Astral Joins with Bell Media Today

- Bell Media acquires eight specialty and pay TV services, two over-the-air TV 
stations, 77 radio stations, and the Astral Out-of-Home advertising division -
- New executive leadership team announced -
- New initiatives include a French-language Discovery-branded channel, 
French-language specialties added to GO product roll-out, and content 
integration across TV and radio - 
To tweet this release: http://bit.ly/15jU1sP 
BellMediaPR.ca twitter.com/BellMediaPR 
MONTRÉAL AND TORONTO, July 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Astral Media Inc. (Astral) today 
officially joins with Bell Media following the completion of the $3.2-billion 
acquisition of Astral by BCE Inc. (Bell). 
"Our union with Astral is full of opportunity for our audiences, our industry, 
and our team members," said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. "Our objective 
is to create content and build brands that entertain, inform, engage, and 
inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. We will deliver on 
our commitment to provide world-class content to our listeners and viewers, as 
we make significant investments in the Canadian broadcasting system." 
New Leadership Team
Reflecting the company's new composition of TV, radio, out-of-home, and 
digital properties in French and English, Crull today introduced his senior 
leadership team that includes both Astral and Bell Media executives: 


    --  Jacques Parisien, President, National Specialty and Pay TV,
        Radio, and Out-of-Home
    --  Charles Benoît, President, Television and Radio, Québec
    --  Rick Brace, President, Specialty Channels and CTV Production
    --  Chris Gordon, President, Bell Media Radio and Local TV
    --  Luc Quétel, President, Astral Out-of-Home
    --  Luc Sabbatini, President, Bell Media Sales
    --  Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports
    --  Bart Yabsley, Executive Vice-President, Content Sales and
        Distribution
    --  Wendy Freeman, President, CTV News
    --  Adam Ashton, Senior Vice-President, Business Operations

As previously announced, Astral President and CEO Ian Greenberg will now join 
the BCE Board of Directors.

Opportunities Realized
With the transaction's close today, Bell Media is moving quickly to deliver 
the benefits to viewers and listeners it committed to during the acquisition 
process, especially in Québec. Among the first new initiatives to be 
announced:

  1. New French Specialty Channel
     A new Discovery-branded French-language specialty channel will
     launch by the end of Q4, building on the success of Bell Media's
     Discovery brands in the English-language market, and leveraging
     Astral's expertise in operating, programming, and marketing French
     specialties.

  2. Bell Media's TV Everywhere Expands to French channels
     Bell Media's roll-out of its GO TV Everywhere product suite will
     expand to include Super Écran, Ztélé, Canal D, Canal Vie, and
     VRAK.TV in early 2014, moving these channels beyond the TV screen
     and providing subscribers with online access to live and on-demand
     programming on the platform of their choice. The channels will be
     supported with individual websites and stand-alone apps for
     authenticated live and on-demand viewing.

  3. New Listening and Viewing Content
     Bell Media will immediately implement content integration across
     its new brands and platforms, providing additional viewing and
     listening content and strengthening individual brands. To start,
     CTV National News segments will appear on news/talk radio,
     including CJAD 800 in Montreal and NewsTalk 1010 in Toronto; RDS
     sports updates will be heard on Radio NRJ stations; and ETALK and
     The Movie Network will also share content.

Transaction Details
Bell acquired all Class A Non-Voting Shares of Astral for $50 per share, for a 
total consideration of approximately $2.8 billion. Bell also acquired all 
Class B Subordinate Voting Shares for $54.83 per share, for a total 
consideration of approximately $151 million, and all Special Shares for a 
total consideration of $50 million. The Astral Class A Shares and Class B 
Shares will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the end of trading 
on July 8, 2013.

As previously announced, the acquisition of Astral will be entirely satisfied 
with cash and Bell has deposited a sufficient amount of cash with 
Computershare Investor Services Inc. to enable it to make payments to Astral 
shareholders pursuant to the terms of the arrangement.

The Letters of Transmittal have been mailed to registered shareholders of 
Astral and are also available on Astral's website at www.astral.com and on 
SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Letters of Transmittal explain how registered 
Astral shareholders can deposit and obtain payment for their Astral shares. 
Registered Astral shareholders must return their duly completed Letters of 
Transmittal to Computershare Investor Services Inc. in order to receive the 
consideration to which they are entitled for their Astral shares. 
Non-registered shareholders should carefully follow the instructions from the 
broker or other financial intermediary that holds Astral shares on their 
behalf.

Bell plans to update its 2013 financial guidance to reflect the Astral 
acquisition when it delivers BCE results for the second quarter (Q2) of 2013 
on August 8, 2013.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this news release including, but not limited to, 
statements relating to certain benefits expected to result from the 
acquisition of Astral, our plans, commitments, initiatives and objectives, and 
other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking. 
Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent 
risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, such as the 
timely and successful integration of Astral's operations, procedures and 
personnel, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events 
could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such 
forward-looking statements. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any 
forward-looking statement will materialize and you are cautioned not to place 
undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our 
expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to 
change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, 
we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking 
statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new 
information, future events or otherwise. For additional information with 
respect to certain of the assumptions and risks relating to the 
above-mentioned forward-looking statements, please refer to BCE Inc.'s 2012 
annual MD&A dated March 7, 2013 and BCE Inc.'s First Quarter MD&A dated May 
8, 2013, filed with the Canadian securities commissions (available at 
www.sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available 
at www.sec.gov). These documents are also available on BCE Inc.'s website at 
www.bce.ca.

About Bell Media
With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates 
content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire 
audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada's 
premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, 
out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local 
television stations led by CTV, Canada's #1 television network; 34 specialty 
channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada's most-watched specialty channels in 
English and French; four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and 
Super Écran; and is managing shareholder of premium pay-per-view service 
Viewers Choice Canada. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, 
with 107 licensed radio stations in 55 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns 
Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada's most dynamic and innovative out-of-home 
advertising companies. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites and 
apps, delivers TV Everywhere with its innovative GO video streaming services, 
including TMN GO and Bravo GO, and owns Dome Productions Inc., a 
multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: 
BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please 
visit www.bellmedia.ca.

Matthew Garrow, Bell Media, 416.384.5258 ormatthew.garrow@bellmedia.ca 
Olivier Racette, Bell Media, 514.939.5001 x 3193 
orolivier.racette@bellmedia.ca

SOURCE: Bell Media

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CO: Bell Canada
ST: Quebec
NI: TVNEWS ENT MNA 

-0- Jul/05/2013 13:09 GMT


 
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