It looks like Shaw, Telus, Rogers etc don’t have the same kind of political clout as does Comcast here in the U.S. Canadian regulators have mandated that by the end of 2016 consumers will be able to pick and choose their channel lineup.
The formula is interesting: $25 for basic plus $x per each additional channel. The basic package sounds like now defunct Aereo.
If I had this option I’d immediately sign up and add maybe the two additional cable channels I like. (Can you even get the Golf Channel in Canada?)
Still some questions remain:
- Will the operators set the a la carte pricing reasonably, i.e. $1 not $10?
- Will niche stations really disappear?
- Will the operators be able to tweak the formula somehow to recover the lost revenue?
Imagine the droves of consumers that might cancel on day one to take their cable bill from $100 down to $20. This is really stunning that the Canadian government can simply mandate such a change. I doubt the equivalent could happen here in the U.S. until the case made it pass the supreme court, i.e. Comcast et al vs FCC.
In any case it sets up a convenient test bed for U.S. business and consumers. Is it really the end of the world for the operators? The holy grail for consumers? We’ll be watching.
Edit 3-23-15: Changed $20/mo to $25/mo. Some confusion here based on multiple sources. The Multichannel piece has removed the monthly price and other sources say $25.