James Moore

CRTC offers up broad proposals for changing Canada’s TV delivery system

Canada’s broadcast regulator has issued broad new proposals that could dramatically alter how Canadians receive and pay for their television. The proposals issued Thursday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission include requiring cable and satellite providers to offer a basic service made up primarily of local Canadian channels. The CRTC is also proposing a […]

Canada’s broadcast regulator has issued broad new proposals that could dramatically alter how Canadians receive and pay for their television.

The proposals issued Thursday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission include requiring cable and satellite providers to offer a basic service made up primarily of local Canadian channels.

The CRTC is also proposing a so-called pick-and-pay structure that would allow Canadians to choose individual channels, on top of a basic service.

And it suggests the price of that basic service could be capped at between $20 and $30 per month.

Industry Minister James Moore first indicated last October that he’d like to see more choice for Canadian consumers.

The government then laid out its plans to overhaul the country’s TV distribution system in its speech from the throne, which included a proposed “pick-and-pay” service structure.

Other proposals unveiled Thursday include requiring service providers to offer build-your-own channel packages or allowing them to continue offering the same packages currently on the market.

“(Service providers) would be required to allow subscribers to build their own custom packages of discretionary programming services,” the CRTC said in a table incorporated in a new notice of hearing.

“(Service providers) could still offer pre-assembled packages.”

At the same time, the regulator is proposing allowing local TV stations to shut down their transmitters – a move that might not sit well with consumers who prefer to get their TV programming over the air.

And it proposes allowing television stations and networks to count revenues from online or other delivery platforms toward their overall revenue base.

The CRTC stresses that it has not yet decided which options it will enforce, and is giving the public until Sept. 19 to offer comments on the proposals online.

A public hearing will also be held in Gatineau, Que. on Sept. 8.

A number of companies, largely in Eastern Canada, already offer basic service plans and “pick-and-pay” options.

But some service providers have said they need the ability to rework contracts with television program suppliers if the CRTC wants true “pick-and-pay” pricing for consumers.

The regulator touches on that in its notice, proposing that program suppliers be banned from demanding “unreasonable penetration-based” rates for their programming.

Once new regulations are adopted, the CRTC said it expects them to come into force by December 2015.

Media Articles

Photo Gallery: Marketing’s Best of the Year

Agencies, clients, media and tech came together to see who would be chosen

Marketing reveals its ‘Best of the Year’ winners

Have a look at the Marketer, Media Player, Agency and Tech Player of the Year

Media Player of the Year 2015: YouTube

An entertainment empire with a distinct culture and stable of A-list stars

Lululemon and the no-sell mentality

Helping your customers can be just as effective as advertising

Canadian brands get into trivia game with Play The Future

Montreal-based company combines predictive trivia with branded content

Alliance for Audited Media to measure multi-platform media

New category will provide analysis of all-you-can-read platforms

CTV moves Corden to main network

Programming executives believe it has the potential to become a 'breakout' hit

Bell Media announces Super Bowl 50 advertiser roster

Barring a successful appeal, this will be the last Super Bowl with Canadian commercials

Yahoo to cut 1,700 jobs, shutter offices and dump products

Internet operations and patents may be sold as investors lose faith in grand resurrection