the world digest


Teachers pet

TORONTO — Following months of pursuit by Canadian and U.S. equity players, domestic phone giant BCE Inc. has accepted a CAN$51.7 billion ($48.5 billion) all-cash bid from a group led by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. But the takeover may not be over as local media is reporting that losing bidders including U.S.-based Cerberus Capital Management Lp. and rival phone giant Telus Corp. may not be ready to lay down their guns. BCE owns domestic satellite TV service Bell ExpressVu Llp. and has a minority stake in the CTV network.

Counted out

ROME — Italian broadcast giant Mediaset on Monday said it is dropping WWE wrestling from its schedule. The news comes in the wake of the tragedy in which WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killed himself, his wife and young son. Wrestling broadcasts have been a Sunday morning and late-night mainstay on Italia 1, one of three Mediaset-owned networks. But the network said it will discontinue the programming because it risked "confusing fact and fiction" and "contaminated" other programming on the network. The other two Mediaset networks do not carry regular wrestling programming.

Extended play

PARIS — France Televisions has signed a new VOD deal with Gallic telecommunications operator Orange, the companies said Monday. The deal allows Orange subscribers to view programs from the France Televisions Group channels including France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and France O across multiple formats. The partnership will make magazine and entertainment shows available for seven days from the time of broadcast and series, soaps and documentaries available for seven to 30 days.