You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Takeover delays tether major players


TORONTO — With the recent takeovers of two larger cablers, Alliance Atlantis Communications and Chum by CanWest Global/Goldman Sachs and CTV Globemedia, respectively, Canada’s presence at Mipcom looked in danger of becoming a two-horse race.

But then Konrad von Finckenstein, the tough-talking topper of Canada’s regulator, appointed in January, stepped in.

Instead of rubber-stamping the deals, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission told CTV it could keep Chum’s cable channels but forced it to sell its five terrestrial stations — which CTV quickly did, to Rogers Media.

More recently, the regulator pushed the takeover approval hearing for the AAC assets back from early September to mid-November.

So while Rogers has the potential to become a serious player down the road and the AAC assets promise to give CanWest’s specialty stable some significant girth, until the deals receive von Finckenstein’s blessing (if they do), Chum and AAC execs are taking a “business as usual” tack at Mipcom.

Roughly translated, that means don’t expect anything extravagant or daring from either.

For those players who have a bit more room to breathe, however, this promises to be a brisk market with one-hour dramas on the upswing, say industryites including CanWest’s Barb Williams and John Morayniss of Blueprint Entertainment.

The two have developed a business model in which Blueprint works with CanWest and a U.S. broadcaster to produce series that enjoy the benefits of being Canadian content, such as “The Best Years” (with the N) and “Love You to Death” (aka ” ‘Til Death Do Us Part,” with Court TV), but also have license fees from the States to help meet what Williams terms “the endless financing challenge.”


1. Canadian Idol 5 (CTV)

2. CSI: Miami (CTV)

3. Criminal Minds (CTV)



July 12: CTV Globemedia announces takeover of Chum.


Jan. 11: CanWest Global and Goldman Sachs announce takeover of Alliance Atlantis Communications.

June 8: CRTC approves CTV takeover of Chum contingent upon selloff of five over-the-air channels.

June 10: Rogers Media buys Chum OTAs.

Aug. 29: CRTC delays CanWest/GS hearing from September to November; holds hearing on Rogers takeover of Chum OTAs — decision pending.

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne attends The Trevor Project's

    Cara Delevingne Recalls Producers Saying That Being Queer Will Hurt Her Career

    Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Anthony Anderson LADF

    Why Anthony Anderson and Billie Jean King are Giving Back with the Dodgers Foundation

    Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth. [...]

  • Shia LaBeouf poses at the premiere

    Shia LaBeouf to Host Birthday Fundraiser for Slauson Rec. Theater Company

    Shia LaBeouf is celebrating his 33rd birthday by giving back. The actor, who turned 33 on June 11, will host a fundraising concert later this month for the Slauson Rec Theater Company, a 10-month-old free performing arts program he co-founded in downtown Los Angeles. The night will also include a preview of the Slauson Rec [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content