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Canada’s Bell cuts deal with indie producers

Canadian telco and media company Bell has struck a deal with the trade body representing the country’s French-language independent producers.

Bell said that the five-year agreement with the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC) was the first of its kind and would “reduce the administrative and legal costs of transactions between Bell Media and independent producers and streamline the process for independent production companies”.

The deal relates to acquired and commissioned programming for Bell’s various specialty channels, which include Canal Vie, Canal D, Ztélé, Historia, Séries+, Vrak TV and MusiquePlus.

Following its acquisition of Astral, Bell has committed to spending C$246.9 million (US$227.5 million) on original content for its numerous outlets.

Charles Benoît, president, television and radio – Québec, Bell Media said: “The establishment of general principles for trade agreements will facilitate market access for these productions and allow us to offer more diversified quality programming, to the benefit of the entire industry.”