Leafs Sold to Rogers and Bell, No Longer Pension Plan Puppets

leafsSo this just happened...

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold its 79.53 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Rogers Communications and BCE for more than $1.2 billion. BCE is fancy talk for Bell. That's right, Bell and Rogers now each own 37.5% of MLSE, which owns, among other things, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, TFC and the Toronto Marlies.

A couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind... These partnerships between Rogers and Bell make me very nervous. We need them to hate each other, right? It can't be good for the competitive landscape, for those of us who need Internet access and mobile talk and data plans and cable tv, when these telecom behemoths keep jumping into bed together.

unholy

And what will become of Pension Plan Puppets, the go-to Leafs blog in these parts? I hope they keep the name for tradition, the way we secular folks still call this Santa holiday Christmas.

But what matters most, of course, is will this help my Leafs win the cup? Since we've already given Brian Burke autonomy and let him spend the cap, I'm thinking it won't make a difference. At least it won't hurt...

What do you guys think of the sale of MLSE?


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Comments (20 - click here to join in!)

2cents

Dealing with Rogers and Bell is a nightmare... this can't end well.

December 9, 2011 @ 10:45 AM

Mississauga Phil

Hmmmm...unhloy alliance indeed.

Bell owns 18% of the Habs, and NHL by-laws state taht no entity may own all or part of 2 franchises.

Bell will go where the money is..so bye bye Habs i guess

December 9, 2011 @ 10:57 AM

Rick2

The main interest of Rogers is to get into more homes and wallets. From a business perspective, it is good for both Rogers and Bell. From a fan perspective, it is hardly affordable for a father to bring his kids to a game - I think this deal will make it even more difficult. I anticipate higher prices for all things Leafs / Raptors / Marlies / TFC. As long as there is a healthy profit being made, anything else is secondary. Leaf fans have been taken advantage of for decades - this deal doesn't change anything with regards to that.

December 9, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

Jaki

they better not change the name of ACC..
I don't like the monopoly that has overcome of all Toronto Sports teams.. sure this will be problematic in the future

December 9, 2011 @ 1:27 PM

Jaki

they better not change the name of ACC..
I don't like the monopoly that has overcome of all Toronto Sports teams.. sure this will be problematic in the future

December 9, 2011 @ 1:28 PM

wdr

At least people will stop complaining about the teachers' pension plan in regards to the Leafs losing this season, the next, the next, the next,....

December 9, 2011 @ 1:45 PM

speyside phil

This won't end well for either for Rogers or Bell.
Two bitter competitors owning the same teams. And these guys call themselves brilliant.It boggles the mind.

December 9, 2011 @ 3:47 PM

Mississauga Phil

Nah, one of them will convince Larry Tannunbaum to sell his 25% sooner or later and then they'll have the controlling interest and foce the other guy out.

December 9, 2011 @ 3:57 PM

Cheryl

Probably won't mean anything. The Leafs won't win the cup. I know that. I hate the Leafs anyway as I'm a Habs fan. I don't like the Raptors either as I'm a Phoenix Suns fan. Go Habs. Go Suns.

December 9, 2011 @ 5:02 PM

Sammi

The comments by Beeston/Anthopoulous earlier in the week make sense now. I'm sure they were told not to spend anything. The Jays will be the big losers in this.

I just changed my cell phone to Telus.

December 9, 2011 @ 5:48 PM

Jason from Sudbury

So, what happens to Hockey Night In Canada now?

December 9, 2011 @ 8:33 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Leafs TV may go as well.

December 9, 2011 @ 10:25 PM

Alan G

All Rogers and Bell care about is sucking money from our wallets. They don't give a damn if the Leafs win a cup or not. Ticket prices will go up, the Leaf games will end up on pay TV and stupid fans will continue to shell out for a losing team.

December 9, 2011 @ 11:27 PM

Cheryl

Well, I'm so glad I got rid of Bell. That's right. Bell wants more money. Now if only I got rid of them longer before I did. Go Habs. Go Suns.

December 10, 2011 @ 9:24 AM

Wayner

This change really has no impact on my life. I couldn't afford to take my kids to a game prior to the change and probably can't after the change(if they really care about the general public they now have the resources and can do something about this).

As for the leafs it will be the same old same old. I don't see their chances of winning a cup being affected one way or another. Hockey is a business & Bell and Rogers are business owners. As long as the Leafs remain the most profitable team in the league they're not going to make any major changes.

December 10, 2011 @ 1:05 PM

Irvine

Nonsense, you're all missing the point.

Both Bell and Rogers are media companies (TV included). They're VERY aware of the threat that Netflix, iTunes, internet hold for them.

So where does a hockey team fit in this? Well televised live sports will be one of the last things to go in the world of new media. While you might torrent that latest episode of Criminal Minds, you will NOT torrent a Leaf game. Few people watch sports "after the fact".

It's simply wise business and I'm sure you'll see more of this in the future. Live Sports is the "gotcha" for cable/satellite TV.

December 11, 2011 @ 11:44 AM

Irvine

In fact, further to this, this also solidifies the end of Hockey Night in Canada.

Sports teams will be owned by 'big media' and thereby own the rights of telecast of their sports. Logically, they will air their own teams on their own networks. It also allows them to limit the airing of sportscasts on the Internet.

I mean, you aren't going to expect Rogers & Bell to allow Leaf games on HNIC, are you?

December 11, 2011 @ 11:54 AM

Cheryl

No sports on the Internet? That's how ai get my Habs games, the radio broadcast on the internet. That wouldn't bbe good if I couldn't listen to my Habs anymore. Go Habs.

December 11, 2011 @ 7:35 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Chryl - Yes you get your Habs(Habs SUck!!) on the net, but it is through the Habs equivilant of MLSE. They are still gettig thier money from advertisers as they would on TV. I think what Irvine means is that, unlike downloading your favorite tv show the day after it airs, people want to watch sports live, whether on TV or online. So if Rogers/Bell owns MLSE, they control all live broadcasts of it. Not many people are going to downoad last nights hockey games the way they would a TV drama/sitcom.

December 12, 2011 @ 8:11 AM

Corey

This is bad for so many reasons  Why are we allowing this stranglehold that these two companies (now essentially one company as far as sports in Toronto is concerned) have?  So now, between Bell and Rogers they own about 80 TV stations, including TSN and Sportsnet.  They own around the same number of radio stations.  Their programs regularly feature high profile journalists from print.  Who's to say they aren't going to muffle any voice of criticism now, in radio, tv and print?  I'm pretty sure this is unprecedented - a media company owns not only the teams, but the stadiums, and content delivery systems as well.  They can set prices at the live events, control when and how all of the games are broadcast, and shape the post-game messages from the press.  Astonishing.

December 12, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

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