Bell has revealed that Quebecor has threatened to deny Bell TV subscribers access to its TVA Sports channel in response to a business dispute between both companies.
The issue is that Quebecor has accused Bell of not granting royalties that reflect the “fair value” of its specialty channels offered through Bell, including LCN and TVA Sports. Specifically, Bell is pricing its RDS sports network more than the Quebecor TVA Sports channel, which Bell says is due to the fact that viewership is on average 67 percent higher on RDS than TVA.
Meanwhile, Bell says Quebecor has issued “a series of misleading statements on its hockey broadcasts and other media platforms that falsely claimed Bell itself planned to remove access to TVA Sports, and that also directed Bell TV customers to switch to Quebecor’s cable TV subsidiary Vidéotron.”
Following a request from Bell, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued a directive requiring Quebecor to continue providing TVA Sports service to Bell customers.
“Quebecor’s reckless campaign and illegal actions are all about our negotiations over pricing for its TVA Sports channel and Bell’s Media’s RDS sports network,” said Martine Turcotte, Bell’s vice chair, Québec.
“Quebecor actually wants to charge Bell more to access its TVA Sports channel than Quebecor/Videotron is willing to pay for RDS. However, the reality is that RDS is the leading French-language sports network by far, consistently outpacing TVA Sports in both content and viewership, and Bell Media will not devalue the clear fan favourite.”
“Bell will continue to negotiate with Quebecor in good faith as we always have and we look forward to a fair resolution. Our focus is always on delivering for the fans, and that’s why RDS is #1,” said Turcotte.