Bell TV pulls Sun News Network

Bell Satellite TV viewers saw their link with the Sun News Network go dead Tuesday.

After yanking the station from its line-up across Canada, Bell issued a statement saying it did so because the company does not have a fee agreement with Sun’s parent company, Quebecor.

More to the point, Bell has told media, Sun News is asking for too high a price — especially considering the network is relatively new and untested in the market. Bell simply wasn’t willing to agree to the same dollar value usually reserved for well-established and popular channels.

Needless to say, Sun brass aren’t too happy about the move. The network’s head of development, Luc, Lavoie told The Canadian Press that Sun has received thousands of emails asking what happened to the channel: “We redirect them immediately to Bell customer service.”

Sun is now threatening to take the issue to the CRTC, saying Bell is giving itself an unfair advantage — even more so, it says, because the company owns three of its own all-news channels.

Here’s what Lavoie told The Globe and Mail:

“They’re saying that the conditions we’re asking for are not fair and not reasonable. We’re not asking [as much as] CTV News Channel is getting; we’re not asking what Business News Network is getting. We’re not asking what CP24 is getting. And oh, what a coincidence, those three are owned by Bell.”

Bell still carries Sun on its Fibe TV services, which are available only in certain Toronto and Montreal neighbourhoods.