More money for cable?

So the The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has decided to allow television stations to demand money from cable companies. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=ctv+television&iid=4331138″ src=”3/e/5/1/Vancouver_2010_Preview_943c.jpg?adImageId=11606539&imageId=4331138″ width=”234″ height=”154″ /]

Of course, they need to go through the legal channels, but it looks to be a slam dunk if the CRTC wants to allow it.

So basically, CTV and Global can ask Rogers for money to use towards their local programming. The cable companies have already said that they will pass any increases directly onto the consumer through their monthly bills. They’re guessing the amount could be as high as an extra $10 a month.

But here’s something that the cable companies and station owners don’t seem to understand: More and more people are cutting back on their television.

Sure, you can find studies that say more people are watching TV than ever before, but I would dispute that. I know of quite a few people that have either cut back on their cable, or cut it out all together. Even my family has downsized, going down a couple of packages in order to save money.

All the television shows are available online on the broadcaster’s web sites the next day, so it’s not like you can miss them. For sports, many stations show the games live, such as Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. The same happened during the Olympics.

You think people are going to want to pay more money for television that they can watch online for free? Probably not.

It will also be interesting to see how the broadcasters decide to show more local programming. That was the point of all of this in the first place. Remember all those commercials about how we all need to save local broadcasting? Now that they will be asking for more money from us (and can now get it, thanks to the CRTC ruling), I’m looking forward to AChannel bringing back their newscast at 6 and 11 p.m.

Plus, there will be all these new Canadian shows. No more showing non-stop reality shows from the States, such as American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. In fact, CTV can bring back Canadian Idol, now that they’ll have extra money for local programming.

So if they want to do this under the guise of local programming, I expect to see a lot more local programming.


1 Comment

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One response to “More money for cable?

  1. You forgot to mention that the CBC is effectively prevented from participating in this moneygrab. Since they’re essentially forbidden by law from pulling their signal if they don’t get their own way, they have no bargaining chip available to force cable/sat providers to negotiate fee-for-carriage, unlike the private broadcasters.

    Only three things will change: 1) You[1] will pay more for cable, 2) More of the shows you want to see will be on upper-tier cable/sat packages instead of on basic networks, 3) Canadian-made television in general, and the CBC in particular, will continue to be starved for funding.

    [1] – You, not us. We gave up cable when we moved. It’s been 4 months now in the new house, and aside from the lack of Sens games on broadcast TV (well… and my father-in-law not having the Military Channel to watch while babysitting) we don’t really feel like we’re missing anything.

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