CRTC approves pick-and-pay

Mar 19, 2015 | Biz/Tech, News



By: Ryan Poirier

Television consumers will soon be able to pick and pay for the individual channels that they want.

The new formula issued by the Canadian broadcast regulator (CRTC) requires cable and satellite companies to have both a pick-and-pay option and a small, more reasonable television package for its customers by December 2016.

By March 2016 each provider must have just one of these options available.

Pick-and-pay would allow consumers to choose and pay for only the channels they want rather than subscribing to a package that has the channels pre-selected for them.

The small, more reasonable television packages mentioned in the news release – other wise known as the skinny basic package– would offer a deal capped at no more than $25 a month.

Norm Bolen, former CEO of CMPA (Canadian Media and Production Association) said the new deal will have a negative impact on Canadian content.

Bolen said that because television subscribers only have to pick a certain number of channels, several Canadian channels will lose subscribers. Smaller audiences will lead to fewer ad dollars and ultimately less revenue for the broadcasters.

“There’s definitely going to be a hit taken on Canadian production,” Bolen said. “And that industry employs over 100,000 people and contributes billions of dollars to the Canadian economy.”

In a statement released by Brad Shaw, the CEO of Shaw communications, he called the CRTC’s decision a bold yet balanced framework that will give the Canadians an increased choice.

“While this new regulatory environment will not be without challenges,” Shaw stated, “the Commission has provided real opportunities for Shaw to continue delivering the best content experiences possible for our customers and viewers within a healthy, dynamic and competitive environment.”