By March 2016, subscribers to cable television services in Canada will now have access to an entry-level package priced at no more than $25 per month.
During the public hearings in the fall, several interveners complained about the lack of flexibility in the choice of channels offered by cable television services.
The package of channels included with this basic service will give priority to information programs and local and regional newscasts. In Quebec, these channels will include : AMI, APTN, Canal M, CBC News Network, CPAC, MétéoMédia and TV5. This package must also include local Canadian stations (ICI Radio-Canada, Télé-Québec, TVA and V), educational services, community and parliamentary channels.
Consumers will obviously be entitled to additional channels, “either on a pay-per-view basis or through small channel packages at reasonable prices,” the CRTC points out.
“Thanks in part to the availability of broadband technology, viewers can listen to television content when, where and on the devices they choose. They are in charge. A world of choice is within reach of Canadians,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC .
“With today’s decision, it’s not about choosing for the Canadians. Rather, it’s about establishing a roadmap that gives all Canadians the freedom to choose the television content that meets their unique needs, budgets and circumstances – and that can even include live television stations. free live. Canadians will be able to find the best solution for their household.”
A repercussion of recent public hearings
This decision is closely linked to the Let’s Talk TV public hearings held by the CRTC last fall, in which several interveners complained about the lack of flexibility in the choice of channels offered by cable television services.
Le gouvernement avait d’ailleurs demandé aux législateurs d’offrir un système de chaînes à la carte, afin de permettre aux consommateurs de choisir les contenus qui les intéressent.
«Notre gouvernement croit que les familles canadiennes devraient pouvoir choisir les forfaits de chaînes sur mesure qu’elles souhaitent obtenir», a déclaré en octobre dernier David Johnston, gouverneur général du Canada. «Il exigera que les chaînes soient dissociées dans les forfaits tout en protégeant les emplois.»
Manifestement, le CRTC tente de ménager la chèvre et le chou en démontrant plus d’ouverture à l’idée d’un système à la carte tout en imposant un forfait de base à prix réduit.
Des changements plus importants au Canada anglais
As Radio-Canada points out , this decision should have more impact outside Quebec. Indeed, the majority of cable operators in the province already offer their subscribers flexibility in the choice of their channels.
The new CRTC measures will therefore standardize this practice nationally, in addition to limiting the cost of basic packages. It goes without saying that the less popular specialty channels risk disappearing as a result of this decision.