Foreign Ownership Rules Seemingly Set Aside

Foreign Ownership Rules Seemingly Set Aside

Postby jon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:57 am

Given that SIRI [Siriux/XM U.S.] will effectively control ~93% of the equity of XSR [Sirius/XM Canada] (and most likely a
large portion of the new company's debt), and it will yield significant influence over the
operations of this Canadian broadcast licensee going forward, we wonder whether
the CRTC has set a precedent that could allow foreign takeovers of any Canadian
telecom, cable, and media companies.

That from TD Securities Inc. this morning.
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Re: Foreign Ownership Rules Seemingly Set Aside

Postby ThisIsNotCBC » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:16 pm

As I remember, prior to Pierre Trudeau taking over as PM in 1968, a number of Canadian radio and TV stations were majority-owned by American interests, including RKO General (which owned CKLW Radio and TV in Windsor, prior to CKLW-TV becoming CBET under CBC ownership) and the Famous Players cinema chain (which owned a minority stake in our own CHAN-TV and was majority owner of CKCO in Kitchener and CFCM and CKMI in Quebec City).
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Re: Foreign Ownership Rules Seemingly Set Aside

Postby dmehus » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:55 pm

I don't have a problem with foreign ownership in broadcast or telecom, really, especially if the increased economies of scale from a larger company would either bring down costs for consumers or mean less simultaneous substitution. ;)

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Re: Foreign Ownership Rules Seemingly Set Aside

Postby Richard Skelly » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:27 pm

Be careful what you wish for. The sad saga of Cumulus Media taking over formerly viable ABC radio stations is very cautionary. ABC wanted to ditch the division to ramp up annual earnings and placate shareholders wanting a higher (Disney) stock price. Cumulus took on heavy additional debt to fund the deal and promptly began dumping on-air talent and gutting newsrooms to,likewise, ward off shareholders alarmed by the now-crippling debt. Things continue to end badly for Cumulus, while listeners have lost local communication links that are shadows of their former selves.

Think how an American corporate master would handle any Canadian assets: something to be pared to the bone or cut loose at the first economic recession.

What we have in Canada is far from ideal with Toronto suits largely uncaring on how well or poorly a radio station serves its community. But as bad as say, CKNW has been hollowed by parent Corus, it's still better than KGO in San Francisco. Its been so starved by Cumulus that it merrily airs piffle while major stories break.

Don't have a ready solution for Canada. One might be to reduce the number of stations (similar to the Feds buying up fishing licenses) and bringing in tax or other incentives for local ownership to take over.
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Re: Foreign Ownership Rules Seemingly Set Aside

Postby dmehus » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:51 am

Richard Skelly wrote:Be careful what you wish for. The sad saga of Cumulus Media taking over formerly viable ABC radio stations is very cautionary. ABC wanted to ditch the division to ramp up annual earnings and placate shareholders wanting a higher (Disney) stock price. Cumulus took on heavy additional debt to fund the deal and promptly began dumping on-air talent and gutting newsrooms to,likewise, ward off shareholders alarmed by the now-crippling debt. Things continue to end badly for Cumulus, while listeners have lost local communication links that are shadows of their former selves.

Think how an American corporate master would handle any Canadian assets: something to be pared to the bone or cut loose at the first economic recession.

What we have in Canada is far from ideal with Toronto suits largely uncaring on how well or poorly a radio station serves its community. But as bad as say, CKNW has been hollowed by parent Corus, it's still better than KGO in San Francisco. Its been so starved by Cumulus that it merrily airs piffle while major stories break.

Don't have a ready solution for Canada. One might be to reduce the number of stations (similar to the Feds buying up fishing licenses) and bringing in tax or other incentives for local ownership to take over.


Great points, Richard. I was referring more to TV, while maintaining Canadian majority ownership of radio stations, if that would work potentially.

Didn't know about Cumulus Media...the same could be said of iHeartRadio (formerly ClearChannel), too. The Entercom amalgamation with CBS Radio (formerly Infinity Broadcasting, I believe) actually seems like a good idea, one that will be less laden with debt.

Cheers,
Doug
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