Recently, I defended the big cable companies or at least my position to keep paying them for the services I like. Paying for cable is very much a lifestyle choice and depending upon what you watch (sports) and when you watch it (when it’s live), cable still makes sense for many Canadians including myself. This doesn’t mean more choices shouldn’t be offered to Canadian consumers, and based on some recent media announcements, it sounds like our federal government is finally listening to us. Maybe for future votes?
In the throne speech this week, I expect our federal government to unveil plans to legislate cable and satellite TV providers to offer “pick-and-pay” services to Canadians. This legislation should allow consumers to unbundle channels from their existing cable packages and instead just pay for the channels they want to use. Our broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) urged cable and satellite TV companies to move to a pick-and-pay pricing model a few years ago when revised CRTC regulations came out but that model was not legislated and thus never fully adopted. Hopefully the government will make the “pick-and-pay” model stick this time by making it a mandatory offering.
The big questions remain however, how much will consumers need to pay for each cable channel? Will there be premium channels that come with premium pricing? Will a minimum number of channels need to be purchased within the “pick-and-pay” model? What would you pay for each cable channel?
For this last question, use my poll in the sidebar on my site and make your voice heard. I’ll tweet your results over the next week or so and see what attention I can get from Rogers, Bell, Shaw and the cable gang.