Can two bitter rivals join to run a sports empire?
That’s the, ahem, $1.3 billion question, isn’t it? That’s the reported sum the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund will receive for selling its majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Telecommunications giants Rogers (which owns the Sportsnet range of channels) is in for 37.5 per cent. Bell (which owns TSN) is in for the other 37.5 pr cent, while current MLSE governor Larry Tanenbaum ups his stake to 25 per cent.
Of course, the MLSE empire includes Toronto FC, BMO Field, TFC’s under-construction training facility in Downsview and a majority stake in Gol TV Canada.
But, until we see how Bell and Rogers react to each other in the boardroom, it’s hard to figure out how it will change the governance of any of the sports properties. Remember, that, unlike the reign of the Pension Fund, no one here has a majority stake in MLSE. So, the guess would be that more, not less, decision-making would be tied up at the board level.
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