Its probably the case. I do have the same deal with TSN, but with RDS on videotron, Bell want to get you two channels with RDS and RDS2, and you cannot choose them seperatly. You are forced to choose RDS2 if you pick RDS.
Off topic, but it baffles me how nobody in Quebec has the rights to the WWE brand. Perhaps RDS goes for it to fill some of the void left by the departure of hockey. WWE is a good 6 hours of first-run programming per week.
RDS had the WCW back in the days never really know why WWE didn't appeared on RDS. It was showing WWE in 1998 if I remember correctly.
I'm really curious as to why TSN was left out of the bidding war
I wouldn't take the line 'TSN was shut out ' as anything more than they failed to secure a piece of the package. They probably were strong bidders.
That 5.2B is a big number , In the end they probably either didn't want to play nice with HNIC or felt the money was too much for a product that competes with its CTV prime time American television programming which they also pay huge dollars to broadcast.