TVA Sports signal goes black for Bell TV subscribers

Quebecor violated a CRTC decision by blocking the TVA Sports signal to Bell TV subscribers on Wednesday night as the NHL playoffs began.

Quebecor, which has called for higher rates from Bell for specialty channels, followed through on threats to cut the signal of its French-language TVA Sports to Bell TV subscribers, doing so at 7 p.m.

In a message broadcast on television to subscribers, Bell TV said that Quebecor is ‘denying access’ to this channel, stating that it is an ‘illegal measure.’

Viewers can still watch the game on Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360 TV channels said Bell TV.

Earlier in the day, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ordered Quebecor to continue providing the signal to Bell TV subscribers.

In its binding decision rendered on Wednesday, the CRTC warned that it was "ready to use the means at its disposal to enforce its regulation," which means that it could attach an order under Section 12 of the Broadcasting Act.

Bell filed a request for arbitration with the CRTC on Wednesday morning.