Two Canuck media giants seek merger

Deal includes TV, newspapers, Internet

TORONTO — Two of Canada’s media giants are negotiating a possible multimedia alliance that would create a television, newspaper, Internet and telecommunications powerhouse.

Newspaper scions the Thomson family and BCE, parent company of Bell Canada, are reportedly hammering out a multibillion-dollar alliance, according to Canuck newspaper the Globe & Mail, citing unnamed sources.The paper is owned by the Thomson Corp. According to the report, the merged entity — as yet unnamed –could be announced by the end of the week.

Pooling resources

The proposed alliance would pool the resources of the Globe & Mail, Canuck web CTV (which BCE recently took over, pending regulatory approvals), BCE’s Sympatico Internet portal and perhaps Toronto’s professional hockey and basketball franchises, the Maple Leafs and the Raptors, respectively. “We’re creating a new universe here,” an executive involved in the negotiations told the paper.

Deal takes the convergence and mega-merger stakes up a notch on the Canuck landscape. CanWest Global recently inked a deal to buy a majority stake in Conrad Black’s Canadian newspapers, including half of the National Post, and earlier this month Rogers Communications agreed to buy a controlling interest in the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club. Both CanWest and Rogers are said to have an eye on the Maple Leafs, the Raptors or both.

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