CRTC offers up new proposals for Canadian television services

TORONTO – New proposals from Canada’s broadcast regulator could dramatically change Canadians’ television service.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued new proposals for the country’s cable and satellite service providers, including a basic service package that would be made up of local Canadian channels and a “pick-and-pay” structure on top of a basic service.

In a notice of hearing document released (external - login to view) Thursday, the CRTC said it was releasing the information in order to “provide parties with a possible model and to stimulate discussion and debate” about the future regulation of Canada’s television system.

In addition to a “pick-and-pay” structure, the CRTC also proposed the price of basic services could be capped at $20 to $30 per month and that service providers would be required to offer customers build-your-own channel packages.

“(Service providers) would be required to allow subscribers to build their own custom packages of discretionary programming services,” the CRTC said.

“(Service providers) could still offer pre-assembled packages.”

The CRTC said it has not yet decided what proposals it will enforce. A public hearing on the matter will be held on Sept. 8 in Gatineau, Quebec, and the public will have until Sept. 19 to comment on the proposals online.

The public hearing will focus on specific issues including “maximizing choice and flexibility,” and promoting local programming and Canadian content.

“We are still in the process of reviewing this document and have no comment to provide at this time. We are looking forward to presenting our position to the CRTC next month and discussing the opportunities in front of the sector,” said a spokesperson for Shaw on Thursday.

source: CRTC offers up new proposals for Canadian television services - National | Globalnews.ca (external - login to view)