TORONTO, Ont. – Rogers Communications and Bell have announced that a joint acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has been completed, Wednesday afternoon.

Other assets of MLSE include the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors.

Kilmer Sports Inc. – another stakeholder – has increased its share to 20.5 per cent ownership. KSI is owned by Larry Tanenbaum, who continues to serve as Chair of MLSE and as a Governor of the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.  

The move is seen as key for both Rogers and Bell, as live sports have become the last frontier for appointment viewing. Viewers are much more likely to watch sports live, while they tape and download other programs.

The two telecommunications companies – each spending more than $500-million in the transaction – hope that providing the must-see content on cable, satellite, online and mobile phones will retain customers and bring in new ones.