Bottom line is the only way there will be cheaper TV packages is if subscribers start leaving en masse. No fear = no change. I phoned Bell with my intentions and received $60 off TV/Internet/HP for 2 years.
My plan was to switch to SB and add 10 pick'n'pay channels for $20-$30. That would be $20-$30 less than we pay now for a bundle with that plus 200 channels we never watch. If BDUs don't want to do that, then they can offer some discounts to keep the business. If that can't be done then the OTA rig will need some upgrading.
I'm curious as to how many have actually made the switch. I did, but I already had a fairly minimal package as it was, and my bill dropped $13/mo as a result. I figure people in my situation who already had a small package are the ones who would benefit most.
: What you are all forgetting is that this is just phase 1. In Dec. 2016 every channel becomes Pick n' Pay if you want it that way. Until then you really don't know how the new system is going to play out on your particular BDU.
I already have pick & pay channels available, ahead of that deadline. They're in the ballpark of $7 each, yet somehow a theme pack with six of them costs $5.
So, unless the price is going to drop about 80% in December, I think I'm fairly safe in judging things now.
I just switch to the Starter (Skinny Basic) package with Bell Satellite TV and the US Networks were in fact included in the package contrary to what I said before. This is not advertised on the Bell Website which I think is designed to deceive people in signing up for Time Shifting Package in order to receive them. If you do that you would never know the difference. I called up for clarification of what exactly is included and US Networks are (in HD). They tried to make me rent a receiver but I told them I own 5 so they waved that. I reduced my bill by $9 which is not too bad.
Let's see how much it would cost me to get those 10 pick and pay channels:
- $25 basic package
- $37 ten channels
- $15 PVR rental
- $7 receiver rental
- $19 loss of Internet discount
- $7 loss of bundle discount
Total= $135 for starter package and 10 channels.
About $15 less than what I paying now for both 25/10 unlimited internet, better tv package and Crave tv.
This is the reason that I keep on saying that Bell tv has the worst Skinny basic package in the Canadian Tv market
Here's an article from about a week ago that provides an interesting starting point. The scenarios are a little simplistic in that they only consider single-interest households and don't consider bundling other services.
I've switched to skinny basic and I've helped other people analyze their options, mainly with MTS and Shaw Cable. They either saved money by switching to skinny basic or paid the same but added themes that weren't affordable under Shaw's old plan. Here is the Shaw example where they own the hardware:
Old plan - Personal TV $41. Old theme packs were $10, which was unreasonable when they only wanted 1 or 2 channels.
New Plan - Total Bill $41 - Limited TV $25 + 2 small news theme packs ($10) + 1 other theme ($6).
They got rid of the sports channels and a few other channels that they didn't watch and added channels they wanted for no change in price and they are much happier. They added 1 news theme for $6 and added the additional news theme for $4 more, so they could keep CTV & CBC News channels.
That's exactly our situation. There are only 7 channels we want beyond Canadian Networks and PBS. To get them all we would have had to subscribe to Bell's most expensive "Best" package. As it turns out, we felt we could only justify the "Select" package which meant we were missing 2 of the 7. Now we have all of the channels we want for less money.
I'm happier but it could have been better if Bell wasn't charging $7 a channel. I recognize that I'm getting 10 for $3.70 a piece but that includes 3 channels we don't really want (still better than 30).
I agree that Bell currently has the worst offering but I think that competition will force things to even out especially in December when Pick and Pay fully kicks in. As pointed out by Micheal Geist in a recent article in the Toronto Star (Skinny TV packages jump start competition: Geist | Toronto Star), it will soon become very easy to compare service across the BDU's and recognize where the value is.
Currently those that want more than 10 extra channels, sports fans and those that don't own their own equipment do not benefit from Skinny basic but, that might change somewhat over time. Time will tell.
I agree that the G&M scenarios are laughable. Also, they fail to realize that many people are busy and want the PVR functionality which costs about $10 more a month for the STB rental than the basic STB with my provider.
That's why I own all my own equipment. I generally try to buy 2nd hand (Craigslist) or during boxing day sales and I think I generally end up paying somewhere between 50 - 60% of the regular retail price. Of course there is the risk of getting bad unwarrantied equipment but I've haven't had that bad luck yet. Having said that, I don't know that all BDU's allow you to purchase your own equipment.
I agree with all the others that have posted about how intentionally uncompetitive Bell's pick and pay packaging is in Ontario. The good thing about the whole introduction of skinny basic is that it gives consumers the initiative to shop around and perhaps pick a better approach. I hope anyone that leaves Bell for the competition makes it very clear that Bell's per channel prices and 10-pack are completely ridiculous. Maybe then Bell will smarten up if they lose enough customers.
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread is the big discrepancy in price between Bell Ontario and Quebec for exactly the same packaging. With the Starter package Get 10 channels for: