CRTC Announces Basic TV Service Capped at $25, Required by March 2016

The CRTC has announced (as expected) new requirements for cable and satellite TV operators, starting in March 2016, which “will prioritize local and regional news and information programs.”

What’s coming is an entry-level TV service requirement, capped at $25 per month, required to include the following, starting in March 2016:

  • all local and regional television stations,
  • public interest channels such as the Cable Public Affairs Channel and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network,
  • education channels,
  • and, if offered, community channels and the services operated by provincial legislatures.

By December 2016, cable and satellite TV operators will be also required to offer pick-and-pay channel options as well.

2015 96a

The CRTC said during their Let’s Talk TV hearings last fall, they heard from over 13,000 Canadians about what they wanted with TV. The Commission explains “a key aim of this policy is to give Canadians the ability to create their own value proposition based on the TV services they want to receive and pay for.”

2015 96b

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, said the following in a statement:

“Thanks in part to the availability of broadband technology, viewers can watch television content at the times, in the places and on the devices they choose. Viewers are in control. Canadians have a World of Choice at their fingertips. Today’s decision is not about making choices for Canadians. Rather, it is about setting out a roadmap to give all Canadians the freedom to choose the television content that meets their unique needs, budgets and realities—which can even include free, over-the-air television stations. Each household will be able to find the right value proposition.”

2015 96c

Blais said at a live press conference these changes are required as “we have to get ready” for a changing TV landscape.

What do you think about today’s announcement?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Tim

    the catch? force HDPVRs on everyone at $30 a month to rent and a $10/month DVR fee

  • Fireeast

    The catch instead of $10 a theme pack it will be $10 a channel. And Internet prices will also increase again.

  • D-Rock

    Free over the air online TV? Where can I get my local news in my browser and when please! 🙂 Been looking for something like that now for a while and now that it looks legal, all the better!

  • malygos21

    Waiting on apple tv (new rumored tv streaming)

  • Andy

    Reasonably priced. That’s what crtc wants.

  • Salinger

    Never going to happen in Canada.

  • Rick

    Don’t forget, nobody forces you to take 128 channel. Nobody force you to take any TV service that is too expensive.
    If you buy an antenna kit, you can even watch free to air channels for 0$ per month!

  • Tim

    you mean ‘over the air’. free to air is satellite

  • SV650

    I can buy an antenna kit, but can’t watch ‘free to air channels’, as the CRTC did not require all analog broadcast sites to be replaced with digital. Much of rural Canada is without OTA TV. This is likely one of the reasons the CRTC is making this requirement for low cost packages.

  • Bill Dolphin

    What is that ‘Free Online’ in the above pic (at the bottom)