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Eastlink subscribers to lose access to nearly 35 Corus Entertainment channels

Click to play video: 'Eastlink subscribers to lose access to Corus Entertainment specialty channels'
Eastlink subscribers to lose access to Corus Entertainment specialty channels
WATCH: Eastlink subscribers will soon lose access to nearly 35 channels as the telecommunications company was unable to renew a carriage agreement with the channels' parent company Corus Entertainment – Jun 21, 2023

Eastlink subscribers will soon lose access to nearly 35 channels including HGTV Canada, Showcase, and W Network, as the telecommunications company was unable to renew a carriage agreement with the channels’ parent company Corus Entertainment.

Troy Reeb, executive vice-president of broadcast networks for Corus, which also oversees all of Global News’ national programming, said the issue is “simply about money.”

“Eastlink doesn’t want to pay what these channels are worth anymore,” he said during an interview on Wednesday with Global News Morning in Edmonton.

He added that customers in bigger markets would mostly remain unaffected by the change, as Eastlink is a cable provider that only serves select locations throughout the country such as Atlantic Canada and Grand Prairie, Alta.

“Subscribers in those places are no longer, as of next week, going to be able to get some of the biggest channels on television,” he said.

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“The good news is Eastlink subscribers do have other choices,” he reassured viewers. “If you live in one of those places and happen to want those channels, you can flip over to Telus, or to Shaw Satellite or Bell satellite.”

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Reeb said viewers can also subscribe to StackTV, a streaming service offered through Amazon Prime, if they still want to access Corus programming while receiving internet through Eastlink.

Click to play video: 'Sneak peek at Corus Entertainment’s exciting fall lineup'
Sneak peek at Corus Entertainment’s exciting fall lineup

In a statement provided to Global News on Wednesday afternoon, the Halifax-based cable provider said it would remove the select Corus TV channels from its subscription bundle on June 27. Global News will continue to be offered in Eastlink’s current package.

“We worked very hard to reach an agreement with Corus that would not impact the availability of these channels, presenting several options for consideration” said Jill Laing, director of public affairs at Eastlink.

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“Unfortunately, we could not reach an agreement.”

Laing said customers will still “receive the same number of channels in their TV packages with access to comparable programming.”

Eastlink didn’t specify if a customer’s bill would be reduced as a direct result of the channel removal but said that the decision will “affect customers in different ways” and that the company is willing to provide alternative options for people moving forward.

Reeb said the “whole dispute is indicative of some of the larger pressures facing the Canadian television business right now.”

“I do have some sympathy for the position that Eastlink is in. They’ve seen a slow decline in the number of people that are subscribing to cable. The challenge is they’re putting that load now onto their customers by taking away some of the most popular services,” he said.

Corus Entertainment also provided an official statement regarding the changes this week.

“Our door is always open to future negotiations, and we would like to thank Eastlink for its partnership over the years,” it read.

Eastlink says they are also open to future negotiations.

The affected channels include W Network, which airs Hallmark Channel movies, as well as  YTV, Food Network, National Geographic, CMT, and Slice.

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