March 19, 2015 4:50 am

CRTC to announce regulatory changes on cable packing

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC chairman, delivers a speech at a Canadian Club of Ottawa event at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2015.


GATINEAU, Que. – Canadian consumers could be given more control over how they pay for the TV they watch in a decision being released today by the country’s broadcast regulator.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is set to unveil new rules governing how cable and satellite service providers package and sell access to channels.

READ MORE: CRTC to lower quotas on Canadian TV content

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The decision is the latest result from the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV hearings held in the fall.

The Harper government has been pushing the regulator to allow for a so-called pick-and-pay system that allows consumers to choose and pay only for the individual channels they want.

However, the CRTC hinted late last summer that it would be open to a pick-and-pay option built on top of a trimmed-down mandatory service the industry has dubbed skinny basic.

READ MORE: Bell goes to court to quash CRTC policy bringing U.S. Superbowl ads to Canada

In a discussion framework released in August, the regulator suggested a price cap of between $20 and $30 could be imposed on basic TV packages.

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