The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has called TVA Group to a public hearing next week in an effort to resolve the ongoing dispute between parent company Québecor and Bell Media.
Specifically, the CRTC is looking to investigate whether Québecor has violated its regulations by preventing Bell TV subscribers from accessing its TVA Sports channel.
Following a month of threats, Québecor ultimately cut TVA Sports signals to Bell TV customers right before the start of the NHL Playoffs on April 10th.
Both companies license channels from one another for use in their own subscription offerings. However, Québecor has argued that Bell’s specialty channels like RDS get much higher subscription wholesale fees than TVA’s do.
In response, Bell said its RDS channel is worth the higher price because it is much more popular, having brought in 67 percent more viewers on average in 2018 than TVA Sports.
Meanwhile, the CRTC has ruled that Québecor is “required to provide” TVA Sports to Bell TV “at the same rates and on the same terms and conditions as they did before the dispute, until the parties resolve their dispute or the Commission issues a decision concerning this unresolved matter.”
The hearing will take place on April 17th, 2019 at 10am ET at the Conference Centre, Portage IV in Gatineau, Québec. The CRTC has also invited Bell to the hearing, although it’s currently unclear if the company will be in attendance.