As of March 1, Canadians were able to purchase a “skinny” TV package for $25, thanks to the CRTC’s efforts to bring more choices to customers. And eventually, customers can individually pick and pay for channels or small bundles of channels to watch only what they want. As it turns out, this isn’t what the consumers really wanted, and this won’t save you money — if that’s what you expected (via CBC News)
“These changes will ensure Canadians have the ability to choose the television content that meets their unique needs, budgets and realities,” the CRTC told CBC News in a statement.
What actually happened is nicely summed up by a Rogers customer: he discovered that Rogers’ skinny basic package and a handful of extra channels will cost him more than his current deal with the company. Essentially, the basic package becomes unattractive, pushing the customer to add extra channels, which also pushes up the costs.
A Bell employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity had strong words to describe the provider’s strategy:
“They’re making the skinny basic package simply unbuyable,” a Bell employee told CBC News. He asked to remain anonymous because he fears retribution from Bell. “The company is just sort of giving the CRTC the finger,” he adds.
The CRTC reacted by saying it is watching how service providers will implement the changes, but it won’t hesitate to act if companies disregard the rules.
There is one thing consumers should consider, though: these service providers are for-profit companies, so they will do everything they can to make money.