SASKATOON – Changes to the way Canadian cable and satellite subscribers choose their channels may offer more choice, but according to an associate professor in marketing at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), some will still benefit more from a bundle deal. The CRTC-mandated skinny cable and satellite packages that providers had to offer by March 1, cannot cost more than $25 per month.
Additional channels can be purchased on a pick-and-pay basis or in small bundles.
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“If you start adding on additional features to that, you can quickly see that the cost would increase quite a bit and so, the overall consumer is probably still better off just getting those bundled packages,” said Marjorie Delbaere, with the Edwards School of Business at the U of S.
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At minimum, providers must offer at least 10 local and regional channels.
While many consumers celebrated the changes that took effect Tuesday, some experts have said there could be unintended consequences to cable unbundling.
A January report from consulting firm Nordicity said changes resulting from the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV meetings could lead to the loss of nearly 7,000 jobs as well as $400 million in local program spending by 2020.
The report was prepared for the actors union ACTRA, the Canadian Media Guild, the Directors Guild of Canada, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and Unifor, the union representing Global Saskatoon employees.
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However, Delbaere said it would likely be the niche channels that would suffer from the pick-and-pay model.
“They might not see then the large enough audience to perhaps offset the costs of producing those channels.”
To make the switch, people should contact their cable provider.