pay and specialty TV services - the French-language Super Écran, Cinépop, Canal Vie, Canal D, VRAK TV, and Ztélé, and English-language services The Movie Network, which includes HBO Canada, and TMN Encore.