According to a report in the Toronto Star, Sources close to telecommunications giant Rogers Communications, which owns Maclean’s, say the company is in talks to buy a majority stake in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. If true, Rogers would end up controlling the Maple Leafs NHL team, the Toronto FC soccer club and the Raptors NBA team, in addition to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, which it already owns. The only major Toronto sports team it wouldn’t own would be the CFL’s Argonauts. “This would be unprecedented in a market the size of Toronto,” Richard Powers, a sports marketing professor at the University of Toronto told the Star. “They would have a stranglehold on basically the entire professional sports market in southern Ontario and control almost every single stream of sports-producing revenue in the city.” Toronto is one of the top five biggest sports markets in North America. MLSE is currently controlled by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, which owns 66 per cent of the company. The deal is thought to be worth $1.3 billion. One industry insider told the paper the deal would be “a home run,” for Rogers, because it would provide popular content that would boost its media outlets, which include, cable TV, internet, publishing and specialty channels like Sportsnet.
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