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Friday, March 16, 2012

bell media buys astral

This is huge, kids. Really huge. The landscape of the Canadian media has just changed. For the better? Doubtful..

It was announced today that Bell Media has gone in their deep pockets to purchase Astral Media. The deal is worth $3.38 billion.

Everyone knows who Bell is. Yeah. The telephone poeple. But who are these other dudes?

Who is Astral? Astral own specialty TV stations like HBO Canada, a bunch of outdoor advertising, the main contract with Toronto for street furniture (like bus shelters to garbage bins), and radio stations in Quebec and here in Toronto such as CFRB, Virgin 99.9 and Boom 97.3.

As you can see, Bell is going to get huge. Too Huge? Should they be allowed to be THIS huge? The phone company has become the Clear Channel of Canada.

Rumor has been that the Astral family, The Greenberg's, have been looking to sell for sometime, but couldn't find deep enough pockets to grab what they wanted. With the deal working out to around $50 a share and 54.83 for the voting class, I'm sure the Greenberg's are a happy camp.


Questions? Since Bell will be maxed out with how many radio stations one company is able to own in Canada (2 FM's and 2 AN's is the rule), who will they give up? Locally they will own Boom, Virgin, 1010, Flow, 1050 and CHUM-FM. Tough call. They don't want to part with heritage stations like the CHUM's, and 1010. So, one of the FM's? Flow and Virgin? Who will buy? Evenov? That will only be if they can buy a CHR station that won't compete with their Z station. Flip one of them?

As you can see, this deal is going to change the landscape as we know it. Think of it, Bell will own 45% of corporate radio in Canada....