Asper back in the media biz

Leonard Asper left the media industry nine months ago during the long
decline of Canwest Global Communications Corp. He’s back now after
purchasing a 30% stake in specialty channel The Fight Network Inc., and
will assume the role of CEO, the Financial Post reports.

The Fight Network features mixed-martial arts programming and boasts 450,000 subscribers — the network is sold by all major distributors. Asper bought his stake for an undisclosed amount, and has an option to increase his holding to 51%.

Asper resigned from Canwest admist Shaw’s bid for the media giant last spring in order to launch a competing offer for the company his father founded in the 70s.

The Financial Post, formerly owned by Canwest and now owned by Postmedia, reports:

“Shaw’s bid for Canwest through creditor-protection courts in February was followed on by Bell’s $1.3-billion bid for Canwest’s broadcast rival CTV Inc. in September.

“Analysts say vertical integration of media assets under wealthy distribution carriers will likely fan the cost of broadcast rights higher, making it even more difficult for smaller players to acquire high-quality content. Rogers for example last week secured for its Sportsnet channels the rights to the first UFC title bout to take place in Ontario.”