They way I see it, they're counting on one thing. If they give you your locals and networks for free, and you don't have to 30-40 dollars for basic, then that's more money you'll have available to spend on their specialty channel packages. It would make sense to include an electronic guide for that.
At today's CRTC vertical integration hearing FREE HD expressed their point of view. Von Finckenstein of the CRTC asked in return when they were going to launch FREE HD as it was licensed over a year ago. CEO David Lewis said he was looking at a spring 2012 launch for FREE HD now.
FreeHD Canada, a new Canadian television venture, is now BluSky HDTV.
But since receiving a DTH license in 2010, the company has had to reschedule its launch date to the first quarter of 2012.
FreeHD Canada had planned to be ready in time for the country's digital over the air transmission transition occurring this month, but it was apparently unable to find sufficient satellite capacity for its HD programming.
In 2010, The Commission approved in part Free HD's applications for broadcasting licences to operate a national direct-to-home (DTH) satellite distribution undertaking and a national satellite relay distribution undertaking (SRDU).
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has now approved an application by FreeHD to operate a national video-on-demand service.
Nevertheless, plans remain for a national satellite service, as originally conceived by David Lewis, a long-time industry veteran and telecom executive. FreeHD is controlled by Lewis, who holds 91% of the voting interest, with the remainder held by Krista Lewis.
"We are very optimistic we can secure enough satellite capacity to allow us to provide consumers and programmers in Canada with the most HD channels" said Lewis, Chairman and CEO of FreeHD Canada. "We know that Canadians are excited about our service, and the wait will definitely be worth it."
The applicant indicated that the new VOD service would offer, in high definition, the top blockbuster movies, film festival nominations and winning documentaries, and local programming of national interest, as well as some programs in 3-D.
FreeHD confirmed that it would make its VOD program offering available to customers in both official languages. While the programming would be predominantly in the English language, the applicant made a commitment to offer approximately 25% of all programming in French.
The licence will take effect September 1, 2011 and will expire August 31, 2018, and will be subject to the standard conditions.
Lewis described his original concept for FreeHD in correspondence with Mediacaster Magazine, noting at the time that "[c]ustomers that wish to receive FreeHD Canada programming would have to purchase a 'receive system' (that consists of an outdoor satellite dish of similar size of Bell TV or Shaw Direct, and an HD set-top box) on-line or from a local retailer."
FreeHD Canada (now BluSky) will offer a PVR-capable set-top, he added, compatible with its 1080p video quality and lower compression rate video delivery.
Bell practically gave away all the Nimiq 5 capacity (not Telesat as stated in the article.) Telesat sold capacity on another satellite to DirecTV. IMHO, the CRTC should have told Bell to either use N5 or hand it back for Blusky to use.
That will slow adoption. In addition, Bell and Shaw will have MPEG4 and/or extra capacity in place at about the same time. Blusky is over a year late to market with their plans and will likely fail as a result.
FreeHD will not provide free, high-definition programming that Lewis had originally intended to provide to Canadian communities expected to lose over-the-air television signals as a result of the transition to digital television broadcasting.
No free HD locals from BluSky as originally announced. That is already available from Shaw Direct.
The fact that the buisness plan has now changed for FREEHD, now BLUSKY, they should have to re-apply for the licence.
They should just set up a deal with BELL TV or SHAW DIRECT like what Telus and Bell have already done, otherwise what difference are they going to bring to the table.
The CRTC denied FreeHD a licence based on their original business plan, so they already re-applied and were granted a conventional BDU licence. The terms that the CRTC set for free TV (for all BDUs) were so restrictive that it doesn't make economic sense (if it ever did ).
There were advantages for Telus to do a short-term deal with Bell. There aren't any for BluSky.