Saturday, December 10, 2011

But, will Ontario teachers get free cable and cel phones?

The Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund took one for the Dominion this week, forgoing the opportunity to transfer their majority shares to a mysterious American Financial Fund (shudder!!) and instead, selling off their investment to those warm and fuzzy Canadians that bring us cable, satellite and cellular phone services. (er, shudder??)

Friday's announcement of the sale of the Teachers shares to a consortium of Rogers and Bell Canada Enterprises, keeps the Leafs, perhaps one of the nations most famous of brands solidly in the hands of Canadians, media barons that can now we imagine fight amongst themselves as to who will broadcast what and when, (be warned CBC, there's a new front forming in the hockey broadcast wars).

Now every time that Rogers, Bell Globe media users make a phone call or click to a television show they can do so with the knowledge that they are contributing to bringing the Maple Leafs closer to the Stanley Cup.

Lets just call the new ownership plan, the ultimate in bundle packages, shall we.

The teachers relinquish their ownership still very much faceless and nameless, just another corporate investor that found the Leafs brand was pretty good for their bottom line. We hope the teachers got free cable and cel phone service out of their deal, membership should have had some benefits.

Still to be determined amongst the details of the deal, will be if Bell can continue to hold shares in the Montreal Canadiens, currently at the level of 18 per cent,  if the NHL constitution is to be followed the folks at Bell will have to remove that rouge blanc and bleu in favour of the singular Blue, though not surprisingly, there is the option of the NHL to grant a waiver if deemed appropriate.

Rogers and Bell take on the ownership  the most valuable of NHL franchises and with it the passion of a good number of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, clearly this is a deal that has much more importance than say picking up shares in the Predators, Coyotes or any other bargain basement franchise that the NHL might have to offer.

There's history attached to that Maple Leaf crest, some of it good, some of it more than forgettable, yet year after year the Leafs have become a cash machine for whomever owns them, a cash machine that some times doesn't return dividends to the more than patient fan base.

It's a hope we imagine for all those that have the religion of the Leaf Nation, that this grand consortium of Canadian media delivery can squeeze some dollars towards the Leafs and their seemingly never ending quest to reclaim Lord Stanley's Cup, last seen in a Toronto parade back in 1967.

Two very competitive companies, joining as one!

Either a recipe for a new era of Leafs hockey, one that will see a renewed focus on success, an improved product on the ice and deliverance from the playoff wilderness of many seasons past.


If things don't go so well between the newlyweds, a recipe for a new era of internal bickering that may remind many of the not so halcyon days of the Ballard's and the Smythe's.

If nothing else, it could all play out live and direct on your television, from whatever source you gain your signals.

Not to mention giving those subscribers another reason to rail against their providers, whether it's your cable, your phone or your hockey team the customer service lines are open for you.

Grab some popcorn and keep your clicker in hand, the show's about to begin...

Globe and Mail-- MLSE deal is bad news for sports fans
Globe and Mail-- Leafs fans have every reason to be cautious
Globe and Mail-- Despite MLSE deal, on-ice fortunes of Leafs will remain the same
Globe and Mail-- How the MLSE deal was done
Globe and Mail-- Allure of certainty makes partners out of rivals Rogers, BCE
Globe and Mail-- Bell, Rogers join forces on MLSE deal (video)
Globe and Mail-- Maple Leafs unfazed by new ownership
Globe and Mail-- History of Maple Leafs ownership
National Post-- What the #!%*?: Explaining the MLSE deal
National Post-- Bell, Rogers pause war briefly for MLSE deal
National Post-- MLSE deal: What Rogers and Bell buyout means for fans
National Post-- MLSE must find someone 'special' to take over as boss
National Post-- NADIR avoids his nadir
National Post-- Hockey Night in Canada a target
National Post-- No stone left unturned in search for new MLSE boss
National Post-- BCE, Rogers become Canada's newest odd couple
National Post-- Nadir Mohamed steps out from Ted Rogers' shadow
National Post-- MLSE deal will drive competition between Rogers and BCE: Mohamed
National Post-- Rogers and BCE buy MLSE: The good and bad for investors
National Post-- Rogers, BCE to buy majority stake of MLSE; Competition Bureau to investigate
Toronto Star--  What would Conn Smythe think of the Maple Leafs now?
Toronto Star-- MLSE deal will change viewing habits down the road
Toronto Star-- Here we go Again
Toronto Star-- Meet the starting lineup of MLSE
Toronto Star-- 'Here's to winning,' says Leafs holdover owner Tanenbaum
Toronto Star-- Toronto Maple Leafs empire sold: Now give us winning teams
Toronto Star-- Toronto FC hopes MLSE sale brings stability, broader exposure
Toronto Star-- Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors management won't change after MLSE sale
Toronto Star-- Toronto Maple Leafs sold, but Competition Bureau will investigate
Toronto Star-- Teachers and consumers win as telecom giants buy iconic Leafs
Toronto Star-- Mega deal for sports empire creates winners and losers
Toronto Star-- Bell, Rogers bank on making money every step of the way
Toronto Star-- BCE, Rogers and MLSE at a glance
Toronto Star-- Twittervese reacts to MLSE
Toronto Star-- Fans speak out on MLSE sale
Toronto Sun-- No details on how MLSE deal will help fans
Toronto Sun-- Nothing in MLSE deal for Toronto fans
Toronto Sun-- Who will replace Peddie at MLSE?
Toronto Sun-- NHL will deal with Bell's ownership of Leafs, Habs
Toronto Sun-- Media giants buy stake in MLSE
Toronto Sun-- What fans are saying about MLSE deal
Toronto Sun-- Burke 'willing to listen' to new Leafs owners
Toronto Sun-- Rogers-Bell Leafs deal best because it's Canadian
Toronto Sun-- Teachers' selling MLSE stake to Rogers, Bell
CBC-- Canada's telecom giants buy the Toronto Maple Leafs
CBC-- Multi-company ownership not new for Leafs
CBC-- Why Rogers and Bell bundled together for MLSE
CBC-- MLSE deal all about eyeballs
CBC-- Hockey fans react to Bell and Rogers buying Leafs
TSN-- BCE and Rogers team up to buy 75 percent of MLSE
TSN-- MLSE deal changes the television landscape (via BNN)
Sportsnet-- Feeding the addiction
Sportsnet-- New rules for a Sens reporter
Sportsnet-- Bell: No effect on Habs interest
Sportsnet-- What will it bring?
Sportsnet-- Rogers, Bell Complete MLSE deal

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