You can expect a bunch more Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC mobile content coming soon from both Rogers and Bell. Both carriers have announced today that they have joined together and will be acquiring a net 75% stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). Upon the deal closing (expected “next Summer”), KSI Investments will hold 25%, Bell and BCE Master Trust Fund will own 37.5%, and Rogers Communications will own 37.5%. It sounds like both Rogers and Bell dished out $533 million each to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for the joint agreement.
Mobile will be a big play in this, reading over the press release stated that “The investment advances Rogers’ strategy to deliver highly sought- after content anywhere, anytime, on any platform across its broadband and wireless networks and its media assets, while strengthening the value of its sports brand, Sportsnet.” Meanwhile, Bell, who “reaffirms its long-term commitment to the Montréal Canadiens”, will also be diving deeper into mobile content and noted that the investment into MLSE will “strengthen Bell Mobile TV” and help “deliver the best sports, news and entertainment media across its world-leading broadband networks to Bell Mobility, TV and Internet customers.”
Nadir Mohamed, President and CEO, Rogers Communications said “We’re excited to partner with MLSE to create highly interactive and engaging experiences for hockey, basketball and soccer fans, creating the perfect marriage of content and distribution. This investment fits squarely into our strategy of securing premium content and making it accessible to Canadians when, where and how they want it.”
2011 was the year of distribution, 2012 will be the year of mobile content. Expect more apps, more live coverage, more social features, more video, more exclusive content and, finally, more Rogers and Bell branding at the Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC games.