Judge orders Quebecor to stop scrambling TVA Sports signal for Bell TV subscribers

Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau told reporters that the company was going to obey the injunction. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

A Quebec judge has ordered Quebecor to reconnect the signal for three TVA Sports channels to Bell TV customers Friday night.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Claude Champagne refused, however, to prohibit the media company from making negative publicity about Bell, as its rival had requested, citing freedom of expression.

READ MORE: Fight continues after Quebecor pulls TVA Sports off air for Bell subscribers during NHL playoffs

Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau told reporters that the company was going to obey the injunction.

The ruling came after lawyers for Bell Canada and rival Quebecor Inc. were in court Friday, battling over three French-language sports channels that Bell TV subscribers haven’t received since the NHL playoffs began this week.

Bell lawyer Francis Rouleau said that Quebecor planned well in advance to cut the signal on Wednesday as the National Hockey League playoffs began.

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READ MORE: Quebecor to scramble TVA Sports signal to Bell subscribers for playoff hockey

Rouleau said Quebecor’s action breached their contract and flouted Canada’s Broadcasting Act.

Bell asked for an interim court order to be issued quickly because interlocutory injunction proceedings would take months and a decision would come after the playoff season is over.

Rouleau said it was “disturbing” that Quebecor has publicly denounced the rules of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which says feeds should remain intact during contractual disputes.

Quebecor’s lawyer responded that the company believes the CRTC rules are invalid.

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