Louis Audet said he still has the dream of transforming TQS into the Number 2 position in Quebec, after TVA and ahead of Radio-Canada, the French-language arm of CBC.
Cogeco, which also controls cable TV company Cogeco Cable, currently owns 60 per cent of TQS, described as the black sheep in the television scene in Quebec. It has nine stations in Quebec,
The rest of TQS belongs to Bell Globemedia, a subsidiary of BCE Inc., although BCE announced an agreement Dec. 2 to sell most of its 68.5-per cent stake in Globemedia to a conglomerate consisting of Woodbridge Co., Torstar Corp. and the Ontario Teachers pension fund.
Bell Globemedia also owns the Globe and Mail daily and the CTV broadcaster.
The new owners’ intentions have not been revealed, but some observers believe it may want to shed some assets considered non-strategic, including TQS.
Audet told journalists he had already tried several times to become sole owner of TQS.
Once the new Globemedia have completed the transaction, “maybe they’ll contact us. We’re still interested.”
Despite the recent success of some programs like Loft Story, TQS is having trouble covering its costs.
Audet attributes this to competition from specialty channels and to Radio-Canada.
In April, Cogeco announced a writedown of $50 million on the book value of the network, which began in 1985.
According to the most recent BBM surveys, TVA, which belongs to Quebecor Media, has 27.8 per cent of the French Quebec market, compared with 16.7 per cent for Radio-Canada et 11.9 per cent for TQS.