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.


9 Responses to “Bell TV removes Sun News from its line-up”
  1. Bernie Watts says:

    Once again Bell uses its monopoly position to squeeze customers and content providers; in this case Sun TV. Sun TV is the first channels that is offering a news service in a non traditional way and guess what! Bell has decided that we are not allowed to watch it. I would be happy to pay for the channel if Bell would stop forcing nonsensical packages on its subscribers. 75% of the channels I pay for, I’m forced to take and never watch. Just because Bell says I must, this is big brother gone wild.
    I would recommend that Sun TV be given Category 1 status immediately, problem solved.

  2. David says:

    All the news I want will be on Sun TV or the web. Cut CBC and CTV, then bill me for just what I watch. We’ve told Bell that we will terminate our 13+ year relationship with them if Channel 213 isn’t restored by tomorrow. Telus isn’t an option as Bell is their supplier.

  3. Rex says:

    Quebecor can stick the Sun TV network where it normally doesn’t shine. Why do I want to spend another $1 a month for a station I’ll never watch.

    I’m tired of cable and sat companies adding stations I don’t want in my package. I didn’t want Sportsnet One, I didn’t want TSN2 but they were rammed down my throat and now I have to pay for them.

    • hammyhamster says:

      At first I was angry that yet another Station got removed from Bell TV but reading the reviews of what the Station has for viewers, I probably won’t miss it. GLOBAL LOCAL News is all I really need in the Morning and at 6PM in the evening. Quebecor ought to pay BELL to carry their Stations on Bell Satellite, not the other way around. Kudos to Bell, for not wanting to pay for a “free” Eastern Channel that is run by yet another Eastern Company looking for support. Give us some decent channels instead.

  4. Cambo says:

    This principle goes beyond the programming of SunTV itself.

    The model Bell has built is troubling- and SunTV could theoretically be challenged with the CRTC.

    Bell now owns CTV, so does this mean CTV has to pay Bell fee-for-carriage? No. Meaning, Bell is the Gatekeeper and is using this as a tool to squeeze out everyone else.

    This is the problem that the CRTC has allowed to happen.

    I’m very close at this point to just putting up an Antenna, rather than getting caught up in the shenanigans.

  5. Hammerfall says:

    Bernie, Chamo,

    I agree, there are to many monopolies in Canada, Bell, Shaw, Rogers etc. They control all aspect, from production, content and delivery etc., they are trying to squeeze out others in broadcasting as well as in the telecom market.
    I do not need yet another channel rammed down my throat that I do not want, and will not even watch.

    The CRTC has allowed so much monopoly building it is ridiculous. They have no more concern to protecting the public interest, than having a fox guarding the hen house.
    In short the CRTC is nothing more than telecom and broadcaster yes men, appointed, to sit and collect a fat pay cheque.

    I have put up antenna’s as I will not pay for inferior HD channels as they jam more channels per transponder and have to reduce quality.

    I am slowly getting my kids to watch more regular t.v. like PBS, TVO, CBC Kids, etc and getting them off the satellite specialty kids channels.
    My one time investment of $200-300 for antennas, cabling, amplifier will go alot farther than the gouging BELL is doing each month for junk channels I do not even want.

    Time to speak with the almighty dollar and keep our money where it will do our families good, in our pockets and not the line the already bulging pockets of the Bell corporate fat cats.

  6. Kelly Johnson says:

    I will be changing my Sat TV PROVIDER ,
    Bell can go to H– — L
    All we get now is Left Wing BULL MANURE

    • Carl says:

      Bell should make Sun TV News a pick and pay channel. That way those who want right wing bull manure instead of left wing bull manure will have a choice to subscribe to the manure or not.

  7. Libbycat says:

    I used to have Bell, changed to Telus, was a little cheaper, I thought. Not. !!! By the time I got the stations We wanted, it was the same. Had to take a bunch of stupid stuff. Added 3 special channels, and was paying more than before. Checked out Shaw etc. etc. ALL the same b.s. ,everywhere.. When SUN TV NEWS aired, we were very happy with it. At last, someone that was`nt the CBC or CTV, .A different point of view, finally,. Somewhere someone understood me., at least, most of the time. Now to have that taken away too, well it made me want to say BAD WORDS.! They have us over a barrel. They tell us what we can or cant watch, and how much we`ll pay,. They all do it because they can. I cant go elsewhere for my TV. I can do without it, but I wont and Bell Telus Shaw they all know I wont. Not Yet , that is.