You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Canadian cable TV targets U.S. market

Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions.

Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test.

Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own 80% of the total equity of a broadcasting or cable holding company. Under the revised regulations, Canadians need own only two-thirds of the voting shares and foreign investors can own an unlimited number of non-voting shares.

“By allowing for new infusions of investment capital along with new partnerships and alliances, we will help keep the system strong,” says Michel Dupuy, minister of Canadian Heritage.

Industry players say they were delighted with the regulatory changes and suggested they’ll be quick to use their newfound financial flexibility.

Can West Global Communications Corp., one of Canada’s biggest broadcasting concerns, was first off the block, saying it will soon seek to list its nonvoting shares on a suitable U.S. exchange.

Rogers Communications Inc., the nation’s largest cable operator, also is expected to seek a listing. It withdrew from U.S. equity markets in 1987 to live up to the spirit of the rules then in place, buying back shares of its publicly held U.S. subsidiary and delisting the stock.

“People will want to take advantage of these new financing possibilities,” says Richard Stursberg, president of the Canadian Cable Television Assn.

“Our people have been pushing for this because it gives greater potential for making some strategic alliances with broadcasters in other countries and gives us an opportunity to bring new money into the business to help us compete with other players,” says Michael McCabe, president of the Canadian Assn. of Broadcasters.

The changes bring parts of the Broadcasting Act into line with certain provisions in the Telecommunications Act, putting cable on a more equal regulatory footing with the telephone companies.

Another likely beneficiary is Alliance Communications Corp. of Toronto. It restructured its share capital in April to create a class of non-voting shares and said it hopes to be listed on Nasdaq by year’s end. Under the new rules, Alliance won’t have to worry about the number of non-voting shares in foreign hands.

The amendments to the 1968 direction to the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission include:

* Maximum foreign investment in the voting shares of a broadcasting holding company is raised to 33.3% from 20%.

* The 20% limit on the number of non-Canadians who can be directors or officers, and the requirement that the chairman, chief executive officer or other presiding officer be a Canadian, are eliminated.

More Scene

  • Mark Hamill'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Honors Late Carrie Fisher at Elaborate Premiere

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

  • Conan O'Brien Children's Defense Gala

    Kate Hudson, Conan O'Brien Attend Children's Defense Fund Gala: 'Some of You Literally Dodged Fire to Get Here'

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

  • Ajit Pai Free Speech

    FCC Chair Plays for Laughs at D.C. Event Amid Fierce Net Neutrality Debate

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

  • GQ Men of the Year Awards

    Stars Reflect on 2017 at GQ's Men of the Year Party: 'This Is a Year of Cultural Revolution'

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

  • 29Rooms LA

    Demi Lovato, Margot Robbie, Janelle Monáe Celebrate Art Carrying Out 'Positive Change' at 29Rooms LA

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

  • Variety Press Play Home Entertainment and

    Variety’s Home Entertainment & Digital Hall of Fame Inducts Five Industry Leaders

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

  • TrevorLIVE

    Kristin Chenoweth Doesn't Know If She'll Be in Season 2 of 'American Gods'

    Canadian cable TV and broadcasting companies are hungrily eyeing U.S. equity markets following the federal government’s move recently to ease foreign-ownership restrictions. Ottawa has raised the limit on foreign ownership in Canadian broadcast-related holding companies to one-third from 20% and has eliminated the so-called foreign equity test. Previously, the rules stipulated that Canadians must own […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content