courtesy BroadcasterMagazine.com April 15, 2016
The CRTC recently asked Access Communications, Bell, Cogeco, Eastlink, MTS, Rogers Communications SaskTel, Shaw Communications, TELUS and Vidéotron to provide data on the number of subscribers that have subscribed to the new basic television package.
In just five weeks, more than 66,000 Canadians have already signed up for the new basic television package, according to data collected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. In addition, more than 1 out of 3 of these Canadians have also taken advantage of the new packaging options by subscribing to individual channels, small packages or both.
Note that News1130 reported this number in deprecating terms, by expressing it as a percentage of all cable TV subscribers. Definitely a small number put that way but still quite something for just a month, especially given the lack of promotion and the fight put up by the telcos when people phone in to make the switch.
The problem is the way they have packaged the plan. I’m with Bell and I looked at the plan. First it took me 10 minutes to find the plan hidden on their website. 2nd they still are packaging. As soon as you select the basic package for $25.00 and select 3 more channels it throws you into another package of 10 channels for $35.00. Of course they know what the popular channels are and they charge $6-$7 per month for those. So for me to go to the skinny package with the absolute channels I must have, well I save $7.00 from my ten year old existing package. For $7.00 there is good value for the odd time I may decide to watch Slice, Space or the golden oldies. It is definitely not what I thought it would be.
To kick me off my old plan they are now slowly dropping channels, about one every couple of months. They put the channel on a free preview for two months then boom it’s gone.
Took a look this evening at one of these skinny packages on an actual subscriber’s TV. The subscriber had just one add-on request, CNN, which apparently came along with BBC and another channel. However, as I scanned across the lineup (this was a Shaw feed) I found a lot more channels than I expected. So many that I in fact stopped looking.