On This Day August 22nd.

August 22: On this day in 1926, Eric Prentice was born in Schumacher, Ontario. Prentice holds the distinction of being the youngest player ever to play for the Leafs. When he played the first of his 5 NHL games, all with the Leafs, on October 30, 1943, Eric Prentice was 17 years, 2 months and 8 days old. Prentice failed to record a point in the NHL.

August 22: On this day in 1996, defenseman Greg Smyth was signed as a free agent by the Leafs. It was his second stint with the team, having played 11 games during the 1993-94 season. This time he played in just two games. In all, Greg Smyth had one assist in 13 games in a Leafs uniform.

August 22: On this day in 2012, TORONTO - The sale of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and its sports television channels to two of Canada's biggest media companies, BCE and Rogers Communications is final. The closure of the $1.07-billion deal Wednesday comes after the sale received the final regulatory green light last week from the CRTC. Competitors Rogers and Bell, which will jointly own a 75 per cent stake in MLSE, both said the investment furthers their strategies of acquiring content to draw viewers to their networks on a variety of platforms. “This investment fits squarely into our strategy of cost-effectively securing premium content and making it accessible to sports fans wherever, whenever they want," said Nadir Mohamed, president and chief executive officer of Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B). George Cope, president and CEO of BCE (TSX:BCE) said the company looks forward to "making more of MLSE's top-tier sports content available to Bell customers and those of cable, satellite and other content distributors from coast to coast to coast." As part of the CRTC's approval, BCE and Rogers will be required to spend $7.5 million over the next seven years on new sports-themed programming by Canadian independent producers.

The federal broadcast regulator also repeated its assertion that companies are prohibited from offering television programs on an exclusive basis to their mobile or Internet subscribers. MLSE owns the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team as well as the Toronto Raptors basketball team and Toronto FC soccer team. It also owns Leafs TV, Gol TV and NBA TV Canada, as well as two services that have not yet launched. Critics of the deal have raised questions about the effect of putting so much content in the hands of some of Canada's largest companies, fearing consumers will ultimately pay more. BCE already owns CTV Inc. and the TSN specialty sports channels and Rogers owns the Sportsnet TV channels. Both have extensive telecom networks and other media holdings that could benefit from tie-ins to the MLSE teams.

The approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission last week followed an announcement in May that the federal Competition Bureau would not challenge the deal. The Competition Bureau added it was actively reviewing those concerns and won't hesitate to take action if it determines the Competition Act has been violated. The legislation provides the bureau with a one-year period following the deal's closure to bring a challenge to the Competition Tribunal. The National Hockey League has also given its approval for the MLSE deal. Rogers already owns the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and their stadium, the Rogers Centre, as well as Sportsnet. Bell owns the CTV television network and specialty cable channels such as TSN sports channel and French-language cable channel RDS. Bell also has a minority ownership stake in the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, who compete against the Leafs.

Under terms of the deal, Rogers and Bell will pay the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan about $533 million apiece for their respective 37.5 per cent chunks of MLSE. Minority owner Larry Tannenbaum, through his company Kilmer Sports, will boost his current stake in MLSE by five per cent to 25 per cent. Rogers stock fell 18 cents to $39.78 Wednesday on the TSX, while BCE shares fell 19 cents to $44.43.

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