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Does Pierre Carl Pelado want to get rid of TVA?

In an interview Thursday night at economic zoneThe businessman gave the impression that TVA’s future within the Quebecor Group was in jeopardy. And this Quebec growth source will pass primarily, if not entirely, through wireless services and the recent acquisition of Freedom Mobile in western Canada for $2.85 billion.

Pierre-Carl Pelado has been clear about further TVA cuts. We can not say that there will not be. there will be? Yes, most likely. […] We cannot live with losses like those in the first quarter indefinitely. No one and no company can live with permanent losses.

This statement is clear from CEO Quebecor, Videotron, and Groupe TVA. It is difficult for the employees of the latter not to worry. But we must go further and read a little between the lines. Is Pierre Carl Pelado planning to step away from the media business to focus all his energy on wireless? The question is legitimate.

Think differently

I asked Pierre-Carl Pelado if Quebecor’s expansion ran through western Canada and the acquisition of Freedom. His answer was unequivocal. It is clear clearlyHe said, explaining then that over the next seven years, the company will have to develop the telecom infrastructure network in the west of the country, which will require significant investment while respecting Quebec’s commitment to lower prices for mobile services.

Then I asked him if Quebec’s future wasn’t really in the media sector and Groupe TVA. Pierre-Carl Pelado then launched an explanation that takes us back to the acquisition of Videotron by Quebecor in 2000. As if he wanted to refocus his company’s core commitment.

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When Quebecor acquired Videotron, it was first and foremost a cable company. Yes of course there were media activities, including TVA in particular. And on Quebecor’s side, there were the daily newspapers, the weekly ones. But when we participated in the acquisition of Videotron, in particular with Caisse de dépôt – and for that matter we had the same vision – we were committing ourselves to a profession that had a future, that of communications. And very early, in 2006, we considered that the future also belongs to wireless.

Then he insisted on the future of the media sector in his work. He answers: There is no doubt that the media field is difficult. I’m not the only one who said this. You look at the results of all the media companies, whether in North America or Europe, and you see we’re all in the same boat.

With 80% of advertising revenue now in the hands of the web giants, I asked him if he would consider selling Groupe TVA. We have no intention of giving it up. But it will certainly require a culture change. We’ll have to work differently, these things will happen over time. But we actually have to think differently.

TVA Sports’ future depends on the arbitration that Pierre-Carl Pelado wants from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) over the royalties that Bell must pay to Quebec for using the service.

The future is in numbers

The reality is in the numbers Quebecor published on Thursday. In the first quarter, the company saw its revenue from the telecommunications segment, so Videotron increased 2.4% to $925 million. Meanwhile, the media sector saw its revenues decline by 6.1%, to $170.8 million. TVA Group reported a net loss of $23.5 million.

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On the other hand, Quebec generates most of the sales growth and seems to have a bright future. On the other hand, the media sector is losing its importance in the group, and Pierre-Carl Pelado seems to be losing interest in it more and more.

TVA Sports may close, other cuts will occur, and a culture change is coming, says Pierre-Carl Pelado. Dark clouds are gathering and Chief Quebecor seems to be losing interest in this activity. So will Groupe TVA stock, which is only hovering around $1.50, be delisted?

Is the end of TVA soon in the Quebec Empire? Will the business soon be for sale?