: CRTC to allow a-la-carte channel picking
The tier system, which was pioneered during the analog cable days and requires that subscribers buy TV channels in set groups or tiers, must be offered on digital cable until at least 2010, the CRTC said.
"Programmers are generally opposed to stand-alone or à la carte program offerings," the CRTC said in a lengthy policy statement.
"Nevertheless . . . consumers should be free to subscribe to them."
As the industry shifts from analog to digital transmission, which provides a high-definition TV signal through a set-top box, cable companies have sought to sell channels individually.
However, in a show of support for analog cable networks concerned that their audiences may plunge, the CRTC said the tiered system must be kept in place on digital cable until 2013. If cable providers have transferred more than 85 per cent of their subscribers to digital after 2010, that system can be dropped.
2006-02-28, 02:24 PM
Since satellite is 100% digital, why not require tier pricing on satellite be dropped now?
2006-02-28, 02:38 PM
If you read the CRTC notice, they want to protect the analog cable channels (read +10 year old channels) from losing subscribers = losing revenue = losing Canadian programming.
However, this does not preclude the tv providers from still bundling services. It just allows them to add pick n pay when their service (such as Starchoice or Evu) is 85%+ digital as of 2010.
Shall we start making predicitions on what stations will leave the air when they lose their protected must carry status?
Golf (in Canada)?
2006-02-28, 03:14 PM
If the decision had been made to summarily end all bundling immediately I would cheer. As it is, this is a "like kissing yer sister" scenario because it has too many loopholes and delays for my taste.
2006-02-28, 04:08 PM
The following is a quote from the article.
"While Canadian regulators are making the shift from analog to digital cable over a broader period of time, the U.S. government has more aggressive plans, setting a Feb. 17, 2009, deadline to end analog TV broadcasts."
This gives me pause as I can't trust the rest of the information in the article as this statement is just nonsense. They don't know the difference between regulations for over-the-air broadcasting and cable carriage. How accurate is the rest of their information?
They also inferred that digital is HD, which it is not (paragraph 7 of the article, paragraph 4 of post 1). But I believe the gist of the article means we're headed towards more a-la-carte cable.
One must remember that the people who write these articles often have little or no knowledge about the subject, they are simply "reporters", not experts (like us). ;)
2006-02-28, 05:43 PM
Worth noting -> Certain channels like The Shopping Channel - ain't going anywhere cause their biggest 'protected status' is that they *pay* to be there. And to protect it even further, I believe that Rogers owns a BIG chunk of it.
CPAC - ain't going anywhere. It's carriage - analog or digital will be mandated.
As for the rest of the channels speculated - those with lower 'appeal' may still end up in some 'cable basic' package... Nothing in this decision precludes an operator from offering a 'basic package' of their own making.
This whole article was so damn confusing because the author clearly understood little of the issues at play.
2006-02-28, 05:51 PM
In reference to Alan B statements:
If you have ever have to deal with the media, and Hugh can probably attest to this... More often that not they get the facts wrong or they edit out the truth, or twist the words that were said.
The only accuracies that I know are true is the sports scores. If you ever have played the telephone game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_(game)) as a kid, you know what goes in, never comes out.
Back when CD's first came out (yes, THAT long ago!) a friend of mine who knew zilch about anything technological started asking me about CD's. It seems he was writing an article for a newspaper about them! That's when I realized that it's best to ignore anything that the mass media says about technology. (And btw, it works the same for health and medicine too -- or any specialized area! Actually, on bad days I think it's best to ignore them entirely!! :-) )
The fact is due to carriage rules, you will still have to "buy" a Canadian channel before you "pick" a U.S. channels.
2006-03-01, 11:17 AM
"Cable providers want to offer unfettered choice for their customers as they prepare to go up against telecom companies who are preparing to enter the TV market with promises of letting customers select channels from a menu."
So.... do we know when this will roll out in the Toronto Area?
And... anybody know what system them will be using?
Please read the first post. 2013.
2006-03-01, 12:56 PM
Videotron digital offers à la carte... except there are so many clauses that there isn't much benefit. There's the basic package at $12 with the Canadian broadcast networks, Newsworld, Weather, CPAC, etc. (fine with me), then you can add only the channels you want. The problem is that there's a minimum of 20 channels (at $22 extra). I almost don't watch specialty channels. I would only take 5 but they won't let me! Choice my a$$! You can't keep just the basic package either.
Also, as someone pointed out, you must choose 50% Canadian, even though that's illogical, since Canada only has 10% of the population, and should therefore be expected to only have 10% the number of channels in North America.
2006-03-01, 04:49 PM
"telecom companies who are preparing to enter the TV market"
That will not happen until 2013.... and Rogers offers phone service now?
2006-03-01, 09:54 PM
That's happening now. MTS, Sasktel, Aliant, Telus.
2006-03-02, 01:55 AM
"Given that transition, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters said it was pleased the CRTC is allowing the industry to make the shift gradually."
No forcing of HD in canada.
Lets let the corporations decide when its best for us to view it, I mean once the USA goes full digital/HD in 2009, how many people will pirate that?
Think about it, getting a nice black border around all your programs because they are shot in HD and we get them dual simsubbed and in 4:3 analog.
I am sooooooo looking forward to what we have today in another 7 years time.
Videotron digital offers à la carte... except there are so many clauses that there isn't much benefit
Foxfan is 100% right. I have a la carted myself blue in the face trying to get my 20 picks while maintaining 50% CANCON. What I don't understand is that you MUST get the basic package with contains primarily Canadian stations yet these CANCON stations don't count towards your CANCON quota. A la carte should be just that, no additional mandatory packages or exclusions. Do you think the industry will head that way? We have no way of knowing.
2006-03-02, 08:12 PM
Back in 2000, right after Telus had finished their first Televison trial, I corresponded with one of their VP's to give her my impression of their service and what they had to do to 'best' Shaw with their offering. One of my points was sim-subbing (Telus didn't during the trial) and the second was a la carte. The VP dug into the whole thing and was quite surprised to find out how much their hands were tied in offering a la carte services. Seems like those Canadian Broadcastin stalwarts such as Alliance Atlantis has the cRTC behind them. Basically if you want one channel of theirs you must take x additional channels. All aided and abetted by the CRTC, the Canadian culture guard dogs that protect us from being unduly influenced by American culture. You never know we migh end up supporting U.S. foreign policy! Of course, cableco's at satco's also use this to their advantage. I belive they take it beyond what is mandated in order to sell more subscriptions.
2006-03-02, 10:59 PM
I am gonna go against everyone in here and say that I personally like the Tiered system at the moment, its not for everyone I will give it that, but overall you are getting more channels for less money, if everything was pick and pay we would be getting less than what we are now for more money, Pick and Pay to me simply means high cable bills, I prefer bundling and taking some channels I don't want, but overall getting a better value for my dollar.
2006-03-03, 05:32 PM
I support à la carte because I WANT the majority of specialty networks to be killed-off, and have the remants merged into only a handfull of networks. Even with 200 channels, there are always moments when there's nothing to watch, but you're paying ridiculous prices. Doesn't anyone find it INSANE that there are as many (if not more) Canadian specialty channels than there are American ones?