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Overnight, Astral brand all but disappears

Media | 07/05/2013 7:15 pm EDT

BCE Inc. didn’t waste any time in absorbing the former Astral Media Inc. BCE, Canada’s largest vertically integrated communications and media company, formally gained control of Astral at 12:01 a.m. Friday, eight days after the CRTC gave its blessing to the company’s $3.38-billion acquisition of what was previously the country’s largest non-integrated broadcast company. As of Friday morning, Astral’s old website now redirects viewers to the webpage of BCE's Bell Media division. Twitter now says the company’s old account, @Astral, no longer exists,...

Indications of an ‘audacious’ Bell-Astral decision, analyst says

Media | 06/14/2013 8:49 pm EDT

Following the CRTC's wireless code decision last week, the regulator may make a second “audacious” regulatory decision on BCE Inc.’s proposed $3.38-billion acquisition of Astral Media Inc., Veritas Investment Research said. Veritas analysts Neeraj Monga and Desmond Lau, in a research note Thursday, referred to CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais' speech at the Banff World Media festival on Wednesday, where he said the regulator's decision making process will mean “sometimes being audacious” with intervention and in other cases taking a “step back” and deregulating. Blais “quoted Napoleon Bonaparte and said 'the art of sometimes...

Could the CRTC really deny BCE-Astral again?

Media | 06/12/2013 8:19 pm EDT

It's not often that CRTC hearings about mergers and acquisitions draw a room full of laughter. Commissioner Peter Menzies, sitting on the regulator's panel for its hearing on BCE Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Astral...

BCE says its non-sports rights fees rose less than inflation, or fell

Media | 05/22/2013 7:36 pm EDT

BCE Inc. division Bell Media said broadcast distributors' wholesale fees for access to the company's non-sports programming fell or rose less than the rate of inflation when multi-year...

Astral profits rise, expects CRTC hearing in spring

Media | 01/11/2013 10:11 pm EST

Astral Media Inc.'s profits rose to $59.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, the company said Thursday. In a release, the TV specialty channel and radio broadcasting company, which is seeking CRTC approval for an agreement to be acquired by BCE Inc. for $3.38 billion, said profits were up from $55.8 million in the same period a year...