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Classof83 2011-05-01 08:24 PM

Shaw Direct Simsub discussion
Shaw recently bought Canwest Global, and now they are simsubbing Global HD overtop of American HD channels, even in areas where they never used to! Shaw Direct does all their simsubs via the postal code of your receiver, and we still live outside the 75 km radius of the nearest Global HD OTA transmitter, so we here shouldn't be subjected to Global HD simsubs. It seems like they are just doing it with Global as well, because other Canadian networks like CTV aren't doing simsubs. Can they just change their ways because they now own Global? Where is our right as a consumer for them to follow the CRTC's policies?

57 2011-05-02 01:03 AM

Contact the CRTC and your provider. You may also wish to contact the broadcaster that is being subbed over since your eyes should be seeing his programme, not Global's.

mastercontrol 2011-05-02 11:56 AM

I've noticed the exact same thing in the last 3-4 weeks whenever I watch a FOX program Global also carries. I used to never get simsubs from any station. Seems more than just a coincidence that the only channel I get simsubs with is the one that Shaw owns.

57 2011-05-02 12:15 PM

It is possible that SD have simply not invoked the postal code directive on those simsubs yet. Rather than thinking that something sinister is going on, you should contact Shaw Direct, make them aware of the situation and ask them to invoke the postal code option properly as per directions from the CRTC. If it continues after a few weeks, then it's time to recontact them, copy the CRTC and advise the "offended" broadcaster. Best to do this in writing (e-mail), since then there is a record of the conversation.

Let's hope SD_630_Support reads this too, since he's been pretty responsive.

Classof83 2011-05-02 02:06 PM

I contacted Shaw Direct, and the CSR told me at first that he didn't know of any changes to the way Shaw handles simsubs (unlike Rogers reps who mostly don't even know what simsubs are to begin with and the fact that the BDU carries them out). I told the Shaw CSR that it is very coincidental that Shaw is now carrying out simsubs only with Global, and not other Canadian channels, even with viewers that weren't subjected to simsubs before, because they were out of the OTA HD transmitter area. He stated that he didn't think that was the reason why they would be changing things, but I was adamant it was the reason.

He then further looked into things, and found an internal email that stated that Shaw Direct is now carrying out simsubs via Global for all Canadian shows they have the rights to across all of Ontario, except in Thunder Bay, as well as the rest of most of Canada! He couldn't tell me why Thunday Bay was exempt. I told him this seems like it's in violation of the CRTC's policies. He fully understood things about the way simsubs are carried out, and fully understood why I was annoyed by this happening all of a sudden, in a location where I shouldn't be subjected to simsubs. He actually felt "betrayed" by Shaw Corporate that he didn't know about this change in simsubbing practice by Shaw, and he actually had to dig up the info himself and find this internal email from another employee, after putting me on hold several times!

He told me that the internal email stated that the policy change was in part to appeal to customers wants and needs (in terms of local ads???), and also to test out their equipment to perform simsubs across the board (hopefully that doesn't mean all Canadian channels will be simsubbed). But I told him that is totally bogus, as Shaw already knows they can implement simsubs properly - so well in fact that they do it via the postal code of the receiver - how much more accuracy do they want, and the fact that they are only doing it for a channel that they now own means they are only trying to maximize the profits for it. He then felt further angered himself that Shaw would actually pull a stunt like this. It seemed to me like he was a long time employee that started out when the company was much smaller. It was actually amazing to hear him get all ruffled about this policy change himself, one because he wasn't told of it himself, and two because of my complaining and most likely further complaints down the road by other customers.

I have filed a complaint against the CRTC. Shaw cannot change their ways just because they own a network now.

mrbean5411 2011-05-02 03:28 PM

Global is not the only one. I have watched several programs on ABC HD that are carrying the CTV HD feed. It all started a month or so ago. So I don't think there is any conspiracy. It just seems that they are just doing what all the other Canadian carriers are doing.

57 2011-05-02 03:33 PM


It just seem that they are just doing what all the other Canadian carriers are doing.
Not really - Rogers Ontario handles simsubs properly within the capabilities of their distribution system. Those in the GTA get subbed while those in London or Ottawa do not, depending on the channel in question. London and Ottawa also get different feeds of US channels - Detroit vs Buffalo, etc. I believe Shaw cable, Cogeco, Videotron and other cable providers are mostly handling it correctly too, within the capabilities of their distribution systems.

What SD are doing, if they're going Canada wide, is the same as what BTV have been doing for years (BTV got an exemption from the CRTC to allow this). SD are either angling to get the same exception, or have the exemption removed from BTV so that the playing field is "level" between the two Sat providers.

All of this will soon be moot as OTA (HD) transmitters will cover most of the country's population for Global and CTV and simsubs will be country-wide.

Classof83 2011-05-02 03:56 PM

Mrbean5411, if you live in Brampton, you should have been subjected to simsubs all the time, as you are within the 75 km radius of the OTA HD Toronto transmitters.

Here in Kitchener, Shaw Direct never simsubbed with any Canadian networks. I went online, and others stated that CTV is not being simsubbed on Shaw Direct, only Global is. I have check out things myself with CTV. But if CTV isn't, and Global only is, then we definitely know what's up.

mrbean5411 2011-05-02 04:19 PM

Yes, I live in Brampton, but have only recently expreienced the simsubbing.

And No, it is not just Global. CTV HD is also simsubbed on Shaw Direct.

Blackloz 2011-05-02 05:28 PM

I guess it would only affect the east HD feeds? As SD only has 1 CTV 1 Global in HD. Now hopefully it stays that way for a very long time.

Classof83 2011-05-02 05:31 PM

You're correct Blackloz, except for live sporting events, where both the east and west feeds are simsubbed.

bigoranget 2011-05-02 09:03 PM

I guess for me it doesn't make much difference since I am subject to Simsubs from Global HD and CTV HD due to being in the Toronto market.

My assumption is Thunder Bay is not included because the Global affiliate in that city is a private affiliate. St John's might be another city that might be exempt from this.

This is exactly why BDU's should not be allowed to own local stations. There is too much of a conflict of interest. They are giving their own network preferential treatment over other Canadian networks and they are doing a disservice to many customers that should not be subjected to global simsubs.

Blackloz 2011-05-02 10:36 PM

Again even ppl in Ontario should be simsub free on the west HD feeds as SD has no west canadian feeds to simsub with. Other than live sporting events. Atleast thats my understanding of it.

TJ77 2011-05-02 10:55 PM

The best part is that Shaw was extremely resistant to implementing HD simsubs , and had to be ordered by the CRTC to do so.
I guess this can be avoided by changing your address and switching to paperless billing...

PokerFace 2011-05-02 11:43 PM

You certainly are lucky to be able to avoid simsubs. You could actually set your timer to record a show and not have to worry about a simsub error cutting off the beginning or ending of a show you love ... and in some cases not getting to watch a show at all.

I would probably still be a subscriber to Rogers Cable had it not been for the annoying simsub screwups that caused me to miss several shows I wanted to watch. Calling Rogers to get them to fix the problem was very frustrating and still kept me from watching many shows in their entirety. Why should I pay for aggravation?

Whether or not this is another case of vertical integration getting in the way of your enjoyment, one thing is for certain ... vertical integration is here to stay and will only get worse. Canada is getting very good at putting the squeeze on Canadians.

Vertical integration isn't the focus of this thread, so I'll just leave you with this article link and be on my merry way:


In the U.S., for instance, the fully integrated multimedia conglomerate has become the exception (e.g. Comcast/NBC-Universal) after the disastrous AOL-Time Warner merger, the break-up of Viacom-CBS and collapse of the “old” AT&T. Indeed, the reign of sprawling media conglomerates is in retreat in almost every other developed capitalist democracy.

With events in Canada running counter to trends elsewhere, it is time to think about breaking-up Bell/CTV, Shaw/Global (Corus), Rogers/City-TV and Quebecor/TVA (Sun TV) into two separate parts: network infrastructure and content services. This is called “structural separation” and under this scenario these entities would become wholesalers of network facilities and retailers of their own content and services.

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