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120130-Bell -BD 2011-765 Letter_Abr

120130-Bell -BD 2011-765 Letter_Abr

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Published by: Mark Goldberg on Jan 31, 2012
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01/31/2012

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Abridged
2012 01 30To:Mr. John TraversySecretary GeneralCanadian Radio-television andTelecommunications CommissionOttawa, OntarioK1A 0N2Subject:
Follow-up Report to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-765,
Complaint by 
 
TELUS Communications Company against BCE Inc., Bell Canada or BelMobility Inc. alleging undue preference and disadvantage, contrary to the provisions of the New Media Exemption Order 
Dear Mr. Traversy,
Introduction
1.
In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-765 (BD 2011-765) at paragraph 27, theCommission issued the following direction in relation to Telus' complaint regarding BellMobility's distribution of National Hockey League (NHL) and National Football League (NFL)content on mobile devices (the Direction):The Commission directs Bell to file a report with the Commission, by30 January 2012, outlining the steps it will take to ensure TELUS access to theprogramming at issue at reasonable terms and to provide a copy of this report toTELUS.
2.
In accordance with the Direction, Bell Canada on behalf of Bell Mobility Inc. (theCompany or Bell) hereby provides the following report (the Report) on the accessibility andavailability of the NHL and NFL programming at issue.
Confidentiality Claim
3.
Pursuant to the
 Access to Information Act 
and sections 31 and 32 of the
CanadianRadio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure
(the
Rules
), the Company designates as confidential all information contained in this Report and theattached letter from the NFL (the NFL Letter) relating to: the terms of past or continuingconfidential content licensing agreements between Bell, the NHL and NFL, respectively,including without limitation, any references to: (i) the duration of the contracts; (ii) the applicablerates, terms and conditions; and (iii) any rights to amend such agreements. The basis of thisconfidentiality claim is as follows. The information over which confidentiality is claimed is
Bell Canada
Mirko Bibic
Floor 19160 Elgin StreetOttawa, Ontario K2P 2C4
Telephone: (613) 785-0615
Facsimile: (613) 560-0472bell.regulatory@bell.ca
 
2012 01 30Abridged2commercially sensitive and confidential information that is subject to reciprocal, binding, non-disclosure obligations. As such, it is information that is consistently treated in confidence by Belland the NHL and NFL, respectively, not to mention the Canadian communications industry moregenerally, and by the Commission in the underlying dispute giving rise to BD 2011-765. As theCommission is aware, these agreements were entered into following competitive licensingprocesses. Disclosure of this information would prejudice the competitive position not only of Bell, but also of the leagues in any future negotiations regarding the licensing of such content inCanada. As such, the disclosure of this information can reasonably be expected to affectcontractual or other negotiations in relation to such content. Accordingly, the Company is filingan abridged version of this Report and the Attachment and providing Telus with the abridgedversions of these documents.
Report on the accessibility and availability of NHL and NFL programming for mobiledistribution(a)NHL Content
4.
The content licensing agreement between Bell and the NHL that was at issue inBD 2011-765 expired on #. It was entered into effective #. As isevident, this agreement was entered into many months prior to the announcement of theCommission's 7 March 2011 temporary moratorium against the entering of new exclusiveprogramming agreements in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-173, issued as part of theCommission's approval of BCE's acquisition of CTV. It was also entered into well before theCommission's temporary moratorium, and later prohibition against exclusive licensingagreements announced in the
Regulatory framework for vertical integration
, BroadcastingRegulatory Policy CRTC 2011-601 (the VI Framework). In keeping with the VI Frameworkprohibition against exclusivity, the Company entered into a new, non-exclusive, mobile contentlicensing agreement with the NHL, dated ,# which covers the period# to #.
5.
Bell does not have the right to sublicense this content to Telus, but because the licencegranted by the NHL under the new agreement is no longer exclusive to Bell, Bell can confirmthat access to this content is available to mobile distributors directly from the NHL. Therefore,no steps are required to be taken by Bell to ensure access by third party mobile serviceproviders to this programming.
(b)NFL Content
6.
The content licensing agreement between Bell and the NFL at issue in BD 2011-765 isdated # and is discussed in a letter from the NFL to Bell, dated19 January 2012, (the NFL Letter) attached to this Report, portions of which are filed inconfidence pursuant to the confidentiality claim above.
7.
As noted in the NFL Letter, the agreement between the NFL and Bell expires on,# meaning that there are # # NFL seasons covered under thatagreement.
8.
The NFL Letter provides useful background confirming key facts adduced by Bell in theproceeding culminating in BD 2011-765, in particular that the NFL conducted a competitivebidding process for its Canadian mobile distribution rights when they were first made availablein Canada. The package of rights to NFL content includes exclusive distribution rights in# Filed in confidence with the CRTC.

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