CRTC approves transfer of MTS broadcasting licence to Bell

BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE) has had a broadcasting distribution undertaking licence transferred to it from Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (TSX: MBT) by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the company said.

Expected to close in early 2017, the Bell MTS transaction has been approved by MTS shareholders, the Manitoba courts and the CRTC, and is subject to approval by the Competition Bureau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).

The CRTC´s approval of the transfer of the terrestrial broadcasting licence will enable the rollout in Winnipeg and other locations of Bell´s next-generation Fibe TV. A superior viewing experience that´s driving real choice and competition in Canadian television, Fibe TV delivers exclusive innovations like Restart, Trending, wireless TV and Apple TV support that aren´t available from traditional cable companies. Fibe TV´s strong growth in Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic provinces has transformed Bell into Canada´s largest TV service provider.

Bell announced the USD3.9-billion MTS transaction on May 2, and a 5-year, USD1 billion plan to roll out new broadband network infrastructure and next-generation services — including Fibe TV, Gigabit Fibe Internet and Canada´s fastest LTE wireless services from Bell Mobility — across Manitoba.

Major Bell MTS infrastructure projects already announced include Fibe and LTE services for Winnipeg´s unique “Innovation Alley” hub, advanced broadband services for the arctic port town of Churchill, continuous broadband wireless coverage along Highway 75 in southern Manitoba and along Highway 6 in the north to Thompson, and new broadband services for Flin Flon and remote indigenous communities.

Canada´s largest communications company, Bell provides consumer, business and government customers with a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services from Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. Bell Media is Canada´s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE).