Consumers Complain New $25 ‘Skinny’ TV Packages are a Rip-Off


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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.


  • Sarge

    I’m happy with Shaw’s actually, was paying $50 something before and it went down almost $18…lost 2 sports channels and a news network I never watched

  • Mario Gaucher

    I’m with Videotron…
    I did a quick check… and with the new $25 basic plan and 10 channels package, it would cost me more than my current plan. basic plan is $2 less than before… but other packages are $5 more… so it end up $3 more expensive.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    C’mon people you aren’t actually surprised by any of this are you? Without specifics, the CRTC’s “rules” that were implemented were impotent from the start & you had to know The Pig 4 (with the possible exception of Shaw) were going to find a hole or multiple holes to circumvent the CRTC’s decision to force this on them. In Canada, as always, the consumer loses.

  • Not really surprised by this. Of course providers are going to stick what’s mandetory and slap the $25 sticker on it and walk away. In my opinion, pretty much all TV packages are a rip off. I have to pay $15 just to get TreeHouse TV and 8 channels I never watch for my kid? Nope….

    Until the day comes that you can simply pick your channels 1 by 1 for $2-$3 each pick, there’s never going to be a good package.

    In the end these methods TV providers are using will continue to push thrifty customers to alternative sources like streaming shows from the Internet using various programs.

  • voodoo_ca

    I would like to go back and look at all the things the CRTC tries to do to help consumers…
    These companies just find another way to charge what they want/need and the CRTC ends up wasting tax payer money for nothing.

    “No More 3 year contracts!!!” – (Forgot to mention your monthly bill is going to change to cover that…)

  • Corey Beazer

    CRTC should look at what the FCC is looking to do with cable boxes. Allowing third party companies to make their own cable boxes (I’m looking at you APPLE). You buy your own box choose your provider. Maybe even make it so a channel is basically an app, the way Adult Swim just did.

  • Brad Fortin

    Is *anyone* surprised?

  • SV650

    Whenever government MANDATES something, most of those bound by the edict will follow it to the letter. In this instance, the CRTC has stated this is about CHOICE, not savings. Many of the suppliers had an offering that better met most folks wants, at a price less that the current skinny basic, once all fees are totalled. Since the CRTC really mandated that the skinny basic only provide channels which were available OTA in many regions (i.e.replacing the channels many in more rural areas lost with the change to DTV) that is what Skinny Basic became. The allowance for recovery of Installation costs, and set-top box rental allow the companies to create a product worse than their original offerings, while still meeting the letter of the law.

  • Riddlemethis

    Dumb dumbs will swallow this up just like they jumped for joy when the CRTC eliminated three year contracts.