CRTC approves sales of Maple Leafs channels
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved the sale of sport television channels owned by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment to BCE and Rogers Communications. The CRTC's review included three existing television services, Leafs TV, Gol TV and NBA TV Canada, as well as two upcoming services called Mainstream Sports and Live Music Channel. BCE and Rogers will be required to spend $7.5 million over the next seven years on the creation of new sports-themed programming by Canadian independent producers. "When deciding whether or not to approve a proposed ownership transaction, the commission must be persuaded, in light of the application and the public record that an approval is in the public interest," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC. "In this case, we have been convinced that the transaction benefits Canadians as it will lead to the creation of new home-grown sports programming."