Bell TV removes Sun News from its line-up
Bell TV, Canada’s largest Direct-to-Home satellite Television provider, has removed the Quebecor owned Sun TV News channel from its line-up in a dispute over fees.
Bell owned CTV is reporting that Quebecor sent a letter to Bell this past April 18th demanding the removal of the station from Bell’s line-up by May 3rd if an agreement could not be reached.
SunTV news, which launched on the same day the letter was sent, is a Category 2 specialty channel. Unlike Category 1 and analog television channels, a Category 2 channel does not have guaranteed carriage rights and must negotiate with broadcast distributors for carriage.
Quebecor senior advisor Luc Lavie complains that Bell is refusing to pay the the subscriber fee Sun News was requesting. “They’re saying that the conditions we’re asking for are not fair and not reasonable,” Mr. Lavoie said in an interview with CTV.
Since Bell does not currently pay Quebecor to air the commercial channel on its satellite system, any fees paid to Quebecor would result in higher fees for Bell customers. Fees the company is loath to pass onto subscribers who are already complaining about the high cost and large number of channels they are required to buy when they sign up for satellite service.
When asked about whether they would be willing to pay the extra Quebecor is demanding from Bell TV subscribers, Mike, a long-time Digital Forum contributor and Bell Satellite television customer sums up the prevailing view of most Canadians when he says “I don’t want to pay even an extra dime for it.”
Discuss the Bell / Quebecor disagreement in Digital Home’s Bell TV discussion forum.