Bell has agreed to acquire the operations of Montréal’s Octane Racing Group, the promoter of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, and a decades-long partner of Bell Media sports networks TSN and RDS.
The biggest annual sports and tourism event in the country, Bell’s investment gives the Canadian Grand Prix financial stability following the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events due to COVID-19.
“A world-renowned event that promotes Montréal at an international level, the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix is hugely popular in Québec and throughout Canada. This transaction confirms Bell’s commitment to deliver the most compelling content across every platform while increasing our presence in the Québec media marketplace through significant investments in culture, sports and entertainment,” said Karine Moses, Bell’s Vice Chair, Québec, in a release. “As a Montréal-based company and Canada’s top sports content provider, Bell can’t wait to see the Grand Prix back in 2022. We welcome the Octane Racing Group team, and look forward to amplifying this iconic Montréal event over the long term with Bell’s leading network, broadcasting and digital assets.”
With the event now secured in Montréal through 2031, Bell says it plans to unlock
“a wide range of enhanced commercial opportunities” for both Bell and F1. Bell Media holds Canadian broadcast rights for the Formula 1 World Championship until 2024.
Octane Racing Group will continue to run as a standalone entity within the Bell group of companies, with Octane President and CEO François Dumontier and the company’s other employees joining Bell effective today.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bell says it will ensure tickets sold for the 2020 race are valid for the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix or will be refunded for ticket holders preferring that option.
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