The CRTC wants Canadians to take back control of their TV services

Establishes best practices for TV service providers to follow

OTTAWA - GATINEAU, Nov. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today set out best practices for TV service providers to ensure Canadians are offered real choice regarding their services and have information about their options.

To follow these best practices, providers should, among other things: provide information about the new choices that will be available as of December 1, 2016; keep their offers simple and transparent; offer deals and discounts regardless of the entry-level package selected; provide online tools allowing subscribers to easily add or remove channels; and offer different options to obtain a set-top box.

The CRTC is also renewing the licences of most TV service providers for one year, rather than the usual seven-year term. This will enable the CRTC to closely monitor the TV providers' practices as they implement the new TV choices.

These new options will enable Canadians to create their own package for TV services. Canadians are encouraged to shop around to ensure they are aware of what is available in the market if their service provider's offers don't meet the needs or the budget of their household. There are many online tools on the CRTC's website to help Canadians find the best services and negotiate with their provider.

Quick Facts

  • Since March 1, 2016, all licensed television service providers must offer a basic package priced at no more than $25 a month (not including equipment).
  • Some smaller providers like Access, Zazeen, Rangtel and Beanfield have been offering the small basic package at less than $25 a month without having to subscribe to other services.
  • Since March 1, 2016, Canadians also have more options to add to that basic service, as TV service providers must offer channels either individually or in packages of up to 10 channels.
  • Starting on December 1, television service providers will have to offer both pick-and-pay and small packages.
  • The service providers' actions regarding these new TV choices will be closely monitored in the year to come to ensure that they respect the best practices highlighted by the CRTC.
  • As a result of the CRTC proceeding, some providers announced plans to change practices that were not consumer friendly.
  • Canadians have multiple options to watch TV programming, which can include a combination of the new basic package, individual channels, small packages, free over-the-air stations and Internet streaming services.
  • Canadians are encouraged to use the new CRTC online tools to help them identify their needs and budget, shop around and negotiate for TV services.

Quote

"Starting on December 1, Canadians will have greater flexibility in choosing how they subscribe to TV services. We have set out best practices for television service providers and created online tools to help Canadians navigate this new world. We encourage Canadians to shop around, as some providers are offering consumer-friendly options that include a basic TV package at less than $25 per month."

- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

Additional links

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-458 – Review of practices relating to the small basic service and flexible packaging options and other matters related to the licence renewal of broadcasting distribution undertakings
CRTC continuing to monitor implementation of new basic television package and pick-and-pay
CRTC welcomes new era of choice for TV viewers
You Have Choices


Additional information on the basic TV package

In March 2015, the CRTC announced changes to the way TV services are offered following the Let's Talk TV conversation. During this extensive process, Canadians told the CRTC they wanted more choice, flexibility and affordability in TV services. These changes ensure Canadians have the ability to choose the television services that meets their unique needs, budgets and realities.

Since March 1, 2016, Canadians can subscribe to an affordable basic TV package that costs no more than $25 per month (excluding equipment). According to information filed with the CRTC, the following television service providers are offering the small basic  package at less than $25 per month:

 

Provider

Rate*

Region

2251723 Ontario Inc.

(VMedia)

 

$17.95

Barrie, Greater Toronto Area (including Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Caledon, Claremont, Etobicoke, Georgetown, King City, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Nobleton, North York, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Toronto, Vaughan and Woodbridge), Hamilton-Niagara, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor and their surrounding areas, Ontario

 

Access Communications     

Co-operative Limited

 

$19.95
($9.95 with Internet)

Regina (including White City), Saskatchewan

 

 

AEBC Internet Corp.

 

$17.95

Vancouver and Lower Mainland, British Columbia

 

 

Atop Broadband Corp.

 

$19.99

Greater Toronto Area (majority of), Ontario

 

Beanfield Technologies Inc.

 

$20

Toronto (East Bayfront and West Don Lands), Ontario

 

Rangtel Inc.

 

$19.95

Greater Toronto Area, including Ajax, Aurora, Brampton, Brock, Burlington, Caledon, Clarington, Halton Hills, King, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge, Vaughan, Whitby and Whitchurch‑Stouffville, Ontario

 

TELUS Communications Inc., and 1219723 Alberta ULC and

Emergis Inc. in partnership with TELUS Communications Inc. in TELE-MOBILE Company, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as TELUS Communications Company

 

$25
($20 with other services)

Calgary, Edmonton (including St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove and Stony Plain), Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, Alberta

 

$25
($20 with other services)

Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Penticton, Prince George, Terrace, Vancouver (including Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley), Vernon and Victoria, British Columbia

 

$23.95

 

Baie-Comeau, Gaspé, Montmagny, Mont‑Tremblant, Rimouski, Sainte‑Marie, Saint-Georges, Sept-Îles and surrounding areas, Quebec

 

Shaw Cablesystems Limited

$25

($10 for 12 months with Internet 150[1])

Coquitlam, Duncan, Kelowna, Langford, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Vancouver (North and West), Vancouver (Richmond), Victoria, White Rock, British Colombia

 

Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Alberta

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Ontario

 

Shaw Cablesystems (VCI) Limited

$25

($10 for 12 months with Internet 150[2])

Edmonton, Alberta

 

Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

Zazeen Inc.

$19.95
($9.95 with
12 months prepaid[3])

 

Toronto, Hamilton/Niagara, Oshawa, Kitchener, Ottawa, London and Windsor, and their surrounding areas, Ontario

 

$19.95
($9.95 with
12 months prepaid)

 

Gatineau, Montréal, Québec and Sherbrooke, and their surrounding areas, Quebec

 

 

*Some rate information was provided by the television service providers in the context of their renewal applications on May 5, 2016, while some were taken from current offers on providers' websites. In a competitive market, these rates are subject to constant changes. Therefore, Canadians are encouraged to shop around to ensure they are aware of what current offers are in the market.

________________________________
1 According to Shaw's website, Limited TV is $10 for 12 months when bundled with Internet 150. The website was consulted on 15 November 2016.
2 According to Shaw's website, Limited TV is $10 for 12 months when bundled with Internet 150. The website was consulted on 15 November 2016.
3 According to Zazeen's website, the promotional price is now $14.95 with a 12 month prepaid subscription.

 

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423

RELATED LINKS
http://www.crtc.gc.ca

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