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Benefits given to RDS: New setback for Bill in court

Benefits given to RDS: New setback for Bill in court

Bell suffered another setback in Kibekor, this time before the Federal Court of Appeals on Wednesday after appealing a CRTC ruling that found the telecom giant gave undue preference to its RDS channel in its TV show.

Kibekor won its case in 2020 against Bell before the Canadian Radio, Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) after being accused of favoring RDS over TVA Sports.

The dispute between the two companies was related to Bell’s decision to include TVA Sports in its “Mieux” and “Meilleur” packages, while RDS – owned by Bell – was available in the “Bon” package, which is less expensive and more popular than the other two.

During its review, the CRTC determined that the two channels offer similar programming “that is, various sports programming, including broadcast rights to major league sports and popular sporting events.” So the organization concluded that Bell was treating TVA Sports and RDS differently, depriving Quebecor of a large number of subscribers, and forcing Bell to put the two channels in the same TV package.

Bell decided to appeal this decision. However, that approach was finally rejected on Wednesday by the Federal Court of Appeals, which upheld the CRTC’s decision.

The conflict between Québecourt and Bale goes back several years, with the two companies, in 2014 and 2017, having to serve an arbitration service by the CRTC to determine which bid Bale should pay to Quebec to distribute TVA Sports.

Conflict took a new turn in 2019 when Quebecor decided to cut access to its TVA Sports channel for Bell subscribers, banning them from National Hockey League matches. The CRTC intervened to force Quebecor to reconnect TVA Sports.

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