Rogers eyeing TQS?

The Toronto cable giant, together with Quebec's Radio Nord, is reportedly considering a purchase of the troubled TV network.

Rogers Communications and Quebec-based Radio Nord are said to be considering a purchase of TQS, the troubled black sheep of Quebec TV that will emerge from bankruptcy protection this week.

According to an article published yesterday in Montreal’s French-language daily La Presse, Rogers may purchase TQS’s Montreal and Quebec City stations, while RNC Media’s Radio Nord would buy the remaining stations throughout the province. RNC Media owns 16 radio and two television stations in Quebec.

‘TQS hasn’t received a formal offer to purchase,’ said Jean Fontaine, a lawyer with Stikeman-Elliot, the Montreal firm representing TQS since it was placed under bankruptcy protection Dec. 18. ‘Negotiations with a number of groups are taking place,’ he told La Presse, adding that nine different buyers are currently negotiating with TQS, although their identities weren’t disclosed.

Cogeco, which is the majority (60%) owner of TQS – the remaining shares belong to CTVglobemedia – blames increased production costs and declining advertising revenue for its financial problems. TQS has also been trying to convert into a specialty channel so it could charge a subscriber fee, but its request was quashed by the CRTC.

TQS was given 30 days to try to reorganize its financial affairs. That deadline is up tomorrow. The Globe and Mail reported yesterday that Astral Media will not attempt to acquire TQS.

From Playback Daily