Final ‘Skinny TV’ Bundles Coming Dec. 1, But Consumer Groups Still Worried

Starting tomorrow, Canadian cable subscribers will have the option to choose between a skinny $25/month basic and/or pick-and-pay packages. Since March 1, TV service providers have been given the choice of either offering channels individually or in packages of up to 10 channels, but from December 1 they will have to offer both (via CBC News).

99 P P Best Practices Tablet EN

The CRTC and consumer advocacy group OpenMedia will be following the practices of TV providers when the rules go live on Thursday, as consumers have accused providers of finding loopholes to ensure that Canadians either pay more for starter cable packages or remain on more expensive TV packages.

“The big concern is … that the telcos are going to attempt to skirt the spirit of the law and price Canadians out of these channels in another attempt to keep them trapped in expensive bundles,” said OpenMedia spokeswoman Meghan Sali.

The implementation of the new rules have so far been mixed, according to Scott Hutton, executive director of broadcasting for the CRTC speaking with CBC News.

What the regulator demands, according to the best practices it set out earlier this month, is better information for customers and simple offers. You may already know what TV providers want.

When contacted by CBC News, a VMedia spokesman said that the company is focused on transparency and allows customers to “easily add or remove additional channels and packages online”. From Rogers’ perspective, their TV services already exceed the CRTC’s mandated best practices in most areas.

A SakTel spokesman said that the “company prioritizes giving customers a rich and customizable experience by offering, for example, low equipment costs.”

What is your experience?

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Jay

    Shaw already launched this Nov 15 before the deadline.

  • I haven’t paid for cable in about 2 years. The “Skinny” package of yesterday was a joke slapped together just to follow the rules with no real content offered that everyone wanted that was even worth $25.

    Not sure they can win me back, at this point. I’ve started using the network apps to watch my shows right from the source, they gouged for far too long, I simply have no respect or credit to even try them again.

  • winnertakesteve

    Agreed. Even the “full cable” selection of 50+ channels isn’t worth $25 to me, let alone a paired down selection. The silly thing is I probably would consider a couple live local channels for $8. But they seem to prefer losing subscribers to competitive prices :-/

  • Lakeshore

    Does anybody know the if pick and pay only applies on top of a basic skinny package? In other words, lets say I just want 5 channels total… can I just pick those 5 channels or do I necessarily need to pay the 25$ for the “basic” package and then add those 5 channels on top of that?

  • Jensen

    You do have to be subscribed to the basic skinny pack!

  • Lakeshore

    Annoying… I already get the basic channels for free via a simple attenae!!

  • Michael

    Shaw told me the same thing but when I contacted them and looked on the website they told me I wasn’t eligible for the rates on the site and semi me 5 pages of information on all of the packages. Obviously designed to confuse customers so that the would give up!