Bell Canada (BC) positioned itself to regain control of CTV, Canada’s largest television broadcaster, with an US$1.25 billion agreement to repurchase the 85% of CTV shares that BC does not currently own. Announced last Friday, the deal brings BC full circle after the company’s initial acquisition of CTV a decade ago. In 2005, the establishment of the CTVglobemedia venture among BC, Woodbridge Co. Ltd. (the majority owner of Thomson Reuters Corp.), Torstar (the parent of The Toronto Star) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan reduced BC’s stake in CTV to its current minority holding. As the popularity of mobile television and video services continues to surge, wireless operators are looking increasingly toward content-related acquisitions to satisfy this demand. As such, Friday’s deal is expected to give BC access to a stable of CTV video content that, in turn, will enable BC to expand its service portfolio to include mobile video services offerings. Under the pact, Torstar and the pension fund would receive cash for their CTV shares, and Woodbridge would be paid in shares of BC stock valued at US$730 million. In a related transaction, Woodbridge would regain control of Canada’s Globe and Mail by acquiring Globe and Mail shares, held by Torstar and the pension fund, that add up to an 85% stake. (BC, meanwhile, would retain its current 15% stake in the newspaper.) At a press conference, BC CEO George Cope noted that the inspiration for the deal came last February as networks owned by CTV aired live events from the Vancouver winter Olympics that Cope was able to watch on his cell phone. The deal is also expected to give BC leverage in content negotiations with other Canadian broadcasters, further reducing BC’s content costs for its mobile telephone, satellite TV, and fiber-optic cable services.