CFL negotiating with Quebecor as potential purchaser of Alouettes: sources

Pierre Karl Péladeau might find yourself because the Alouettes’ new proprietor, although the sports activities channel he owns would not be capable of broadcast its video games.

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Not solely will the Alouettes survive, it additionally seems possible the CFL staff will lastly be domestically owned.

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Quite a few sources have instructed the Montreal Gazette the league is negotiating solely with Quebecor Inc., which means Montreal businessman, billionaire and former politician Pierre Karl Péladeau might quickly be the staff’s proprietor.

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Péladeau, 61, is the president and chief government officer of Quebecor and former chief of the Parti Québécois. He has a reported internet value of US$1.9 billion.

Quebecor has a sports activities and leisure division that features the Videotron Centre in Quebec Metropolis together with the Quebec Remparts and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada junior hockey groups. The group tried and didn’t get a Nationwide Hockey League enlargement franchise in Quebec Metropolis in 2015.

The CFL introduced on Feb. 14 it was taking management of the Als from the late Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern. The Ontario-based metal magnates bought the staff from the league in January 2020; the league having assumed management of the franchise the earlier yr from the late Robert Wetenhall and his son Andrew. Robert Wetenhall, a New York-based businessman, assumed management of the franchise in 1997.

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The CFL cancelled its 2020 season as a result of COVID-19. Spiegel, the Als’ majority proprietor (75 per cent), died earlier than the beginning of the 2021 season by no means having seen the Als play.

Whereas the sale of the staff to Quebecor is much from ultimate, it’s believed the CFL’s funding banking companion, Park Lane — a number one sports-focused advisory agency — is negotiating solely with Péladeau’s firm. The league additionally introduced final month it was reinstating Mario Cecchini because the Als’ president on an interim foundation.

Reached by the Montreal Gazette Thursday night time, Cecchini declined remark.

Péladeau’s curiosity within the Als, nonetheless, is perplexing.

Quebecor’s multi-platform enterprise phase contains the operations of Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec and the TVA Group, which incorporates TVA Sports activities. Whereas the latter televises NHL video games, it has no entry to CFL contests, which means Péladeau would don’t have any broadcast platform to advertise his staff.

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In 2013, the CFL together with TSN and RDS agreed to a five-year broadcast settlement that began the next season. That deal, initially value a reported $43 million yearly, was prolonged in 2015 and once more in 2019, when the 2 agreed to a six-year contract extension reportedly value $50 million.

It’s believed the CFL, as early as subsequent week, will announce its exclusivity with Quebecor, if not the ultimate sale. Whether or not Cecchini might be retained as president by Péladeau stays to be decided.

The Als (9-9) completed second within the East Division final season and superior to the division ultimate underneath basic supervisor and interim head coach Danny Maciocia. It has since employed Jason Maas as the brand new head coach. Nevertheless, because of the instability of possession, beginning quarterback Trevor Harris and main receiver Eugene Lewis had been misplaced in free company, signing with Saskatchewan and Edmonton, respectively.

Lewis was the division finalist final season as probably the most excellent participant. Cody Fajardo, signed as a free agent from the Roughriders, is anticipated to be Montreal’s beginning QB.

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