“We are satisfied that this transaction will generate substantial benefits for the Canadian broadcasting system,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “Shaw will provide the television properties involved in the transaction with stable ownership as they emerge from a period of uncertainty. The broadcasting system also stands to gain from Shaw’s commitment to support local and independent programming and the transition to digital television.”
With BCE (Bell Canada) scooping up CTVGlobeMedia earlier this year, this now means that all of the major broadcasters (the CBC excepted) are now owned by telecommunications giants. While I’m not a huge fan of this move, I do wonder if it might wind up being a good thing for digital media in Canada.
Well a good thing if you’re not trying to compete with Shaw, Bell or Rogers that is.
Since the folks that now provide Internet access to almost all of Canada now have content that they want to get into as many hands as possible, I suspect services like Rogers on demand, the CityTV ipad app and such are going to be more common. What we’re not going to see are services like Netflix being able to offer this kind of programming. As anti-competitive as it might be, I just don’t see any complaint to the CRTC going very far.\
The interesting question will be how much of a benefit each telco will give its own subscribers to the broadcast content it now owns, and if they will penalize other customers.
As a final bit of news on this Jim Shaw is handing over the reins to his brother Brad to oversee this $2 billion consolidation.