Skinny basic TV at $25 a month coming next week
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Feb 25, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Skinny basic TV at $25 a month coming next week

The CRTC is requiring cable and satellite TV providers to offer an entry level TV package with local programming


As cable and satellite service providers ready low cost “skinny basic” TV plans to be launched by March 1, Videotron has been told it can’t offer additional channels for the same price.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Wednesday denied the Quebec-based distributor’s request to provide more content even though the plan would have conformed to the CRTC’s $25 per month cap.

The regulator said Videotron would have exceeded the maximum number of local and regional channels allowed under its rules.

Videotron said it wanted to continue offering the channels, including CTV Montreal and Canal Savoir, in the interest of consumers and to simplify marketing efforts.

But the CRTC said the move would blur the distinction between entry level and first-tier services and could encourage others to submit similar applications. It would also run contrary to its goal of establishing a service for Canadians who want only a basic package.

The CRTC has mandated that cable and satellite TV providers must offer an entry level TV package by March 1 that features a predominance of local programming and whose price does not exceed the monthly limit. Pick-and-pay for individual stand-alone channels must be available later this year.

Calgary based Shaw Communications last week posted a 40 channel TV plan on its website that includes U.S. networks for $25 per month.

Toronto-based Rogers Communications on Wednesday said it will offer customers the Starter entry-level service for $24.99 per month (plus digital box rental or purchase). The basic plans also includes U.S. channels such as Fox, NBC and PBS, though their inclusion is not required by the CRTC.

Rogers announced theme packs ranging from $3 to $18 monthly, with a Canadian news bundle including Bloomberg TV Canada and Business News Network priced at $5 per month.

The Rogers Sportsnet plus package will cost $18 dollars per month and include all six Sportsnet channels. The Rogers plans will be posted on the company’s main website when available for purchase March 1, although details are available at

A Bell Canada spokesperson said future packages will offer consumers “the best choice in individual TV channels and packages at tremendous value, while respecting CRTC rules.

“For competitive reasons, we don’t announce new offerings in advance of their availability.”

The CRTC last week issued a bulletin reminding cable and satellite TV service providers of their obligation to provide and to promote the skinny basic TV package by the March deadline.

Toronto Star

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(2) Comment

By Larry | FEBRUARY 27, 2016 07:58 AM
Because they were forced to by the CRTC! It's about time!! These cable companies have been gouging us for years! Get the basic, and get yourself a MBOX and watch all the pay TV movies and series you want for free!
By Patriot | FEBRUARY 26, 2016 08:10 AM
Somehow I feel when all is revealed, it will cost the same. Why would any TV service provider ever want to cut its profits for the good of the people?
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