Magazine article Variety

Regulators Split on Media Consolidation

Magazine article Variety

Regulators Split on Media Consolidation

Article excerpt

Mergers can open doors - at a cost

There's a wave of consolidation moving through Canada's media landscape.

Entertainment One recent- ly swallowed Alliance Films; Shaw Communications bought Global; BCE acquired both CTVglobemedia and Astral Media, adding to a portfolio that already includes giant Bell Media. Meanwhile, Cineplex is well on its way to a monopoly, having taken over Canada's AMCs, Empire and even many independent theaters.

Regulators on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are split on whether this can be a good thing.

On Dec. 6, at the Whistler Film Festival, Variety's VP-executive editor Steven Gaydos will lead a panel, "The View From the Top - Consolidation in the Media: Is There an Upside?," that will feature execs from eOne, Cineplex and Bell Media.

Canadian Radio and Television Commission spokeswoman Celine Legault says one plus from consolidation is the scale of vertically integrated companies "facilitates the creation of diverse and high-quality Canadian programming" and helps it find distribution.

Canadian Media Production Assn, proxy Michael Hennessy says, "If you have strong distributors and broadcasters, then there's more likely going to be a willingness to license and support (original) television and film projects. …

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