BCE Secures TV Sports PPV License

Phone giant secures license to launch live sports PPV channel.

TORONTO -- As BCE looks to splash more TV sports content across Canadian TV, computer and mobile screens, the domestic phone giant has secured a broadcast license to get into the live sports pay-per-view business. 

BCE is already widely selling premium sports content to its mobile subscribers.

Now the CRTC okaying the launch of Bell Sports-Specials PPV to offer live and tape-delayed live sports and special events programming nationwide signals the phone giant also wants to offer marquee sports properties via terrestial TV for a price.

TSN’s pro sport offerings include live National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, National Football League and Major League Baseball games.

The Canadian sports channel has also recently bulked up on domestic TV rights for pro soccer and cycling events.

Securing the PPV license comes in the same week the CRTC is expected to greenlight BCE’s takeover of national TV network CTV and a stable of cable channels that includes The Sports Network.

BCE owned the CTV and TSN channels for five years to 2005 as it looked to secure convergence between its TV content and distribution pipes.

Now the phone giant is back to marrying TV technology and content, this time with a focus on driving premium sports content down its expanding mobile and online platforms.

TSN’s main competition comes from Rogers Sportsnet, which also has a domestic PPV license.

More recently, cable giant Shaw Communications asked the CRTC for a broadcast license to launch Shaw Media Sports, a national English language cable sports channel.