Government begins process to give cable customers greater control over what they pay for

by Andrew Roach on November 19, 2013

Traditionally, if cable customers wanted to get a certain channel or service, they would normally have to get an entire bundle or package which includes their preferred network and a host of other channels even if they may not watch the other services in that package.

This can sometimes be an unnecessary expense for customers if they don’t watch the other networks in that bundle but this problem could soon be an end if Heritage Minister Shelley Glover gets her own way.

Glover has asked the CRTC to produce a report looking into what would need to be done for cable providers to stop including channels in large bundles and look for methods in which customers pay for only the channels they want to watch.

The move comes just weeks after the government made an announcement over the state of television in Canada in modern society.

In the report, the CRTC will not only need to highlight how customers will be able to go about selecting just certain
channels to pay for on their service but also reveal their own plans to start the process and how they would change the current laws.

At the moment, cable providers are able to pack many channels based on a similar topic (such as sports or movies) into the same bundles forcing customers to pay large fees just to a handful of channels some of which they never watch.

However, with cable subscription numbers dropping over the last couple of years, the government are hoping that the move to unbundle some channels will not only make the service more attractive to users but also give subscribers a service they want to use rather than something that is a burden on the weekly bills.

These views were highlighted in a statement Glover made in Vancouver where she underlined the changes for the future. During the statement, the Heritage Minister stated: “This decision is an important step in defending Canadian consumers, who want choice and flexibility in their television services. Our request will ensure that the CRTC develops a more complete roadmap to unbundle TV channels.”

The CRTC will have until April 30 to make their suggestions to the government before the next stage of the idea commences later next year as the government looks to use 2014 as the year to start a modern revolution on TV services across the whole of Canada.

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