This morning reading the BOURQUE WEBSITE, I was gobsmacked by an article that claimed that Pierre-Karl Péladeau was now interested in investing in a new Quebec City hockey arena and naming it after Premier René Lévesque.
Yup.....A hockey arena in Quebec City named after the late separatist Premier!
"Insider rumours swirling that Quebecor supremo PK Peladeau may be demanding of government in Ottawa and Quebec City that the new NHL arena be named the 'Forum Rene Levesque' in honour of the patron saint of the Parti Quebecois, a tip of the hat to PK's father and Quebecor founder Pierre Peladeau, a giant of the so-called 'Quebec, Inc.' of years past, a repository of then (and still) powerful Quebec-based industrialists and entrepreneurs."LINKAfter reading the story, the spike in my blood pressure relaxed as I realized that Mr. Péladeau was once again pulling the chain of a supportive nationalist Quebec media and utterly naive public.
As I told you before, he is a champion manipulator who morphs conveniently between a federalist and separatist persona, belying the fact that he is in reality, just an old-fashioned money-grubber.
Months ago I watched this consummate salesman dazzle TV audiences with his spiel that what's good for Quebecor (his company) is good for Quebec. His pitch that his new wireless telephone service, soon to be launched, would be in Quebec's own best interest, was made with the skill of an old-time snake-oil salesmen that would make Vince the Sham Wow guy, green with envy.
When Péladeau went to Ottawa to secure the bandwidth he required for the service, he was the perfect federalist and when he returned back at Quebec, to sell the service to consumers, he pitched the nationalist cause, telling a fawning TV interviewer that the coming together of certain elements plus timing made for 'winning conditions" Then he promised that he'd help fund starving Quebec artists, (this in the wake of Harper cutting off funds last election).... Verrrry clever!
And so, Péladeau hopes, that every separatist will consider it a sacred duty to buy into his plan (everyone except maybe those on strike at the Journal de Montreal.)
Yes, Pierre-Karl Péladeau is an operator, a man fashioned out of the stuff that Donald Trump is made of, hot air, bullshit and bravado.
First let me shoot down any idea that the arena will be named after the late separatist Premier. It ain't gonna happen...
The naming rights for a NHL arena are worth between two and three million dollars a year and I'm sure Mr. Péladeau wouldn't forgo the income or the advertising value of naming the building after, say Videotron.
Secondly, the NHL governors would sell their first born before allowing a team to play in a building named for a separatist.
Now many francophones believe that the NHL is more interested in money than politics, but they are wrong. The separatist misconception that Anglophones are only interested in money and have no pride is patented stupid, a myth that is popular in the unilingual separatists circles that also holds that English Canadians have no culture.
Those who believe that money is the only motivating factor should ask Mr. Basille whether the NHL has backbone or not, as they summarily threw out his effort to move the Phoneix Coyotes without their permission, despite it being a fantastic financial deal for the league.
I don't think separatists understand the level of dislike Canadians and their American cousins have for separatists. In Quebec we accept as normal having a René Levesque boulevard in the same city as Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport, but try opening the Benidict Arnold arena in the States and watch the fireworks.
If separatists believe that the NHL owners would allow such an insult, they are dead wrong. The NHL is the epitome of English establishment. It is the NHL, not the LNH and there's as much chance of them accepting the René Lévesque arena as there is for them accepting the Saddam Hussein arena.
I'm not saying this to be mean, but it's true. Present a plan to the NHL expansion committee that has a Quebec team playing in the René Levesque arena and kiss the Nordiques bye-bye.
So what is Péladeau's motivation other then to just shit-disturb? Well perhaps he was attempting to put the fear of God into Ottawa, warning them that if they didn't cough up he'd embarrass them with the separatist name. If so, he has badly overplayed his hand.
As I told you before, as well as he hides it, Péladeau is DESPERATE to secure the Nordiques for his media empire.
This is why he has made an about face and is now prepared to pay part of the cost of the building. When Harper shot down the idea of Ottawa helping foot the bill, it was time to go to Plan B.
"Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau made an about-face in Ottawa Tuesday, saying he could participate in the financing of an amphitheatre in Quebec City ...
When asked to chip in, however, Peladeau said in mid-September that the private sector was "doing more than its share." Link
Read : Péladeau, pas un sou pour l'amphithéâtre(fr) where he stated he wasn't gonna pay a dime for the arena under any circumstances!
I may be the only who has gone on record as saying that Péladeau is desperate. But a simple analysis shows that if he isn't desperate, he should be.
The scope of that desperation must be profound, the Nordiques are that important to his media empire.
Selling cable services, wireless telephone and Internet services have become a question of convergence and any company that can't provide all three services is at a distinct disadvantage to a competitor that can offer a package deal.
And so selling a wireless service is largely dependent on bundling it with cable TV or satellite TV and Internet.
BELL remains Videotron's chief competitor and should BELL get its hands on the Nordiques, Péladeau's whole media empire could crumble.
Right now Bell owns RDS, the sports channel that holds the broadcast rights to the Montreal Canadiens. TSN is offered on BELL TV (satellite) and ALSO on Péladeau's Videotron, which is cable based.
But BELL is building a competing cable network called FIBE. In a couple of years it will go head on against Videotron cable.
What would happen if BELL pulled RDS (The Canadiens) from Videotron?
It would be a massacre, with every hockey fan and his/her family switching to BELL, taking with them their wireless and internet business.
That is why the Nordiques are key. If Péladeau secures the broadcast rights, Bell and Videotron would be at a impasse and the status quo would reign with both services likely providing broadcast of both Quebec teams.
If Bell somehow gets the Nordiques broadcast rights, its lights out for Videotron. Kaput....
That's what's at risk. Nobody except the stakeholders realize it.
The government is in the driver's seat and doesn't even know it.
By backing an independent bid to buy the team, by say, LOTO- QUEBEC, both Bell and Videotron would be forced into a vicious bidding war that would spiral beyond the intrinsic value of the broadcast rights. It would guarantee a profit for the NHL franchise, arena included!
Too bad nobody realizes it.
Perhaps the government could thank me for the plan and call the new building the NoDogsOrAnglophone Arena, its about as likely as the René Lévesque Arena.
As for Mr. Péladeau, perhaps he should name the arena after an old television show- FANTASY ISLAND.
For more on Pierre-Karl Péladeau;