BCE and Astral will buy some time by extending the closing date of the proposed merger to December 16th.

With last week's CRTC ruling denying regulatory approval for the $3.4 billion merger, BCE is pulling out the stops. Another option still available is appealing the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Interestingly, Rogers was considering purchasing "selective" Astral assets if they became available.

On a conference call discussing Rogers third quarter earnings on Oct. 24th, Keith Pelley, president of Roger’s media division said: “If they strategically fit, I think that is also important. So they need to be selective and strategic, then at that particular time we would evaluate them.”

Should BCE and Astral need more time to coax the CRTC to overturn the decision or launch an appeal, a further postponement of the closing by another 30 days to Jan. 15, 2013 is allowed.

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