October 8, 2010
I missed this huge media acquisition news while I was on vacation:
BCE Inc. has in one fell swoop remade Canada’s media landscape and set the stage for a fierce battle between the phone and cable companies over watching TV shows on something other than a television.
The telecommunications giant on Friday struck a $1.3-billion deal to take full ownership of CTV Inc., a move that breaks apart CTVglobemedia, gives control of The Globe and Mail back to the Thomson family and marks the exit of Torstar Corp. from the group, further shaking up an industry that is constantly being reshaped.
What it means: I love this quote (in another Globe & Mail article) from Kevin Crull, Bell Canada’s President – Residential Services: “Mr. Crull said that he considers Bell more of an entertainment company than a straight communications company, reiterating Bell’s stated goal to be the largest TV provider in Canada by 2015. “You can’t separate entertainment and communications any more, because of broadband [high-speed Internet],” he said.” It’s definitely back to the future for Bell Canada as the company (under Jean Monty’s direction) had bought CTV in 2000. It had resold it under Michael Sabia’s rule. I personally thought Monty’s move was brilliant and I think this vindicates him.
I also think it clearly confirms that content is, once again, king. And it also makes me think about the Yellow Pages industry. Many industry CEOs state that their main asset is the sales force. I think senior management should not forget about content. Local search is all about breadth and depth of content, not just sales.