CRTC to Mandate “Skinny Basic” TV Packages with $25 Cap: Report

The CRTC is set to announce new changes for television today at 1PM PDT, 4PM EDT, which will include a so-called basic package capped at $25, sources tell The Canadian Press:

The country’s broadcast regulator is coming out with new rules Thursday that will require cable and satellite companies to offer customers a trimmed-down, basic channels package, sources have told The Canadian Press.

The cost of the so-called “skinny basic” package is to be capped at $25, said one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The announcements are part of the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV hearings held last fall, while last summer the regulator suggested pick-and-pay options for TV could be coming. Ahead of the rumoured change, Bell offered pick-and-pay options for customers last summer.

There’s no word whether this basic $25 capped package would be Canadian-only, or also include American networks (which Bell suggested be kicked off Canadian airwaves).

The CRTC’s most recent ruling noted it would enforce Bell and Rogers to offer CraveTV and Shomi to all Canadians, regardless of existing TV or Internet subscriptions. Earlier this year it also said it would ban simsubs during the Super Bowl starting in 2017, which Bell has filed a motion to appeal in court.

Stay tuned for the announcement, as surely it will affect cable TV operators including the likes of Rogers, TELUS, Bell and Shaw.