Canadian government wants to unbundle television channels, offer a la carte programming

By on October 14, 2013, 5:45 PM
canadian, canada, cable tv, a la carte, tv bundles, satellite tv

The Canadian government will soon require cable and satellite providers to unbundle channel packages and offer them a la carte. During a recent television appearance, Canada’s Industry Minister James Moore said it wasn’t right that Canadians have to pay for bundled television channels they don’t watch. He went on to say they want to unbundle television channels and allow residents to pick and pay for the specific channels they want.

True enough, some Canadian cable and satellite providers have reportedly already started offering a la carte service. Unfortunately, it’s not a move that US providers are likely to follow. The US government hasn’t shown any serious interest in pursuing the idea outside of John McCain’s Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 which hasn’t gained any steam since its May introduction.

This means it’ll likely be left up to competitive pressure to get something done.

Services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu Plus have all influenced a number of cord-cutters; those that have ditched traditional pay television for cheaper and more flexible alternatives like those just listed. Their success could skyrocket if any of the services could tap into live sports programming. Cord-cutting hasn’t worked just yet but experts believe providers are looking at continued customer losses unless they unbundle channels.

Even unbundling online channels would be a start. HBO has done just that in Europe, allowing customers to purchase HBO Go – their online service – without requiring a concurrent cable subscription. But of course it’s not likely to happen anytime soon stateside.

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