Bell ups F1 connection

Bell’s acquisition of the Octane Racing Group is consistent with its goal of investing in Quebec culture, sports, and entertainment.

Bell is acquiring the operations of the Octane Racing Group, promoter of the Formula Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. The Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix is the largest annual sports and tourism event in the country that promotes Montreal at an international level, and this transaction corresponds to Bell’s commitment to deliver the most compelling content across every platform.

Vanessa Damha, Bell’s senior manager of media relations, says, “Bell Media sports networks TSN and RDS have been Formula 1 partners for decades, and last year announced the extension of Formula 1 World Championship broadcast rights in Canada until 2024. Bell’s acquisition of Octane is independent of, and separate from, its broadcasting rights with the Formula 1 Group and does not impact its role as a broadcasting partner.”

Damha says it makes perfect sense for Bell to acquire Octane, a Montréal company as well, because it reaffirms Bell’s goal of increasing its presence in Québec media through major investments in culture, sports, and entertainment. Bell and Bell Media’s national reach will allow for promoting this iconic event through its leading network, broadcasting, and digital assets.

The extension of the Grand Prix in Montreal through 2031 was confirmed in late April, a partnership that reportedly enables a wide range of enhanced commercial opportunities for both Bell and F1.

The 2019 season was the most-watched F1 season ever on TSN, based on Numeris measurement of Total Canada for live races. Audiences for the two networks during the 2019 season grew by 21% over 2018, reaching nearly 5.3 million unique viewers.