Skinny TV offerings begin in March

by | Feb 26, 2016 | Arts, News

Jessenia Feijo

Since the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, CRTC, announced new changes for television last year, affordable packages known as ‘skinny TV’ will be offered.

Monica Astudillo, a Toronto resident and Rogers TV costumer is a huge TV fan.

“With all the money I’m paying for my cable package, I better be watching it every second I get,” said Astudillo who pays around $85 a month.

Like other Canadians, she is always on the look out for better, more affordable and reliable TV services.

As of March 1, 2016, all Canadian TV providers will have to offer a basic package of channels, also known as a skinny TV option, for no more than $25 a month. Companies will also give consumers the option of ordering individual channels, the pick-and-pay packs or small bundles.

Industry analysts have speculated that providers are not eager to promote the mandated cheaper basic package because it could inspire customers to lower their TV plans.

Early yesterday morning, information about skinny TV packages from Rogers and Bell was leaked.

The Rogers skinny TV package, priced at $24.99, includes Canadian stations such as CBC, City, OMNI.1 and U.S. stations like CBS,PBS and Fox. If the customer then chooses, they can up this basic package with their “Starter Theme Packs” that range from $3 to $18.

In comparison, Shaw Media’s and Bell’s skinny TV packages both sit at around $25.00, and are nearly identical.

According to a CBC article posted yesterday, industry analysts have speculated that providers are not eager to promote the mandated cheaper basic package because it could inspire customers to lower their TV plans.

Astudillo said that’s no surprise.

(Flickr, Jason Trim)

(Flickr, Jason Trim)

“Every time I have an issue with my cable, phone, et cetera, and I call in to their customer service, it isn’t until I say that I want to cancel that they offer cheaper alternatives to keep me around,” said Astudillo.

Laura Ferriera, a Richmond Hill resident and Bell Media costumer said she hopes this isn’t a scam.

“Because of my busy schedule and my kids schedule, we’re always in and out of the house. When we do get a chance to sit back and relax, there are only a few channels we always flip to: Slice, A&E and TLC, all of which aren’t offered in these packages I’ve seen. This means I’ll have to pick and choose these channels myself. Hopefully it works out in my favour.”

Program Coordinator of Humber North’s Bachelor of  Commerce – Marketing, Youssef Youssef said the main media providers are all following the same strategy.

Youssef said this is an intuitive trial strategy to stop the growth of Netflix in the Canadian market.

“The media revolution is not limited as it was in the past. You have it all. To get to their audience, they are putting this forward. I don’t believe it will be affective when comparing $7 and way more options to a $25 basic package,” said Youssef.

Nico Panart, a regular Netflix user, said he completely agrees.

“Even with the removal of American TV options on Canadian Netflix, there are still so much more variety. In the long run I think that’s what will keep people on Netflix, the variety at any time,” said Panart.