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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
More Talk On à-la-carte (Pick & Pay, Bundling)

Well is it just more talk regarding à-la-carte, or will it actually come to something? - soon?

http://www.montrealgazette.com/trav...offer+more+consumer+choice/9032481/story.html Link Dead

New Links: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/1...onsumer-choice-industry-minister-james-moore/

http://www.ibtimes.com/canada-vs-ca...-tv-providers-offer-la-carte-channels-1424400

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/13/canada-politics-idUSL1N0I30BW20131013

The federal government will unveil plans this week to force cable and satellite TV providers to offer consumers so-called pick-and-pay services, says a prominent cabinet minister.
 

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If this came in, I might consider resubscribing to cable. If I could get a reasonably priced true skinny basic + a few channels of pick and pay, I just might sign up. I'd also need to have 2 or 3 cable outlets for no extra charge.

As it is, I'm pretty happy with Netflix (Cdn) + Crunchyroll.

Mark
 

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According to Consumer Reports (October), there is a bill in congress. Whether it gets anywhere is a different matter. Let's keep this discussion to the Canadian side though please and please no congressional jokes/pokes.
 

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According to Consumer Reports (October), there is a bill in congress. Whether it gets anywhere is a different matter. Let's keep this discussion to the Canadian side though please and please no congressional jokes/pokes.
At least you guys have a few more a la carte options already. I think the bigger issue overall is that everybody has different needs. Some people may need a bundle because they have a big family while others would definitely benefit from a la carte. At least there'a a chance that something will happen on the Canadian side. I honestly don't think anything will happen on the U.S. side for the foreseeable future. That's all I will say on that matter.
 

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In Quebec, Videotron crushed LookTV. Then Videotron stopped the theme pack option and started offering a la carte. Eventually Bell did the same thing. It can still be quite expensive if the providers limit which channels can be picked a la carte.

Bell has a hybrid a la carte. There is a quite a few channels but some are not available unless you pick a large pre-assembled package.

I had theme packs but only switched to a la carte when GSN was added as a la carte option. But I called Bell several times and it took a year and a half.
 

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The cable,sat & IPTV providers are just laughing at this.

You know why?

Simple?

They say you want to choose a pick & Pay system, no problem, we'll just JACK UP the price for each individual channel you want,instead of paying $3/channel, its now going to cost you $5/channel, while the pacvkage bundling of channels will be cheaper?

Thats how there going to make there money one way or the other.

And even though Videotron & Bell have this some what in Quebec once is across the country they'll do some sneaky under the table deal with each other.

I'd sooner trust the devil and a snake in the grass before I trust these providers!!
 

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Unless they quintuple the cost per channel, I'm still coming out ahead. There is literally no theme back on Aliant that has more than one channel I want. So I say bring it on.

It seems pretty unlikely that's going to happen anyway, except possibly for the channels that actually sell theme packs right now. If I can get the good channel and not the wastes of space that come with it, those wastes of space are going to have to work harder to get subscribers or go under entirely. Paying 5x more isn't going to get that done.

As for if the government will really do this or not? Probably. The Conservatives are in an awkward position right now with an election on the horizon and so much negative focus being on Mike Duffy.

They need to change the channel as it were, and ROBELUS didn't make any friends in Ottawa with their campaign against the government over Verizon. Plus, the only company Canadians love to hate more than Rogers is Air Canada, so the government is picking a target that won't have a whole lot of sympathy.

It's smart politics, really.
 

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i think for those who only watch a few channels this is a boon. For some of us who like having lots to browse around on boring Sunday afternoons, it may end up costing more. We shall see.
 

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The majority of channels only cost between 30 and 60 cents for each subscriber with the premium channels and sports channels raking in the big revenue. At one of the previous CRTC hearings it was acknowledged by the providers that the majority of their operating costs etc were covered in the basic package offered. If correct then Bell pulls in on average around 60 million dollars per month for the basic package.......the rest then becomes part of the creative accounting process that large corporations use to ensure an appropriate loss or profit. You can be sure that the unbundling packages are on the shelf and ready to go when and if the government decides to help out consumers but at the same time maintain the current profit levels for the providers. So if it ends up costing the same or even more what is the point.....other than to say we are providing more choice. No where has anyone said.......it will cost you less!
 

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On one hand I'm not in favor of government meddling with corporate operations, on the other hand I'm happy that consumers might have more choice. I know I'd much prefer to pay a $50 flat rate for basic HD + pick and pay for the channels I want.


I think I'd prefer if the government made it easier for new service providers to enter the market and let the market dictate what method of bundling and distributing channels is more appropriate.

The last time the government mandated something like this we ended up with higher cell phone prices to offset the shorter contracts.
 

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According to the National Post article, Kenneth Engelhart (Rogers' vice president of regulatory) said:

But if Ottawa orders service providers to offer pick-and-pay pricing across the board, it’s also going to have to convince the content providers to be more “flexible” in how they charge for shows, he added.

“They can’t ask us to guarantee their revenue,” Engelhart said.
I think he's referring to the fact that the content providers have multi-year contracts that have bundling requirements and minimum subscriber counts based on those bundles. I think this is the case for the distributors of the U.S. specialty channels as well as the Canadian media conglomerates - Bell Media, Shaw Media and Rogers Media.

I'm not sure how the government plans to deal with that issue. It wouldn't make sense to have bundled contracts at the provider level and a la carte at the consumer level. If the government tried to retroactively invalidate the existing contracts there would probably be legal challenges just as there are with the CRTC retroactively invalidating existing 3 year cell phone contracts.

The contract issue leaves the BDUs that don't control content stuck in the middle (e.g.. Telus, Eastlink and MTS), so it would likely lead to higher per channel prices.

The other issue, as others have mentioned is that the government can't really control prices of individual channels. It may end up costing more for those households that watch a lot a specialty channels, but save money for those that watch a few channels.

I hope one result will be to reverse the trend for some providers to move away from theme packs, which at least gave the consumer some choice. Bell is probably the worst example - if you want a particular channel and it's in the "Best" package, that's the only way you can get that channel. Rogers seem to be similar, but I'm not as familiar with their packages.
 

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Dr.Dave
Bell is probably the worst example - if you want a particular channel and it's in the "Best" package, that's the only way you can get that channel.
Though there is a la carte in Quebec not all channels are available a la carte. If one wants to get Speed or until very recently NFL Network it would require a pre assembled package.$25 basic + Best package $62. Total cost for that one channel(Speed) would be $87. :eek:
 

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How this is going to play out is with increases for Basic Cable. The cable company will just shift the costs from the theme packs to the Basic package.

Their cablecos' revenues won't go down at all as a result of this. We may initially get better per-channel prices ala carte, but the cablecos will make up that lost revenue through Basic Cable increases, and after a few years they'll start increasing the ala carte channel rates to the point where while we're now paying $5-$10/bundle, we'll be paying $5/channel instead.

Also, don't expect a "skinny basic" option; this will give cablecos even more incentive to place channels in a "fat basic" bundle and force you to pay for them whether you want them or not.
 
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