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?