Quebec’s French language sports channel TVA Sports is pulled a very interesting power move ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Parent company Quebecor pulled the network off of Bell cable systems right before the first game of the NHL’s postseason began.
At the root of the dispute between the two sides is TVA’s belief that Bell doesn’t pay the carriage fee it should for TVA Sports. Both TVA and Bell operate cable systems in Quebec.
Steve Faguy of the Montreal Gazette Tweeted that Bell has countered the move by offering SportsNet, SportsNet One, and SportsNet 360 to their subscribers free of charge for as long as TVA Sports remains dark on Bell systems. That ensures that hockey fans in Quebec can at least get every game in English.
The interesting twist in this story is that federal regulators in Canada had specifically told Quebecor not to pull TVA Sports off of Bell systems during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says it is monitoring the situation.