The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Shaw Communications Inc.’s CDN$2 billion acquisition of the conventional and specialty TV assets of Canwest Global Communications Corp. ‘We are satisfied that this transaction will generate substantial benefits for the Canadian broadcasting system,’ said Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC. ‘Shaw will provide the television properties involved in the transaction with stable ownership as they emerge from a period of uncertainty. The broadcasting system also stands to gain from Shaw’s commitment to support local and independent programming and the transition to digital television.’ The CRTC nod gives Shaw the Western Canadian cable company control over Canwest’s Global television network as well as its roster of specialty channels, including HGTV and Food Network Canada, among others.
As part of the transaction, the CRTC has accepted Shaw’s proposal to purchase more drama, documentary and comedy programs from independent producers; invest in new media content that will support news programming and programs of national interest among other commitments designed to fund improvements to Canadian broadcasting.
Shaw announced its plans for the takeover in May of this year, with the CRTC’s public hearing on the deal taking place in late September.