Cable Prices Set To Rise

Feb 8, 2016 | Biz/Tech

Jess Reyes

Canadian cable TV fees rising as much as $3 a month could result in consumers pulling the plug on their service said a media research expert.

Mario Mota, co-founder of Boon Dog Professional Services, said he is one many cable users affected by the price increase.

“My household is facing a $9 bill increase because I have a bundle with cable, Internet and a home phone,” he said. “When you add up all the increase taking in effect all at the same time for those three services, it’s a pretty significant increase for me. It does make me think twice whether its time to look into other options.”

The Canadian Radio Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) mandated that Canadian cable providers offer a “skinny” basic cable package for $25 a month starting March 1st.

The basic cable package allows consumers to customize their channels based on their viewing preferences.

Bonnie Gilbert, a Rogers cable care representative, said the skinny package will drive more viewers to their cable network because of the flexibility of a month to month billing cycle.

“This new idea is affordable for people who only watch up to 10 channel,” she said. “There’s going to be more business, I would presume because it’s going to be for everybody.”

With many young people turning to streaming services like Netflix and Shomi, Mota believes that cable companies need to catch up with the viewing habits of millennials.

“They still watch a lot of TV, its just how they’re choosing to watch is different than older generations and that’s what’s fundamental,” he said. “The traditional players need to make sure that they engage the younger people or else they’re just going to lose out on a whole generation of consumers that would access their product and content.”

Mota said although no one knows exactly how things will unfold, the new regulations could end up benefitting the television business.

“Offering a skinny basic package actually might be a positive for the TV companies, because it might bring back some customers who cancelled their cable subscription in the past, and it might be enticing for them to come back,” he said.

With prices annually increasing, consumers are always looking for a ways to save money.

“I think this would benefit the customers in the long run because they would pay less than they normally pay just to watch a few channels,” Gilbert said.