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Both History and Discovery online work for me as a non-subscriber - however, the website "remembers" my login I setup years ago (which was when I was a subscriber). I also can watch the U.S. History - which seems to be a year ahead of what is on Canada.

Maybe it is a glitch, but they still both work for me.

I looked at Slice, HGTV, and MTV and they don't have any cookies for me or a login. I watched some programming on MUCH's website with no issues either this weekend.

I agree that the quality is around 480p, but for free and completely legal, I can't complain. Also the selection of shows is sometimes limited or months after the air date - but again, free and legal...

Also I do watch some international channels online for free content - it is hit or miss (mostly news and sports highlight/commentary shows) are not geoblocked and free.


It's coming up to two months for me cutting back, and so far I haven't missed anything and have plenty of programming to watch between Skinny Basic, OTA, free online content, paid online content, and DVD/Blu-Ray seasons. Overall, been able to keep my purchases including Skinny down to under $40 a month, but the CFL season will test me...
 

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CRTC says cable companies not offering fair $25 basic TV deals risk licence renewal - Business - CBC News
Canada's broadcast regulator recently demanded detailed reports on providers' new basic TV packages as part of their licence renewal process, CBC News has learned.

Within weeks, the commission will make those reports public. And Canadians will then be invited to wade in and tell the CRTC what they think.

"We'll take all those comments into consideration as we come up with a decision to renew [TV providers'] licences," said CRTC spokesman Eric Rancourt.

He added the CRTC could impose conditions on companies not offering the type of TV deals mandated by the commission.
As the Bell spokesman says "All Bell's TV packages meet all CRTC requirements." In other words, they follow the letter of the law even as they do everything they can to undermine it.

Unfortunately, the CRTC's threat to make skinny basic a condition of the TV provider's licence would be pretty meaningless. It seems the most they can do is ask the executives some pretty uncomfortable questions at the hearings.
 

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Skinny basic, what a disaster eh! Should have been working on how to regulate internet prices and make it affordable somehow instead of wasting time with a dying form of providing entertainment.
 

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It wasn't well implemented in many respects. It would have been better to fix OTA and do something similar to Freeview in the UK. Compared to the UK and the US, Canada's broadcasting policy has been a disaster from day one. It may be too late to do anything constructive now since it will result in a showdown between the CRTC and Canadian broadcasters, who have become a powerful political lobby. It doesn't help that previous CRTC chairs have been little more than a tool for broadcasters to get their own wish lists rubber stamped.
 

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If I could, I'd go MUCH further, and get ALL of the operating licenses, for the telcomedia companies that didn't comply, revoked, and have ALL their TV channels and website's operations suspended, even if it meant all of Canada was watching only the CBC for a while.

Tis why the government should be starting chatter between the telecommunications ministry here, and it's equivalent in the U.S., to get Bell, Rogers, Corus, et al to give up all of their U.S. video entertainment distribution rights, in exchange for having CTV, Global, City, et al offered to the U.S., with all-Canada program schedules.

=P
 

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They should limit the markup on individual channels based on a percentage of wholesale rate. Then the BDUs will pitch a fit.
That'd make far too much sense, and the CRTC would thus never want to do it. They seem to think that $5 channel bundles that somehow magically cost $42 when purchased individually is just fine.
 

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Any way it's perceived, markups on specialty channels is absurd. But they have to pay for gobbling up every independent broadcaster and communications service they can lay their hands on. Never mind those big bonuses, private jets, major league stadium suites, luxury yachts and exotic island villas for all the top management, major stockholders and previous CRTC chairs that ruled in their favour.
 

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@NeilN: I think they have all offered something like a Skinny Basic. However the CRTC is responding to complaints that some of the offers go against the commission's intent for the package. That is going to be a hard thing to prove.
 

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@reidw Even if it was proven that the corps are going against the intent of the legislation, the CRTC could do squat all (let alone revoke licenses as RaginRonic suggests) for "you did what what we said, not what we meant". If they CRTC meant $25 to be an "all-in" price, they need to specify a basic box needs to be included. If they want cheap pick and pay, they need to set a maximum markup. The second point may be beyond their power as it significantly interferes with the supposed free market.
 

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Leaving the cable box rental loophole was a significant oversight. The CRTC should have specified that the $25 package would either have to be in clear QAM or include multiple STBs at no additional cost. As for the absurd markup rates for a handful of extra channels, there are ways of regulating that without setting an absolute maximum. Let the BDUs set their markup wherever they want, but limit any volume discounts to 60 to 75%. If you offer a 100 specialty channel package for $100, and $50 of that is channel subscriber fees, your per channel markup for a small package could not exceed $2.
 

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We may see some new guidelines for channels pricing before pick'n'pay is due. I would like to see channel and theme pack prices set the same for all packages. If a theme pack or channel bundle is $20 for the high end plans it should be the same for skinny basic. That won't stop price gouging completely but regulators are reluctant to set fixed market prices.

It's also obvious that something needs to be done to keep pick'n'pay channel prices at reasonable levels. Just saying they should be reasonable doesn't seem to work because it is too vague.
 

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I think it's acceptable to charge a bit for a box rental or let the person buy the box but what Bell has been doing, forcing people who want skinny basic to buy an internet package, forcing them to in fact pay over $100 instead of $25 or less is ludicrous. Why does Bell keep having to butt heads with the CRTC over everything? Haven't they learned from them consistently losing court battles and CRTC hearings?
 

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If nothing changes to Bell's skinny basic by the end of the year, then most likely I will be switching to either Shaw direct or Rogers.
Bell has the worst and most expensive skinny basic package out of all the providers.
Just by selecting this option on Bell Fibe the price instantly goes up by about $40, before even adding any channels.
 

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CRTC continuing to monitor implementation of new basic television package and pick-and-pay

The CRTC today announced that it is calling certain television service providers to a public hearing to discuss how the new basic television package and flexible packaging options are being implemented across Canada. The hearing will begin on September 7, 2016, in the National Capital Region.

As part of the process to renew the licences of certain television service providers, the CRTC wants to ensure that they are offering the new options to Canadians in a manner that is consistent with its regulations and the spirit of its policy. In April, the CRTC asked companies to provide information on their basic packages and flexible packaging options, including on any additional products or services that Canadians have to purchase to receive the package.

The CRTC today published the updated responses it has received, as well as the applications for the companies whose licences were set to expire on August 31, 2016.

Canadians have until June 23, 2016, to submit their comments in one of the following ways:

  • filling out the online form,
  • writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A ON2, or
  • sending a fax to (819) 994-0218.
At this time, the CRTC intends to only call the following television service providers to the hearing: Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Vidéotron.

Quick Facts

  • Since March 1, 2016, all licensed television service providers must offer a basic package priced no higher than $25 a month (not including equipment).
  • Since March 1, 2016, Canadians also have more options to add to that service as TV service providers must offer channels either individually or in packages of up to 10 channels.
  • Starting on December 1, television service providers will have to offer pick-and-pay and small packages.
  • Nearly 100,000 Canadians signed up for the new basic package since March 1st, 2016.
  • A majority of these Canadians have also taken advantage of the new flexible packaging options by subscribing to individual channels, small packages or both.
  • Canadians have multiple options to obtain television services, which can include a combination of the new basic package, individual channels, small packages, free over-the-air stations and Internet streaming services.
  • Canadians also can continue to subscribe to large packages that include their favourite channels.
  • In order to have sufficient time to hold this hearing, the CRTC has administratively renewed until November 30, 2016, the licences of television service providers whose licences were expiring September 1, 2016.
  • Through this process, the CRTC will also impose conditions of licence relating to the Wholesale Code, which will ensure that viewers continue to discover and enjoy access to a diversity of programming, and the Television Service Provider Code, which will help Canadians make informed choices about their television service providers. Both codes will come into force in 2017.
Quote
"The new basic package and new flexible packaging options were introduced to give Canadians the ability to tailor their television services to their needs. Concerns have been raised, however, about how some television service providers have been implementing these new options. As we prepare for the full implementation of pick-and-pay, we will have an opportunity at the public hearing to verify whether their actions are in keeping with our objective."
- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

Related Products
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-196 (Administrative renewals)
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-197
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-96 (Let’s Talk TV)
Ask a question or make a complaint

Note: Emphasis added.
 

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Considering how ineffectively the CRTC implemented this, and how little they've done based on public feedback so far, my expectations for this round are extremely low. So low that maybe even the CRTC can meet them.
 

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@Tridus: They botched it in so many ways. For an organization that is supposedly business savvy in the communication field they have shown themselves to be remarkably naïve about the ways companies can get around the laws while seeming to comply. Hopefully they will have learned from their mistakes and the rollout of full pick n' pay in the fall will be better handled and monitored.

(Of course we're talking about a crown corp. here so maybe that's a pipedream).
 
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