Reading the Gazette article, the VP of Videotron, Isabelle Dessureault, mentions the difficulty of negotiating carriage rights with “powerful broadcasters”. She mentions demands for minimum penetration guarantees and variable rates as examples of difficulties Videotron faces due to their a-la-carte philosophy and mainly francophone clientele not particularly interested in anglophone channels.
This is probably true for American Broadcasters (AMC comes to mind) but I am not sure how this logic applies to the Canadian ones such as Bell Media or Shaw.
While both Bell and Shaw are direct cable TV competitors to Videotron they do make available most of their channels in SD but for some reason have only negotiated a sub-set to be broadcast in HD.
For example HD channels from Bell Media include TSN, TSN2, RDS, RDS2, Discovery, Space, Bravo etc. while Comedy, CTV News Channel BNN, MTV, E! and others are currently excluded.
Since bandwidth is longer an issue with illico 2 and Mpeg4 why not go the extra mile and negotiate an all-inclusive HD deal with Bell and Shaw as opposed to continue the current tactic of only a few at a time.