If you’re sick of paying too much for cable, you can now buy a basic package for $25 per month.
New rules take effect today forcing companies to offer cheaper options to Canadians. The packages have to include local stations, public interest channels, educational channels and community channels. They can but don’t have to include local radio stations, major US networks and non-local over-the-air stations.
Companies also have to offer channels either individually or in packages of up to ten channels. But the major corporations have been very quiet in advertising the new packages.
“I don’t think it’s in their best interests because it’s a little bit too cheap,” explains tech expert David Papp. “It’s kind of like when there’s better deals out there and the only way you’re going to find out about it is when you call and ask about it. Otherwise, they keep you on the grandfathered price.”
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has told providers they need to do more to make consumers aware of the new options. Papp says the cheaper option is great for the casual TV viewer, but it won’t change anything for those who have already cut the cord.
“We want stuff on demand. We want the ability to binge watch our favourite TV show or something new. People are shying away from the traditional live television with commercials that annoy us.”
It’s undeniable that the way people consume media is changing, with more people watching TV and movies on their smartphone. Yet Papp thinks that cable companies can take advantage of the new cheap packages, as long as they keep a hold on the local programming audience.
“They could up-sell people very easily with the on-demand services. They should be embracing this and not afraid of losing that connection completely where people are just going to shift away and rely on their smartphones.”
The CRTC says they heard from more than 13,000 people during consultations that led to the changes, but whether or not this will stem the flow of cord-cutters remains to be seen.