Telephony to the rescue of TV?

Telephony to the rescue of television? < /p> UPDATE DAY

In most countries of the world, television has nothing to do with the telephone, but this is far from the case in Canada.

Most viewers haven't followed the endless saga that led to the acquisition of Shaw Communications by Rogers. They did not know that this mega-transaction could have direct consequences on the future of our television.

Last Friday, Minister François-Philippe Champagne gave his consent to the biggest transaction to occur in our world of communications: more than $23 billion for the purchase of Shaw Communications by Rogers. At the same time, the Minister approved the sale of Freedom Mobile (which belonged to Shaw) to Videotron for $2.85 billion. As a result, the number of Videotron mobile phone subscribers was multiplied by two.


When the Prime Minister of Canada appoints a minister, he follows his appointment with a mandate letter which is in fact a shopping list. Of all these letters, the one received by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is perhaps the most overwhelming. 

It is 12 pages and counts exactly 3894 words. For you, it's the equivalent of seven of my columns put together!

Minister Champagne is the “jack of all trades” of the firm. It is up to him and Pablo Rodriguez, for example, to review copyright. He is also our guardian in terms of artificial intelligence, which I made the subject of my column on Tuesday. 

Since the moratorium just called for by the open letter signed by more than 1,000 AI experts, I do not need to tell you that we are going to examine Minister Champagne's action under the magnifying glass. His mandate requires him to strategize, coordinate international research efforts, and most importantly, set the standards that will guard against the dangers of AI.

In Quebec, the Rogers-Shaw transaction did not cause much noise, and for good reason. First announced in March 2021, the deal took forever to materialize. And then, it did not concern Videotron. 

Last summer, Rogers announced that it had just concluded an agreement to sell Freedom Mobile, a subsidiary of Shaw, to
Videotron for the sum of 2.85 billion dollars. 

Suddenly, Quebecor Media, a Quebec company that owns Videotron, was to become a national company. In the wake of the transaction, Minister Champagne took the opportunity to attach a series of strings to Rogers and Videotron.


Now the fourth wireless provider in Canada, Videotron has made a ten-year commitment to offer rates 20% lower than those paid by Shaw and Rogers subscribers in the West on February 20. In addition, Videotron will invest $150 million to improve its services in the West and is committed to having 90% of subscribers benefit from 5G within two years.

In practice, the transaction does not change anything for Videotron subscribers in Quebec. 

However, Videotron would be inappropriate to offer its new subscribers in the West more attractive conditions than those offered in Quebec. 

Finally, let's cross our fingers that mobile telephony is as profitable as possible. Bell, Telus, Rogers and Videotron, who also own our main TV networks, can no longer hope to make a profit from television. 

Telephony to the rescue of the telephone?