Photo by anabome via Flickr
The news blowing up the Twitterverse (yes, we went there) today offers a bit of reprieve from the overstuffed clown car that is the Quebec election.
Instead, today’s clown car is being driven by Lee Bragg (Eastlink), Louis Audet (Cogeco) and Pierre Karl Péladeau (Quebecor), who have joined forces to petition the CRTC to reject the proposed merger of Bell and Astral Media. An open letter to Canadians and a matching website were unveiled today, urging them to join in opposing the merger.
Back in March, it was announced that Astral had accepted Bell’s hand in media conglomeration for a dowry of $3.38 billion. The moving-in process followed, presided over and approved by the Quebec Superior Court.
But now, the trio of competing media barons are totally trying to break up this wedding.
For those who don’t know, Astral owns a shit-ton of Canadian radio and TV stations, including — gulp! — HBO Canada and The Movie Network. This, in addition to the shit-ton of radio and TV stations Bell owns, would fuel a Bell-Astral behemoth capable of going all Godzilla on Canadian media.
The impending union is bad news for all Canadians, but Quebecers in particular — this Bell-Astral deal is what sounded the death knell of TSN 990 Radio, launching a few more tumbleweeds into the province’s English-language broadcasting landscape.
But, um, hello? Does anyone else find it ironic that three megacorporations in their own right are up in arms about another megacorporation getting even more megacorporatey?
Oh, good — we’re glad we’re not alone.
Despite the irony, though, this whole Bell thing is bad news for people who hate Bell but love HBO.
CRTC, if you’re reading this, please, please, please don’t take away our HBO.