Let’s Talk TV Discussion Forum: Comments on the Working Document

Canadians shared their views on the future of Canada’s television system. The discussion forum was open August 21 to September 19, 2014.

Discussion Topics

Comment on the hearing

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  1. If pick and pay helps Canadians dump the Russian propaganda channel RT from their viewing, thats the best. Other choices that also allow dumping RT are worthy of consideration.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 10:36 John H Newcomb
    1. If you don't like what you see, don't look at it! I would like to have the option to see or not to see. You can always say the same thing about Canadian propaganda, how about we only watch RT and all Canadian propaganda is banned. Which one is real is the question. They both are is the answer, with their own spin on the story. Turn the sound off and you will realize that the pictures don't lie, people do.

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 13:34 Jared Mysko

  2. I want pick and pay because  I'm paying for channels I do not care for or watch. Why should I pay for only 50 bundled channels when I only view at a maximum 15 channels? 

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 11:21 Khera
  3. The opening comments have it correct. The Canadian Television system is for Canadians - it is our system - not TeleCOM's - not Bell or Rogers or that of special groups. The system has to be be brought into the 21st Century and connect with the reality that we are a connected world with content from all countries.
    It is critically important that the CRTC maintain the requirement for all broadcasters to continue to provide HD OTA Broadcasts of their programming. If HD-OTA was ensured and required, in most cases the discussion about provision of, and the affordability of, a "small" basic service would be eliminated. (Setting aside the requirements of rural areas for a moment - not to minimize them), most Canadians are likely within reception range of HD-OTA broadcasts of all Canadian Networks. If you don't do this, more Canadians are simply going to "Cut the Cord" and watch programming through the Internet - general material, or from Netflix, Hulu....
    The affordability of Satellite or Cable services is the heart of the issue for many Canadians. Bell continues to increase rates at >3% annually. I get these rate increases with no ability to discuss. Bell, as an example, is completely ambivalent to their customers in terms of affordability, and the real threat, that Canadians have had enough over the high cost and the LACK of TRUE competition in the area of communication / entertainment services.
    The CRTC has to realize that the world of communication is an open place and Canadians are already getting programming from other regions in the world in various ways. The is particularly true of getting UK or USA services within Canada. T
    The days of CANCON are over. There was a time when these rules and regulations provided an ability for Canadian artists to broadcast their music or video. However in the 21st century, the availability, good or bad, of the Internet means that Canadian artists play to a worldwide audience through the internet and much LESS through the older traditional ways.
    • Eliminate simultaneous substitution
    • Protect HD-OTA for affordability. Allow subscribers to make their own choices.
    • Force TeleCOMs to price EVERYTHING on a pick and pay basis - no pre-determined packages that the TeleCOM can use to underprice choice
    Canadians deserve, and will demand, to have the choice they want at an affordable price. The TeleComs will need to learn how to truly compete in a global world.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 12:17 Jeffdj.01
  4. I'd welcome pick and pay TV. Right now I pay around 100./mth just to watch a select few channels.
    As long as the companies are not going to price gouge us per channel. That's a big concern.
    I want to watch what I want, not what they think I want to watch.
     

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 12:36 Laura Hanson
  5. I listened all morning and am wondering how we can have a significant conversation about television in this country when all the talk seems to be based on the notion that TV is simply a for profit business, as one of the participants said this morning; when the Competition Bureau states that  outright competition is good for consumers, without any consideration given to our own cultural expressions; when the role and place of a public broadcaster is kept out of the CRTC Notice of consultation; when Canadians are simply consumers and not citizens any more? How is this conversation in line with the Broadcasting Act as we know it now? Is this just paving the way to throw out of the window any cultural objectives included in that Act? I am left wondering...

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 13:15 alain46
  6. Refreshing to hear the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport express concern for CanCon and related jobs. Refreshing also to hear them and following witness Zachary Kornblum urge the CRTC to regulate the broadcasting activities of internet and internet service providers (ISPs).
    Concerning to hear CRCT Chair and Vice-Chair trying to say there's no danger to traditional broadcasters, talk only about consumers and argue that there is no rush, let's wait and see... something the CRTC has been doing for ten years as there is more and more evidence that, vertically integrated companies make most of their ISP revenue from cultural content, which translates in a  bleeding of revenue available for CanCon and fulfilling the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
    Becoming clearer, if needed, that the CRTC is not the arm's length agency it once was and dances to the governement agenda?

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 14:30 alain46
  7. Sugestions
    - Bring in more competition in cable TV. In my area, the only choice I have is Bell or Rogers
    - Stop forcing us to pay for channels like TSC or french programming
    - Stop forcing us to subscribe for ATN whenever we subscribe to any South Asian channels
     

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 15:14 donkey_hote
  8. I am most concerned about changing the existing bundling system.   First of all,  I am concerned about the potential job losses at the major providers of bundled services.  More importantly,  I don not think that there is anything altruistic about Rogers, Bell, and Telus.  If viewers start to select only PBS chsnnels, for example,  do not think for one moment that the number of TV staff of the big companies are going to remain stable.  Staff will be fired and that is something that we do not need.  Canada's economic performance is not robust and adding to the unemployment ranks is not a step in the right direction.
    More to the point:  I suspect that the consumer costs are going to skyrocket   I can well imagine  Rogers charging $100 for its sports channel, which of course,  handles the NHL games.
    I would suggest that the CRTC turn its attention to regulating internet providers of services.  This is where viewers are going, not to their television sets.   Look at NetFlix for example.  
    Lastly,  the CRTC should be protecting Canada's only national public broadcaster, the CBC.  It is currently dying the death of a thousand cuts,  particularly at the hands of the current government.   The CRTC should be demanding that the federal government increase and stabilize the only voice that links all parts of this country together.
    Thank you for taking the time to listnen.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 15:17 RFrizell
  9. Maintaining OTA broadcasts is essential in my view. Allowing broadcasters to drop this requirement as part of a deal to lower basic cable costs means that we would need to pay Rogers et al to access a publc broadcaster like the CBC.
    I cut the cord on cable 3 years ago and with an indoor antenna in Ottawa I can receive 15 channels including CTV, CBC and Global with better reception than I was getting over cable with Rogers. I'm paying nothing now and I won't pay even $20/month to get these channels in the future via cable. We shouldn't be paying a cable company for broadcast channels any more than we should be paying them to receive radio stations.
    Don't create choice among cable offerings at the expense of the choice to not have cable at all.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 15:34 du322
  10. I have cancelled my Rogers Cable TV subscription and adopted OTA to receive TV services. If CRTC allows the the broadcasters to stop transmitting OTA signals, I would be without Canadian TV services because, as a retiree,  I am not willing to pay escalating fee for Rogers Cable TV service. A few years ago, CRTC has forced the conversion from analogue broadcast to digital broadcast. It has created a boom in digital TV sale. I have to throw away my perfectly functioning analogue TVs and buy the new digital TVs. With the digital TV, I am able to set up an antenna and receive OTA signal. Is this new CRTC proposal (stop OTA broadcasting) another CRTC scheme to boost the profits of Cable TV providers by forcing Canadian to subscribe to cable services? I would just tune my antenna to receive US channels and forego my Canadian TV. This proposal will go against the CRTC goal of promoting Canadian broadcasting contents and Canadian interest.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 16:45 Shee
  11. It has always been a disgrace that Canada has been allowing both the Telecommunication and Cable giants to gouge the Canada market place.
    How would the market place feel if when going into a grocery store the customer was told they needed to buy potatoes and onions first, if they in fact want to purchase tomatoes? Why then does the cable industry demand consumers buy programing that they will never use in order to view programing they do wish to view? Why should the Canadian market place pay for these giants to buy networks and then want the consumer to pay again for their production programing? In most industry world wide, business is expected to fund their own R&D or future technology. Why then does the telecommunication and cable industry still remain a protected industry in Canada?
    Oh right, Canadian programing requirements.....After listening to the Shaw Rocket representatives speak this afternoon, they were very happy to quote their research on their Children's programing and how it is considered the best in many marketplaces. Why do I have to support it if it's so well liked? Wouldn't those who wish to watch it pay for it? Well, the world is a very different technical marketplace and as every other business out there knows, if you can't make it in the marketplace without protectionism, you shouldn't be there!!!!
    However, after all is said and done, if the CRTC decides to allow Canadians to chose their own programing, the cable industry will just make the programing more expensive for those who chose to purchase just what they want to view. So, if there is to be any real affective change, it must first address the prohibitive costs currently charged to Canadians and stop the gouging these giants think  they are intitiled to.  

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 17:09 starlene123
  12.        CBC is for the public it must remain for the public paid by the public and hence removed from the intervention of government. The TV model is not broken for CBC. it may be broken for the private sector but for the public CBC it's not funded adequately. It's a funding issue. Lets change the way CBC is funded lets not systematically destroy it because the private sector TV is seeing a decline in revenue that there issue. The market should not determine whether Canadians get quality Canadian programming. That defeats the purpose of having a public broadcaster.  There should be no model for generating revenue from the private sector. That is the issue. CBC should foster development with the private sector and it should not succumb  to the whims of the political environment in that time.
          The public wants and needs Canadian content that can only be generated by public funds. For the public. CBC's mandate was to do just that, but it has lost it's way because of constant cuts to it's operating budget by the government of the day liberals and conservatives alike.
           Although .ca presence is important,  there is no model for making money in this form and if there was CBC should not aspire to this economic endeavor it should provide .ca services a no cost to the public.
           You the CRTC are going to have to reconcile how a mandate to provide free content to the Canadian public is in line with that fact the as a Canadian the public will have to pay additional costs to by way of a high speed connection that is paid to the private sector.
    So to recap the private sector will profit delivering Canadian content provided by public funds, and therefore it's not immediately free anymore. What happened to that mandate?
    Thanks

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 17:44 togve
  13. The proposal to allow these companies to stop over the air broadcasts for free is an abhorrent concept. The new digital OTA technology offers vastly superior picture quality  and full surround sound. Its disgusting that no major media (owned by these very same media oligarchs) is covering this aspect nor are they reporting on the large increase of people rediscovering antenna captured OTA television in Canada and the US. With OTA and online streaming you don't need Rogers,Bell,Shaw, Telus or Videotron for anything other than internet connectivity. 
    The telecoms know this and are trying to stop the mass defection away from their expensive and mostly valueless systems. 
    CRTC it is your responsibility to ensure the networks continue to broadcast over the air for free. 

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 18:22 gregconnon
  14. The proposal to drop the requirement for over the air broadcasting will mean that those of us that watch only local tv (over the air) will be forced to puchase a package from a cable provider or to go without tv.  This may serve the cable companies by getting more subscribers, but it does not serve the consumer.  Expansion of over the air brodcasting would be a preferable approach, but would not satisfy the cable companies.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 19:09 btb
  15. It is unthinkable that it could be considered to stop over the air television in Canada. This is a great benefit for low income Canadians and those who are tired of being gouged by cable companies. The quality of the broadcasts is superior over the air. If the CRTC is a consumer focused organization then they need to squash this idea completely.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 19:29 Dmoore
    1. OTA won't be must use for most seniors who live in rural Canada but I guess their vote doesn't count for much in this era or many other rural Canadians for that matter. That franchise ship has sailed.

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 08:01 thornae

  16. The CRTC's stance on opening the door for OTA transmitter shutdown (a mere 3 years after the digital transition) has me _very_ concerned about a loss of a basic TV transmission method that has proven reliable for decades.  I believe the CRTC ought to take a step back and ask more fundamental questions about OTA, including:
    (1) Why are subchannels not permitted, as they are in the United States?
    (2) Why can an OTA subscriber in Centerville Iowa, (population 5,464 and 2 hours from the nearest city) receive 34 channels, while a resident of Ottawa, Ontario (population 883,391) receives only 16 channels?  In plain English, why is local TV thriving in the smallest markets in the United States but declining in the biggest markets in Canada?
    (3) Is shutting down OTA transmitters the only barrier to making local TV sustainable for the long run?  Or is this simply a stopgap operational efficiency that kicks the proverbial can down the road until the inevitable happens?
    (4) If OTA transmitters are shut down, will the CRTC assure Canadians of another free, equivalent, industry standard HDTV technology to receive local content?
    In my opinion, the CRTC is reacting to the decline of local TV stations in a way that is tantamount to telling GM or Chrysler that they no longer need to equip cars with airbags and seatbelts because their financial losses keep mounting.  
    I commend the CRTC for the excellent job in facilitating digital television in 2011.  The growth of cord cutting and OTA antenna installation is a reflection that OTA is a successful, economical, and reliable broadcast technology with a great HD experience.  It should continue to be a baseline mandatory part of local TV broadcast requirements.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:34 grekoff
  17. Eliminating OTA broadcasts would be a major step back. I cut the cord last year and I live in Vancouver. I only get about seven Canadian channels OTA, and this is nice, but must be increased. The CRTC must incentivise broadcasters to broadcast OTA in all major Canadian markets. Why should I have to pay for basic cable to just to watch my local, provincially/federally funded TV stations? This sounds like a lobbied scam to force everyone to pay Rogers/Shaw/Telus for basic cable...or go without any TV at all.

    There must also be less restrictions on who can broadcast. I wouldn't mind seeing RT in OTA format.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:58 maxwellc
  18. I would like the CRTC to consider allowing Shaw, Bell, Telus, etc to offer the public the same packages offered now and also offer people who would like to pick their individual channels the option to do so.  These are private companies.  Let them compete against each other.  If the CRTC dictates to these companies, I fear prices will go up just like when they made changes to the cell phone packages.

    I also read a comment here that the sports channels could be charged 100.00.  This comment could be quite true as Sportnet is now carrying most of the hockey games.  They have a monopoly.  I wish that CBC would have more sports.  I miss hockey night in Canada!

    A lot of people think their bills will go down, but I fear with government interfering, it will prove to be the opposite.  There is something to be said about government keeping their hands out of private enterprise.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:03 kak
    1. That is exactly what will happen. OTA is great for a few and won't work for many. Most OTA users are using Apple and other internet providers and there are many who can't or won't avail of these services for awhile at least. Proposed changes is going to cost the average or high user of television services a great deal more and will deprive a lot more. At this point in time paying for programming viewers don't always watch actually subsidizes the cost of channels they most want to watch. Folks you need to be careful what you ask for and history has proven this. The true colors of CRTC show brightly in there selection and bias of mandatory news channels. Without mandatory carry I suspect the television sphere would improve greatly.

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 08:13 thornae

  19. As a young adult that indulges in television often I do admit that I do not have cable. All of my television programming comes from the Internet. I think that "Redefining Broadcasting Revenues" is a great idea and should be pushed forward with strength. I would gladly pay a fee or watch more ads to stream television programming on my computer live. Having to watch shows and especially news after they have gone through their first window is irritating, but unavoidable without buying cable or satellite.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 23:13 chantaldgarcia
  20. As a born and bred Canadian who has lived in Canada all their life the last thing I want is some government entity dictating what I can and cannot do. It's a free market system the last time I looked so why should I be regulated in what I can watch and how I can watch it. The Cableco/Telco cartels are pushing for increased regulations (as is the government) in order to quash the new media that is obviously offering services that are Canadian's want vs. services being rammed down our throats like the cableco cartels want to do. From what I have read; offering a pick and pay model is not going to be any cheaper than the current bundled offerings. In fact it could be more expensive. One of the main reasons we have cutted the cord with our cable service and will never come back. The government needs to regulate less not more as last time I looked it's "supposed" to be a free entrerprise system.
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 06:42 ron
  21. With regard to CRTC hearings on Cable and Satellite "pick and pay"  I would like to state the following.  Any time government gets involved in regulating the free market in tv and telecommunications it usually turns out badly for the majority of consumers. The residential long distance rates, mobile rates and now this will not be positive moves for the majority of consumers. The socialistic tendency is this country is already to great. The one thing that most people tend to forget is that these companies are driven on profits that support the anticipated investment  returns of hard working Canadians making those investments. The overall revenues will not decrease so something else will have to give or shareholders will walk away.  There are already basic packages available for low use users of service and it is a pipe dream to think that the basic packages will include any decent premium channels unless forced upon the providers. If this change takes place CRTC should be forced by government leaders to include Sunnews in the basic package which might be the only good result for these changes. Thank you for listening.
    Incidentally only CRTC could come up with forum like this will American time zone settings.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 07:51 thornae
  22. I am extremely disapointed that OTA is even being considered to be eliminated.  Here is why:
    1.  If Canadians are now forced to go to the cable companies for canadian channels it will only serve to further reduce competition (or let's call them options) and this will not be good for the market longer term.  If there were viable options to receive this programming from 5 providers it is worth the discussion but at the moment there are only two.  This would only serve to strengthen those two and not be good for Canadians longer term..
    2.  There are many Canadians who cannot afford a 30 dollar minimum fee for basic canadian cable that is being proposed.  It will essentially amount to a 660 dollar tax vs what ota users are paying today.  What will happen for many if not most ota users is that it will essentially force them to have no reasonable options for tv access.   Not everyone can afford cable or internet.  This is a critical service to ensure access to canada and the world for these people.
    3.  The rationale provided is to reduce the costs for some stations. Really?  Is OTA such a material cost that it is putting stations out of business or not making it possible to start them up?  the cost to start a station is huge and I am not convinced that by doing this we will get a meaningful influx of strong canadian channels.   If these stations cannot support an ota transmission then I am not sure they have a viable business model anyway, but it would not be a 'cause' of ota. 
    PLEASE maintain choice for all canadian consumers on this one and allow free access (at the price of watching ads) for those who cannot afford it.  I am really disappointed to see this as a consideration.
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 08:27 Canny
  23. The idea of shutting down station transmitters is a bad one.  The cable companies (Bell, Shaw, Rogers, etc.) own all of these stations with the exception of the local CBC stations.  This move forces consumers who choose the over the air signal option to pay for a service that is currently free, thereby further strengthening the stranglehold of a select few media companies over Canadian media distribution.  Capping the rates at $30 + HST does nothing to help those who either cannot and/or choose not to pay for local television programming. 
    People who choose the over the air option are pretty much forced to view the advertisements that help fund these local stations whereas the cable companies offer PVR's that allow consumers to more easily skip the advertisements.  We are already paying for the privilege of viewing our local stations by watching 20 minutes of advertisements per hour of media content.  Why should we have to pay $30 + HST on top of that?
    Clearly, this is idea is bad for consumers and is only good for the large media companies who have the deep pockets to lobby for this type of change.  I am writing to request you ignore the interests of these large media companies and actually protect consumers by not eliminating the requirement for local stations to broadcast over the air signals.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 08:31 tconnolly69
  24. The proposal to drop the requirement for over the air broadcasting will mean that those of us that watch only local tv OTA will be forced to go without local tv. The CRTC needs to get with the future. We have already cut the cord. Allow the cable companies to sell us internet-ready packages of their stations. We already have the ability to stream every tv show we want, but we will not have local tv if the requirement for OTA is dropped.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 11:30 jeffrey-in-toronto
  25. Regarding cable TV, things are backwards when it comes to specialty channels.  Those specialty channels that air commercial messages for revenue should be paying the cabe companies to carry their signal and the cable companies should not be charging subscribers for these channels.  That's double-dipping.  Those specialty channels which do not carry commercial messages for revenue should be available on cable for a fee charged to the subscriber.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:20 Deacon
  26. Hopefully they can figure out if we can watch international soccer/football games or not. Right now my only choice is to pay $16.99 to get very few games on Sportsnet World, or I can pay nothing and try to find live streams online which are mostly blacked out in Canada already. Why is it so difficult to watch the best teams in the world play from a Canadian ip address? Even with full TV cable including all Sportsnet channels, there is currently no option to watch Real Madrid or Barcelona games (Ronaldo and Messi) for Canada.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 13:29 Jared Mysko
  27. I run my own little YouTube channel and have so for 10 years now. I have watch my international statisitics drop country after country, showing that all around the world, my Canadian content is being banned. The whole idea of YouTube was to share your story with anyone and everyone all around the world. If you put more regulations on what content we can watch, they will do the same. The more people have their eyes closed, the more will close their eyes. Instead of going backwards, how about going forwards and allow and encourage eye openers! 
     
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND YOUR VIEWS>
     
    https://www.youtube.com/user/saskatoonscanner/

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 13:44 Jared Mysko
  28. The CRTC is old and outdated.  If you do not get with the times and technology you are going to be left in the dust.  You cannot change progress but you can move with it in positive ways.  I dont want more regulations, more limits or more cost of viewing.  You use the so called regulations as a shield to hide agendas and disceptions.  In this day and age with internet you cannot hide for long.  Step up and do it right or step aside period.
     
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 19:50 channdes
  29. Don't shut down the air television in Canada, please!

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 21:32 dmytro
  30. I definitely want the option to pick and choose the channels I receive on cable. I only watch four of the so called speciality channels, one of which is the Weather Channel, if that can be called speciality.
    Further, it is essential to me that over-the-air broadcasts continue. I can receive 80% of the stations I wish to watch over-the-air. I do not want to have to pay for them. 
    Cable TV is far too expensive right now, and I do not need the hundreds of duplicate or speciality channels which I presently pay for and never need let alone watch, I only have them because they are bundled with the few channels I like to watch - why should I continue to have to pay for what is unneeded?
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 22:11 andylh
  31. Netflix should not be charge or forced to pay into canadian content. Majority of their content is canadian already imcluding most of cbc shows. Canadian content needs to stop being funded, we might actually get good content. 
    i would prefer pick and play option with no base package, if a base package is required, i needs to be less then $20.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 00:06 cgomboc@shaw.ca
  32. I always thought Canadian laws to be a bit odd when it came to television, its of course in its current state a dying medium slowly being replaced by online with services such as Netflix and Hulu in the United States and a host of other networks that allow you to watch shows online. With the Canadian structure many of these options are not watchable in Canada and Canadians are left using proxy’s or apps like Hola.org to watch shows they otherwise wouldn't. In itself it seems harmless but were sharing data with god knows who and god knows where; so much as logging into your facebook can give someone your password when using proxy server. If Canada opened up the books an rewrites those laws for the 21st Century we can have access to content the world over.
    This phase of tax dollars going toward broadcasters, production and even CBC needs to stop. If content can’t be decent turn it into a public broadcast station and allow them to raise funds like PBS in the usa so the tax payer does not have such a huge burden.
    The content provided should be a pick and pay service without the need for a basic package, they can call it basic and allow you to pick several channels you want for a set price; yes some will die but that’s for the better we don’t need to continue beating a dead horse. I would like too see things relaxed enough so in Canada we can access content from US networks. Netflix should be allowed to put all of the same content that the traditional network airs no exception.
    At the end of the day on the television issue, its those of us who watch tv making money for the companies who insert those commercials; that’s right they make so much in fact they could sell you the whole cable internet and phone package for under 10 bucks and still clear a hefty profit. In making changes take that into consideration this “MODEL OF GROWTH” is dead and things need to change for companies and governments, this can be a step toward progress; I hope the right thing is done for Canada and not for the “Model Of Growth” companies of the world.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 07:50 marklewis
    1. As well I see that the OTA brodcast may be eliminated, this proves worrysome OTA brodcast is local and federal funded if these stations are no longer brodcasted locally the funding should cease witout notice upon removal of OTA brodcast, the door should be left open OTA brodcast CBC can turn into a PBS model station getting public and private funding and should be the only OTA chanel avable in this country due to its reach and its history, content can be improved and it can turn a new leaf and get some decent shows. In short I worry about PUBLIC BRODCASTS of storm warnings and disaster warnings that may not get to there intended recipient causing loss of life. There should always be OTA brodcasted station and it should remain as a outlet for warning systems and decent programing and content. But one station is all that is required and CBC can fill that void accross the country.

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 08:03 marklewis

      1. If OTA goes the license should be turned in and the network shut down.

        Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 11:54 JF Bérubé

        1. fully agree.

          Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 13:24 alain46

  33. My concern is that the cable companies will find a way to get the money back. A great deal of thought needs to be put into the pricing, as the pick and pay will end up costing more for less channels.  IE, at $1.00 a channel, it won't take long to exceed what we previously paid monthly just to get the same number of channels. Yes, we will get the channels we want, won't have the channels we don't want, but will we actually be further ahead financially? Will we really have more choice when we have less content? Be very careful what we wish for.....I am all for consumer choice and value for our money, but there will always be loopholes that corporations will quickly figure out and take advantage of. They can afford better lawyers than the government.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 09:03 salbertarose
  34. My main objection is subcribers are being forced into paying for political propaganda,like Sun Media& Fox news.I refuse to give one penny to these channels.
    We definitely need a basic package which includes our Canadian Public Broadcaster the CBC.CBC is essential in a democracy as well as for Canadian Identity,content and local news.We also need the continued selection of regular newscasts such as CTV,Global.CBS,NBC etc.
    A strong CBC keeps  at bay, players such as Fox News  from scooping up the rest of Canadian media.
    The rest should be pick&pay, as packages offered for example by Shaw Direct have grown weird.Shaw owns the History &Nat Geo channels and have them packaged with Oprah & CNN.The business news channela are in different packages.
    We need rules governing local programming.It should be designated one half hour in smaller markets,wheras  we are lucky to get five minutes on any station.
    Canadian sports like the CFL and Curling should be on the CBC.TSN now has a monopoly.We missed a whole quarter in a CFL game last week because of overlap.We need more choice.It is just a matter of time before TSN gets swallowed up by Fox Media.
    Hd channels should be automatically included with channel selection.This is 2014,who does not have a tv without HD.
    And yes,when I choose to watch an American channel,I do not want it intercepted with Canadian ads.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 11:14 firefly
  35. Don't fix simsub. Get rid of it! Bell cannot make me believe that Canadians love to have CTV ads shoved down their throats.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 11:23 JF Bérubé
  36. Listening to Bell. If I get it right, they are proposing: 1) allow us to cover marketing costs at the expense of CanCon; 2) get out of OTA so we can charge as much as we want for people to get local news - and even then we may shut down a number of stations because they are not profitable (I thought vertical intergration was allowed to preserve Canadian broadcasting!); 3) Gut communitity channel to produce big budget productions hiring American stars... and so on. Where is the Act in all this, and why doesn't Commissioners refer to it from time to time in this conversation about TV?

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 12:02 alain46
  37. At least good for Bell to advocate with level playing rules regarding revenue submitted to CPE funding. Shame on Minister Glover and the government to launch that NO NETFLIX TAX. Reminds one of the No iPod Tax campaign of 2011 and shows how much the Conservative government cares about Canadian culture.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 12:19 alain46
    1. Its one thing to say Canadian culture should be protected its another thing to say strict laws must be put in place on streaming service what this says is we can't compete so we must make it as hard as possible for streaming services to make it work.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 14:06 jay2017

  38. Once again, what was the point of absolute vertical integration if Bell and Co. are allowed to deal with their broadcasting units as totally separate entities that have got to make substantial profits? Was not the purpose that larger consortiums could drive marketing advantages and support Canadian programming if needed?

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 12:25 alain46
  39. I have recently been in Ecuador, a country that by all measures is economically and financial inferior to Canada and other developed countries. But not when it comes to TV and cell phones. In Ecuador anyone can buy a satellite system for $90 dollars US, that includes dish and receiver as well as 3 months of free service and a $20.00 pay as you go, per month for 96 to 120 channels. Hassle-free buy the satellite system, install it yourself and call in to activate it..and voila Satellite TV for $90.00 dollars of equipment and $20.00 per month pay as you go. Common CRTC why are all this Cable Companies in Canada, reaping millions of dollars for service that nobody wants.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 12:26 Manix
  40. I am concerned about the increasing push to bundle channels forcing people to accept and pay for programs they neither want nor will view. I have two prime examples of that:
    Example 1: My husband enjoys NFL football. In order to get the NFL Sunday Ticket he is required to purchase a sports package that includes a number of other sports he is not interested in. Why should he pay for things he will never watch in order to get the one he wants. He has decided against the purchase. My second example absolutely infuriates me.
    Example 2: My 91-year-old mother recently moved into a nursing home. We wanted to get her the basic cable package she had previously had in the retirement home. One of the channels she had enjoyed was the country music channel. However when I was going through the channels to set up the ones that were her favourites for her I discovered that the CMT channel was not among the ones she could get. I called to find out why. Apparently the CMT channel had been part of the basic package but Rogers decided to bundle it in with another package, the Digital Plus package. The salesman explained that besides the CMT channel my 91-year-old mother would now receive an additional one hundred channels for her enjoyment. I explained that my mother already had far more channels in the basic package than she is either interested in or wants and requested the opportunity of purchasing the CMT channel separately. Unfortunately that is not an option. In order for my mother to get it we MUST purchase the Digital Plus package at an additional $22.00 a month. She gets a great deal of enjoyment from it so we have arranged for her to get it but I object to being forced to acquire 100 additional channels so my elderly mother in a nursing home can get the one she wants. If that is not a perfect example of what is wrong with this practice I don't know what is.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 13:28 vbol10
  41. I have an OTA antenna at my home, cancelled my television subscription, and added an enhanced yet cheaper internet subscription. I am a single parent and cannot afford to pay the cable companies increasing bills. Please do not cancel OTA broadcasting of local TV in Canada.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 13:44 Port Hope
  42. Don't be afraid of failure. Sometimes pain is needed to move ahead. If the current system is buckling under pressure, then maybe a huge shift is required.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 13:47 Consumer
  43. Quote of the day: Oosterman (Bell) answering Pentefountas' question about "wanting to be kept Whole": Not at all, what we want is to protect the Canadian system"  LOL

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 14:13 alain46
    1. Split Bell up! That monster is way too big.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 02:55 JF Bérubé

      1. And what about Rogers, Shaw and, in a much smaller market, Quebecor! we've allowed all these huge conglomerate to form in the name of public good (LOL), and turned them into powerful moneygrabbers who just laugh off government intervention. For once, I'll wish we had a US law on conglomerates and excess power in the market.

        Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:28 alain46

  44. Can someone tell me what the "Canadian System" that everyone is trying to protect? It seems like that system is broken, so why protect it anymore?

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 14:28 Consumer
    1. the Canadian system is a famished semi-public broadcasters and a private sector that makes money with American programming and despite protestations to the contrary, does not give a damn about Canadian productions and culture. Why is the system broken? in large part because the CRTC does not have the guts to apply its own regulations and respect the cultural objectives of the Broadcasting Act, wich are pretty much the only expression of a national cultural policy. Why is the CRTC so weak? because it traditionally been a revolving door between the regulator and the private sector. My two cents worth.

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 14:38 alain46

      1. One thing people need to keep in mind is many Americans shows are now filmed in Canada.

        Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 13:50 jay2017

    2. What is there to protect anyway? A mafia that rips us off with simsubed American programming? Is that really worth saving?

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 02:53 JF Bérubé

  45. The working document includes a proposal to adjust the current BDU linkage requirements for VI program services compared to non-VI programming services.
    The document proposes to require BDUs to distribute one non-VI programming service for every two VI programming services in the same language that it distributes.  This can be described as 1 to 2 linkage.  According to the working document, the intent of the proposal is to ensure negotiations are conducted fairly with non-VI services and that Canadians continue to have access to a diverse array of programming from independent channels.
    It is difficult to see how this proposal would help to achieve either goal.  Just the opposite, 1 to 2 linkage would work against non-VI services.  Changing the current linkage requirements would do nothing to promote fairness in negotiations and would likely result in the lessening of choice in programming services.
    In 2001 BDUs were required to distribute 5 non-VI programming services for every VI service.   In Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-100, October 30,2008, the linkage ratio was amended to the current 3 to 1 ratio.  Even with a 3 to 1 linkage requirement, VI programming services dominate the Canadian television universe.  The vast majority of popular and profitable programing services are all part of VI companies.
    According to Nielsen data, during the Broadcast Year ended August 31, 2014, with the exception of CBC News Network, the Top 15 positions by rank  for all specialty services (all persons 2+ as well as Adults 25-54) were consistently held by VI-owned Category A programming services.  During the same period VI-owned Category B programming undertakings held the Top 10 positions by rank (all persons 2+ as well as Adults 25-54) amongst all Category B services.  Clearly VI-owned programming services are dominant. 
    The 3 to 1 linkage requirement is one of the few bargaining chips available to non-VI companies in distribution negotiations with BDUs.  The working document’s proposal would effectively eliminate that leverage.  Such a change would undermine the ability of non-VI companies to launch independent programming services. 
    Allowing VI companies to distribute 2 programming services of their own for every non-VI programming service would eliminate any incentive for VI companies to negotiate fairly with non-VI programming services.  It would give VI companies the latitude to refuse to distribute and/or promote non-VI programming services without the concern of having to reduce its roster of VI programming services. 
    Another proposal in the working document, Item 13, would see the elimination of genre protection and access rights for Category A programming services.
    In principle I support the proposal to eliminate genre protection for Category A services.  However, coupled with the adoption of 1 for 2 linkage, it would be relatively easy for a VI to continue to satisfy its linkage obligations while at the same time launching new programming services that would compete head to head-to-head with existing non-VI programming services.
    Blue Ant CEO Michael Macmillan raised this same issue in dialogue with the Chair J. P. Blais during Blue Ant’s appearance at the public hearing today, September 10th.  Macmillan stated that the elimination of genre protection was not of concern to Blue Ant until it was coupled with the potential loss of access rights and the proposed change in linkage requirements.  Taken collectively, these changes could lead to the demise of non-VI programming undertakings.
    Clearly any such actions by VIs would not in keeping with the spirit of the proposals set-out in the working document.  Unfortunately there is nothing within the proposals that would prevent such a scenario from unfolding.  Maintaining 3 for 1 linkage would make it far more difficult, if not impossible, for this to occur. 
    The CRTC takes the position that it remains committed to the objective that Canadians should have access to a diversity of voices in programming services and its long standing commitment to diversity in ownership.  If the Commission really wants non-VI programming undertakings to survive and to create conditions where Vis will negotiate fairly with non-Vis then the Commission must maintain the current 3 to 1 linkage requirement.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 16:27 Ericw
  46. Hello
      Please do not allow the TV broadcasters to shut down their over the air transmitters. We are using this essential service. This over the air service is a life line in an national or regional emergency which in turn affects our security. I watch TV and read newspapers on a regular basis and was unaware until now of this possible change & I believe that most Canadians are unaware of this possible change to their accepted right. I would ask that  the CRTC insure that Canadians are properly advised that they are to lose this essential service, even a survey, before making any changes.
        Thanks
      
        Monique 
        
        

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 17:32 chrisl
  47. If the current system isn't overhauled, you will have nothing left anyway because consumers will all have left for something that delivers value for decent cost.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 17:51 Consumer
  48. Requiring Netflix to contribute would just make it another expensive alternative no  more interesting than Canadian services. The industry should really kill this idea because Canadians won't buy it.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 17:58 JF Bérubé
  49. Is this new CRTC proposal to stop OTA broadcasting another CRTC scheme to boost the profits of cable TV providers by forcing Canadians to subscribe to cable services?  I am not sure it is CRTC’s mandate to so explicitly aim at increasing already oligopolistically-obscene profits at Canada’s big 3 telcos (Bell, Rogers and Telus).  This proposal flies in the face of the CRTC’s self-professed goal of promoting Canadian broadcasting content and Canadian interest.  
    The rationale reportedly invoked by some media conglomerates lobbying the CRTC to be dispensed with OTA requirements (including big Bell) is to reduce costs at local stations.  Really?   If the cost of maintaining a transmitter and its antenna is so material that not shutting it down would put these stations out of business, then these stations most likely do not have a viable business model to begin with.  Merely switching their signal to cable networks (and to paying satellite networks) would not only not save them (well, if you really believe their invoked rationale) but worse, would hasten their demise since the loss of OTA audience – a great deal of whom would not move to cable - should also result in lower advertising revenues.    If OTA transmission were ever to disappear in Canada I would just turn my antenna to receive US channels (some of which I already receive) and forego Canadian TV altogether. Period.   And would tune in to CBC Radio for Canadian news.
    This CRTC proposal to allow OTA to die in Canada is an unquestionable threat to Canadian content, and an unspeakable insult to the intelligence of all Canadians, who deserve better.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 18:32 Concerned Citizen Frank
  50. In paragraph 3115 of the Sept 9 transcript,  Mr Dilworth mentioned banning importation of stations, and extending simulation substitution to specialty channels or employing blackouts. 
     
     If simsubs/blackouts are to continue or expanded as the outcome of these hearings, I suggest Canadians adopt a zero tolerance stance for this simultaneous substitution nonsense, to the point of contacting their MP's to pass a law banning them, and legalizing DirecTV / DIsh so we can get unbutchered channels.  
     
    Until our elected represented comply with the wishes of Canadians, we must boycott all companies, products and services that advertise on CTV/2, Global, or City.   This will hurt the economy, but this seems to be the only course of action.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 18:50 kcbrk32
  51. Mr. Chairman and Members:

    Re: Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-190-3. Additional references: 2014-190, 2014-190-1 and 2014-190-2. Ottawa, 21 August 2014. “Let’s Talk TV”.

    Re: OTA-HD - the best 'choice' cost effectively for quality, content and accessibility for viewers

    “Let's Talk” - deceptively eliminating viewing “choice” for Canadians!

    I strongly disagree with any proposal to permit or direct the shutting-down of OTA transmitters. OTA broadcasting need be fostered and expanded.

    I find it difficult to comprehend the comments-in-unison that are emanating from big corporate telecos and the Commission. The Commission invites Canadians to talk on how costly telecos' services are when bundled. Yet, big telecos state 'unbundling' will cost the viewer the same if not more.

    The big telecos, with their Commission sanctioned oligopoly-converged market claims it is not making enough money, even with a concentrated lock on the markets.

    It seems the business model for big telecos is broken. One questions whether this is due to a lack of competition as they drive-away start-ups, shake-down viewers or are simply avaricious. If they are paying shareholders before investing in client services...then they are in the wrong business!

    It seems the Commission willingly allows itself to be a party to a big telecos' 'extortion'. Speciously, it knowingly, implicitly, with complicity proposes to 'permit' the “shutting down of transmitters. This Mr. Chairman, is the first step to remove the last choice Canadians viewers have for OTA (paid by advertisements!). This is wrong and Canadian understand it!

    Based upon the many, many comments submitted to your website, the greatest majority of Canadians are expressing their outrage at this wrong. Looking at OTA, it is stretches the imagination as to the purpose to be gained by shutting down this “choice” for Canadian viewers, to wit:

    it is free! It is paid by competitive, commercial advertisement;
    it is available and accessible to all citizens in times of emergency, public service announcements and alerts;
    it's HD signal far exceeds the quality of 'pipeline' compressed broadcasters, both in clarity and sound;
    “shutting down transmitters” unilaterally, permanently eliminates choice for Canadians;
    the Commission mandated the shift to HD OTA broadcast with the resultant expense. Retroactively, punitively, it 'proposes surreptitiously to ' force viewers to pay avaricious, big pipeline' service providers to regain a service that was free;
    one wonders why the Commission bids on behalf of big cable/satellite providers (suggesting “floor” pricing) while proposing to eliminate forever OTA broadcasting, with no regard to public interest;
    why penalize lower, struggling income groups, distant communities and less electronically-friendly seniors to begin to pay a 'service provider' having been forced to relinquish OTA;
    should not the 'pipeline' provider work out financial arrangements with OTA program broadcasters as to fees for content - chargeable and earned - rather than engage the Commission to negotiate with viewers for work they refuse to do;
    OTA does not fail as does cable (internet) and satellite; and,
    OTA is capable of providing provincial educational service, 9(1)(h) services, and is a proven, positive basic community channel alternative, bar none.

    It is the permitted, exclusive concentration of cable/satellite providers that has led to high costs, deceptive and predatory bundle pricing, and the wasteful, nonsensical duplication of programming, that is the problem. Deconstructing this problem eliminates the concentration and allows for more actors to cost-effectively participate in the market. This would be a positive benefit for 'choice' and price by viewers and a boost to market entry ... OTAs included.

    So, what is the real problem?

    There is a collusive-cartel-concentration mentality in the industry supported by the Commission. Break it up and allow competition. Certainly, the business man understands this concept of economic opportunity. Oddly, as far as I am concerned, it is 'caveat emptor' respecting big telecos charges (bundled or not). I choose OTA, radio and newspaper.

    With respect to unused sub-signal OTA licences, deem them relinquished. Make them available to other aspiring OTA broadcasters. Viola, new content and more competition – the pipeline providers should welcome this capitalistic opportunity.

    The Commission allowed this confluence of media – now they have an opportunity to right these wrongs.

    Lastly, the mandate of the CRTC need be expanded to serve the 'public interest' and not only the interests of big teleco concentrators who freeze out competition. Curiously, if (as I understand it), the Commission's actions and issuance of policies were actionable through the courts, we might not be having this “Talk”.

    Respectfully submitted

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 22:48 inverness
  52. I strongly disagree with any proposal to permit or direct the shutting-down of OTA transmitters. OTA broadcasting need be fostered and expanded.

    Even when television was invented - everybody used to get tv signal through antenna and until 1970 when cable started.

    It was always free. And in today's sense OTA is that - getting tv singal through antenna and its free.

    Please do not allow proposal big greedy and colluded corporations to shut down OTA service.

    Thank you,

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 23:08 devenparmar
  53.      I strongly disagree with the removal of OTA signals. I actually was disappointed when OTA was targeted a few years ago. With the economy now as it is, we should be thinking of going back to what once was; an expanded network of transmission towers so consumers have a choice.
         As "the masses" move northward and inhabit "deep fringe" territory, there isn't a choice for consumers. Where I live for instance, I can receive perhaps 3 HD OTA channels. If I had the choice you know I would like to save some money and go OTA, but if we want to play we have to pay. This "play" wont be an option for most of us.
         The main purpose of the CRTC is to protect comsumers and give mandates for resonable choices in broadcasting. The way I see it, giving into the big corporations only helps investors and not the general public!

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 05:35 rooster
  54. I have to strongly disagree with the proposal to remove any over the air (OTA) broadcasting requirements.Having recently "discovered" what OTA is in today's day and age, the ultra high quality, the ease of using small antenna's if you happen to be close to an urban centre, I'm astounded that the CRTC would propose such a thing. With what OTA can deliver to many Canadians today, the CRTC should be actively promoting it as a viable alternative to the extremely expensive cable/satellite companies. From my recent experience, it has actually gotten me to rediscover a lot of high quality Canadian/local content being broadcast that I would not have normally given a chance. I think many Canadians would experience the same. Promoting OTA is promoting local/Canadian content.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 07:53 stevenlemaire
    1. We have recently cut the cord and I can't agree more. Promoting OTA is promoting local/Canadian content.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:05 Domi

  55. I do not support the proposal to do away with ATSC (OTA) transmitters.  ATSC broadcast is a very effective method of delivering high defintion television to Canadians, and requires no additional equipment or subscriptions other than a newer television and an antenna.  Properly implemented, OTA transmitters could be used in times of emergency to inform the Canadian public.
    If anything, broadcasters should be encouraged to implement addition ATSC transmitters in smaller communities, and not just in large urban centres.  I think U.S. broadcasters should be allowed to set up ATSC transmitters in smaller Canadian communities, if the incumbents won't.
    Additionally, to foster spectrum efficiency, each ATSC channel should carry two HD data streams.  This is already being done in the United States.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 08:23 R.Renaud
  56. I agree that removing OTA requirements is a farce. In my view, the TV cable companies through decades of CRTC over-billing sanctioning have grown to be among the strongest corporations in Canada and are buying up our culture and key segments of our economy, ie., sports teams, magazines, newspapers, cable TV access, internet access, TV content, TV news stations, TV entertainment stations, wireless telephone, wireless internet access, etc, etc...
    They are way way too powerful and have acquired a profound terrifying ability to tremendously shape and control the views of all Canadians through their corporate propoganda and agenda. They are in my view the single biggest long term threat to Canadian democracy with their ever growing '1984'-like power over information access in Canada and their power needs to be curbed drastically.
    They now control the entire Toronto professional sports culture, except the Argonauts who in my view they were trying to undermine by bidding for the Bills while essentially pretending their intent was to keep the Bills in Buffalo. At least the Americans weren't so stupid or spineless to fall into that trap which hopefully now gives the CFL breathing space over the NFL invasion issue. It was some newspapers owned by these cable monopolies who spit on Canadian culture and declared that 'football is back' earlier this September when in fact the CFL has been playing since June. In my view, these companies are not Canadian in spirit, they value only money and power, and it has no borders, and so they don't deserve the preferential treatment I see them as having benefited from at the expense of Canadians for decades.  
    There is now no way for most Canadians to watch many professional sports without cable access. How sad is that? The CRTC has literally given them a license to print money as there is literally no alternative way to access many of these live sports events including attending them live without giving up your dollars to them. One may suggest 'on-line access'. Really? Who controls and charges for the delivery of that. Oh ya, these same cable providers. 
    Our family does not subscribe to cable TV on the principle we do not want to support these extremely over-billing monopolistic fat cats who appear to dictate their own agenda to the spineless Canadian government. It would appear to me they are never going to be confronted by viable Canadian bred competition and as a family we have accepted that they are in our lifetimes going to be the sole providers of the services they now ruthlessly control and will play a huge role in shaping Canadian, preferably not ours, views, comprehension' and education on many key subjects especially journalism opinions and stories. I tell you folks, it's '1984' scary, or for younger people; 'Hunger Games' style dictatorship over information and access to that.
    Our families' only, I repeat, only, current access, outside of the big cable providers oligopoly, to any real time electronic broadcasting, especially to the few remaining stations not owned by them, thanks to the CRTC, let's not forget that Rogers and Shaw apparently once had a revolting handshake non-compete agreement which the CRTC seemed to turn a blind eye to, is via OTA. If the CRTC cuts that requirement our our family is then potentially denied all access to independent broadcast content.  
    Can Canadians be so stupid as to allow the CRTC to give TV stations the option not to broadcast OTA? I hope not. Stay tuned...based on past experience, I'm not holding my breath.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 09:06 ticats
  57. Rogers appearance: refreshing to hear CRTC Chair to refer to collective obligations. Closest thing I've heard referring to Canadians as more than Costco customers! Let's hope this transpires in any decision they come up to (like keeping OTA distribution or making all who benefit financially from distribution in Canada to contribute to the production of Canadian programming, e.g. Netflix and Co.)

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:03 alain46
  58. I like: Small Basic Option A, Pick and Pay AND Build Your Own, 4B, 16, 18, 19.
    If I had to vote on 5, it would be B. However, the reality is that most Canadian channels (not the Cdn versions of US channels) and Cdn programs are subpar and survive only because of government funding and that's wrong. Get the government out of programming and let the market decide (with just a few exceptions, like CPAC). This will force content creators to be more innovative and result in Cdn programming that more citizens will enjoy.
    I'm not sure this is covered: It's wrong that a large company like Rogers does not offer TV service in all parts of Montreal. I checked their website and called, seems they offer little or no TV to Montreal and Quebec (I'm in the heart of the city and they have nothing for me). Any large company like that must offer their service to at least all of Canada's major urban centres or any city of, say, 500,000 people or more. In Quebec, only Bell and Videotron offer the full range of specialty cable channels like Turner Classic Movies and AMC. With more competition, companies would do more for the benefit of consumers.  Because of the lack of competition, Bell has been able to increase one fee or another 3-4 times in less than the three years I joined and that's crazy.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:40 RobbMTL
    1. The market is a model where morons decide between piles of garbage.

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - 05:58 gregconnon

  59. I also like 25.
    As for news, the sad reality is that most Canadian viewers get what the corporate owners want them to see. For unbiased news on the national level, a system should be set up where channels like CTV and Global have to carry at least a 30-minute news program from one of 2-3 independent sources. Funding for the sources would come from the corporations, but in a way where they have no say on the content. 

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:52 RobbMTL
  60. I strongly disagree with the proposal to shut down OTA transmission.
    The hearings are advertised as proposals to increase choice and lower tv costs for Canadians, but allowing OTA transmitters to be shut off will have the opposite effect.
    I have only had OTA tv for 25 years. If it's shut off, the CRTC will be forcing me to either have no television service or to pay significantly more to watch tv.
    Canadians who receive their tv services via OTA have a significant investment in equipment to receive their tv services. If OTA transmitters are allowed to be shut off, that would amount to forfeiture of that investment along with a requirement of indefinite liabilities to receive what we currently have.
    To remove the lowest cost option for tv service would seem to be at complete odds with the mandate of what the hearings propose to accomplish.
    If Canadian transmitters are allowed to shut off, that will leave only foreign tv on the air, resulting in almost zero Canadian content for anyone getting tv OTA. This is a situation the CRTC is mandated to prevent.
    I hope the commission sees its mandate to keep strong Canadian content on tv as a serious commitment and keep all current OTA transmission requirements in place, and explore ways to increase the amount of OTA broadcasts, especially in rural Canada.

    Thank You,
    Kevin Hawley

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:16 kevindh
  61. After years of paying a huge bill for cable tv that was barely watched, this year I decided to cancel my TV subscription. In fact we no longer have a landline as well.  The "Bundle" was costing us for things that were under utilized.
    Everyone in my house is either using YouTube or Netflix. So stay away from the pay per view services, and Internet costs.
    TV as it stands today is dying, and services like Netflix are the future. These companies know it and are going to try and kill services like Netflix. They need to adapt, or perish, not strangle the competition out.  For years they have been hauling in huge profits and laughing all the way to the bank. Prices are too high and choices are too few.
    I am not sure if the Government can do anything to lower the costs, as they always do, these companies will simply make up the difference with some fee or another to keep their profits flowing.
    I will never go back to TV (R.I.P)
     

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:50 highlander
  62. RE: "Netflix; The U.S. company, offers a Canadian version of its service, but it doesn't have a Canadian office, and pays no taxes here - Netflix has about four million subscribers in Canada."
    There are probably millions of Canadians, who cross border shop (U.S.) and, vacation - they buy cheaper American gas and, other items when shopping there - the gas stations and other stores, don't pay taxes, or have offices in Canada either.
    Many people shop at Amazon.com (U.S.) and pay no taxes on many items, which originate from the U.S. - should the various governments in Canada, not be questioning why Amazon does not pay taxes here or have offices in Canada.
    The CRTC; by trying to compel online video streaming services, to contribute to the "Canadian Media Fund", would be like trying to compel other U.S. services, to contribute to the CPP or EI fund - it stinks all the way to Denmark, of blackmail and or, extortion.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:57 NecktopPC
  63. RE: "The CRTC is an independent body and must be allowed to come to its own conclusions."
    Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bell-tells-crtc-pick-and-pay-proposals-w...
    But clearly; this is a GOVERNMENT OF CANADA website...CANADA.CA

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:02 NecktopPC
  64. Like everyone else, I strongly advise to keep OTA. It is the best way to preserve quality Canadian content. In Manitoba, the Brandon local station was shut down a few years ago, leaving broadcasting in Manitoba coming just from Winnipeg. And from what I underrstand, the Brandon station was profitable. My other big beef is the overriding the American programs on the American channels with the Canadian channels. Not just during the Super Bowl but always. My view is that the commercials are vastly of the Canadian channels programming and advertising the cable company not commercial sponsors, so I can't see their arguement of losing profits if they don't do this. My advice to them is to ahow their programs at different times of the American channels. I personally will watch Saturday Night Live on Global than on NBC because I prefer to watch it at the later time. When I pay to get the American channels, I should be able to watch them.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:25 ajc
  65. I like that you get a flat fee for basic channels - but absolutely, channels should be a la carte for cable/speciality. Set 1 price for a cable channel, and let us click on what ones we want (at a fixed rate, no matter what ones you pick). I am tired of subsidizing (due to bundles) channels I never watch, including sports. I am glad the CRTC is doing this, at last! Something like 10 for $10.00, 20 for $20.00 etc. - would work. Make it available to change via your provider's site (online, not just by telephone). Thank you for your consideration. J. Davis 

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:38 JasonEDavis
  66. OTA broadcasts should be protected period. Cable companies would love to kill it for obvious reasons.
    Protecting Canadian culture does not mean protecting all types of Canadian content, i.e. subsidizing all sub-par/unpopular Canadian cable channels, it means maintaining a fair and reasonable percentage of what is broadcast via the airwaves or cable lines, and should continue to focus on providing a clearly Canadian identity in news and sports content, or real-time content, not on-demand content. This way everyone is still making money, other than the marginal Canadian cable content that most don't care about, and most Canadians will still watch Canadian real-time content.
    If the Canadian gov't still really wants to protect Canadian content, and I believe most Canadians support this notion, they should protect the Canadian broadcast channels, by bundling these with the primary American broadcast networks as the basic package. This package should cost $20 or less to be attractive. The key channels would be CBC, CTV, CTV2, Global, Weather Network, Comedy, TSN, CTV, SportsNet, CBC Newsworld, CTV News, equivalent French channels, and other gov't sponsored channels, and any other local channels. American content in the basic package should be limited to what one might get through the air in American markets. This mixture provides North American entertainment, Canadian news and sports for Canadians at a reasonable price.  This is what we thought we would be buying when we signed up for cable back in the 70's and 80's.
    Beyond that the basic cable package, channels should be offered a la carte.  Channel bundles can still be offered, like Sports Pack, Lifestyle Pack, Movie Channels, Specialty Pack etc., but this should offered along with a la carte channels. Canadians will support Canadian versions of American channels, like HBO Canada as long as content does not lag behind parent channels for more than a week, otherwise you will see them download the shows online. Making content easy to obtain and fairly priced, like in the Netflix model, will reduce piracy, not copyright laws. Online and on-demand content should be exempt from this content model, because savvy users will always find a way to get their on-demand time content, so why suffocate the freedom of information and creative entertainment on the internet, and/or stifle inexpensively produced alternative media? Once the mainstream moves to real-time content online, then we should look at content rules for major providers in that medium, but right now, that is not the case.
    Chris Davison
    Bedford NS

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 13:00 thestatsguy
  67. If Bell Media wants to shut their OTA transmitters down, the stations should be forced on sale first. In addition, if no Canadian companies want those stations, US or other foreign companies should be invited to bid on them.
    Also cable-only stations should NOT get any priviliges they get now (such as simultaneous subtition, even if it is maintained).

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 13:35 Craigc_00
  68. This whole discussion makes me think about blockbuster video - I'm sure at some point some intern at corporate headquarters told an executive that they should look at an internet based subscription service and that executive dismissed the idea, subsequently blockbuster video went bankrupt.  The CRTC is now in a similar position. I would argue that they need to strongly consider alternative options because the world is changing faster than the buracracy.  I DVR everything, I don't watch commercials, I've canceled my cable movie channels in lew of netflix and I will admit that I occasionally stream sports online for free. I don't think my behaviours are unusal or unique. I don't care if channels I don't watch go bankrupt and I certainly don't want to pay for anything I don't use.  
    Even if we think to the music industry and itunes. I no longer have a CD player in my house - I would never buy a CD again. Nor do I have a DVD player or bluray player.  I don't want monuments to my leisure. That time has passed. 
     
    Rather than thinking what to do in response to digital progress the CRTC should consider how to be an enabler to digital progress. The goal should not be to regulate or maintain profitability of existing companies; rather the goal can be to enable Canadians to get there entertainment and the appropriate regulations will fall from that and the companies that partner in that goal will be profitable.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 14:22 gobruins
  69. In regard to the OTA shutdown, maybe the stations should pay Bell et al to carry their stations since they don't have the expense of running their transmitter. Bell et al. should then be forced to provide free and UNENCRYPTED access to these local channels over their network. Right now they encrypt these local channels so no one can 'steal' them even though they are currently freely available over the air. A fee of $20-$30 for something that is already freely available and sustained with advertising is ridiculous.
    For bundling of channels, I'm fine with bundling but I have issues with the bundles having no logic. For example, the History channel is in one bundle, H2 is in another bundle, Discovery is in another bundle. These bundles put these channels with channels I will never watch and are unrelated to each other. Channels should be bundled by what people will generally like. Sports channels should be in 1 bundle, educational in another bundle, children's channels in another bundle, and so on. This may make the channels actually play what they are supposed to (i.e. why does History play "Alien Archaeology" instead of actual historical documentaries?) 

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 14:29 gg4rest
    1. History and H2 should be together in any bundles, and adjacent in EPG. History on Show is in the 230's, but H2 is 270. Why? Just not rational.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 18:46 kcbrk32

  70. I'm really against any idea of shutting down or trimming the OTA content/stations. I believe that the big cable companies will try to find any excuse to cut OTA and force the users onto their network. Digital OTA in metro areas are really the best thing since color-TV. Our family is not interested in the "specialty" channels, we're interested in local content.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 15:41 StephaneVie
  71. OTA broadcasting is outdated, and the CRTC shouldn’t force Bell and others to keep their transmitters on the air.
    I agree with those who have suggested that broadcasters should be allowed to shut down the transmitters, provided they pass the cost savings on to cable and satellite providers who should then be required to provide said stations to anyone in their coverage area, free of charge. Those of us who would opt for more comprehensive packages would help subsidize the expense, and if necessary, the Feds could divert some of the money they waste on the CBC and all of their unnecessary terrestrial transmitters.  
    If we’re going to try to make sure that all Canadians, regardless of income, have access to local news, community channels and national network programming, this is the best way to go.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 16:49 Letsgiterdone
    1. Obviously Letsgiterdone has never seen an OTA broadcast. The quality of the high def picture is absolutely incredible. Much better quality than the compressed signal you get via cable or satelite.
      OTA is not outdated, it is the best technology available. Let's campaign to keep if free and available to everyone!
      Perhaps part of the cost of skinny basic cable service should be given to the local television stations to keep them viable. It would only have to be about 25 cents per subscriber sent to each of the local broadcasters.

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - 10:33 deaglesham

    2. It isn't outdated, its increasing in popularity and scares double dipping telecoms. You are uninformed, don't talk anymore

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - 05:52 gregconnon

  72. it's good that CRTC is doing this,but they(CRTC) needs to stop Television providers like rogers,bell and so on,from raising the prices and and not charge for cable boxes.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 17:18 Frankie10
    1. Agreed, as the cable boxes are all propietory, and you cannot access your recordings anymore after you cancel.
      Either that, or use CableCard as is done in the US.   The CableCard is owned by the cableco, but you can use TiVo, a computer, or plug into the TV without the need to buy a proprietory PVR.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 18:41 kcbrk32

  73. I would suggest that a basic package, being the mininal allowed, would be based solely on minimum price instead of price and content.
    Let say that a basic rule would be a 35$ per month with let say 30 channels to select from the entire list of available channels. No channel would be by default part of the basic service, not even Radio-Canada.
    Common sense would dictate that major canadian stations would be selected anyway. After selecting the 8 major stations from Canada and USA, the remaining channels which are less targeted for general audience would survive base on quality instead of relying on the obligation of the public to finance them.
    The 8 major channels in my mind are Radio-Canada (both language), CTV, GLOBAL, FOX, CBS, CBC, ABC.
    Many old timer and less important stations may loose in this deal, but how does it compare to an entire country spending less on tv fees and more elsewhere in the economy.
    After fullying the basic service channel selection, we would have the current offering beyond the basic service.
    I think that would be better than to keep the idea of basic preselected channels where they are channels we may never watch for years to come.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 19:27 vbdino
  74. What ever happens to Netflix, Bell, Rogers et al., is the least of my worries - just leave our Internet, and access to the World Wide Web alone - Do not, mess with our "Net Neutrality". 

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 20:26 NecktopPC
  75. One big question to the CRTC is what is your intent, I as one customer I am sick and tired of having Canadian  garbage forced on me, and that includes simulcasting American stations so we only see Canadian Commercials. I expect to be able to watch what I pay for.I have not once tuned into APTN and many other Canadian Chanel's .In how many different ways are we paying for the Canadian Filmmakers. They should be commercialy viable on their own merit or dump them. Who has given the Goverment(CRTC) the right to control what we watch? Certainly not me

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 21:11 feduptoo
  76. I am completely against the loss of over the air television.   We would be taking a step back if this was done.  I would refuse to go back to satellite or cable tv.  I know several people who depend on ota for local news and programming and they also agree that if ota would go away we would go online to get local news etc and watch programming there instead of going back to cable.
    thx

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 21:52 Concerned
  77. In regards to the TV discussion I only have one thing to say….

    If the content providers can't make money (local, ad's, CBC etc) then they can go under like a normal business.  As a Canadian tax payer, I don't want to be putting my money into anything that can't survive.  We have enough problems in this country; let’s put the tax dollars to better use then saving local news stations and the CBC.  If Canadian’s keep helping content that can't survive, then people creating the content will never be forced to innovate and get better.
    I would like to see everything opened up.  No more requirements on Canadian and French content, no more forced Canadian ad’s etc.
    Protectionism in the TV business is not going to work in the near future with the internet.  In the end, the public is going to watch what they want to watch.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 01:12 zups007
  78. Speak out against Big Telecom’s plan to slow your favorite websites to a crawl.
    Fight "slow lanes" on the Internet.
    Be a part of this historic moment; speak out at StopTheSlowDown.net

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 08:07 NecktopPC
  79. Substitution of advertising on other stations should not be allowed. It is and has always been piracy of the airwaves.
    In a pick and pay packages, rates for Canadian sporting events such as CFL football and NHL games in Canada should cost less.
    SportsNet and TSN are adding more and more events to their sports offering, and it is becoming less and less affordable for the average Canadian. Since fewer events are available on regular network TV, we are forced to subscribe to TSN and SportsNet if we want to watch  Canadian teams. TSN and SportsNet each have a number of stations. TSN now has 4. They should each dedicate one station at a reduced rate for Canadian sporting events only.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 09:06 asdfg6789
  80. I have a proposal for sim-subbing.  
    I believe the answer isn’t to completely end simultaneous substitution.  For people without cable who do not live near the border, they would lose access to some very popular shows.  Furthermore, to completely end it, would make for more holes in braodcaster’s schedules then they could afford to fill with their own programming.  The 4 main  private Canadian broadcasters: City, CTV,CTV2 and Global have their Sunday to Thursday 8-11 schedules entirely filled with Sim subbing.   As it stands today, American programming is the private broadcasters meal ticket, and removing it from them might have very negative economic repurcussions. Conversely, the high levels of sim-subbing also means that most Canadian content that is produced is shuffled off to Fridays or Saturdays or used as summer programming.  It is imperative that not only more Canadian shows be produced, but that the ones that are produced receive favourable treatment on the schedule.  My solution to this would be to allow the private broadcasters only two hours of sim-subbing per night (8-11pm).  That would free up one hour per night for other content.  For this hour, they may not broadcast a show available on one of the big 4 American broadcasters.  3 of the 5 hours in the Sunday-Thursday timeframe must be First run  (or re-runs from recently broadcasted shows original to the network) Canadian content, 2 of those hours must fall under the drama genre.  The other four weekly hours could be filled with Canadian content, American content not available on the 4 + 1 networks or non-North American content.
    This would ensure that each network had at least 3 original shows being produced for prime-time and that there are more options on TV for viewers, especially for those with basic cable or no cable.  New scheduling requirements would ensure that the broadcasters will spend more money in advertising for these shows, which will help to create more awareness for Canadian shows, and hopefully change to cultural landscape of Anglo-Canadian viewership.  If this plan proves successful, and broadcasters begin to make money off their original programming, the sim-subbing allotment could be further reduced or altogether eliminated.
    So to recap, one daily hour in prime time (8-11pm) may not be sim-subbed on the Canadian OTA networks.  3 of the 5 hours Sunday to Thursday must have original CanCon (First-run or first time re-run), two of which must be  of the drama genre.  The other four non sim subbed hours in the week can be filled with anything EXCEPT programming form a 4+1 network that would be available to Canadians on one of those American stations.
    -Joel Yinger

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 11:23 Chileiceman
    1. The problem with simultaneous substitution is cable companies like Shaw are incapable of doing it properly.   An example:   President Obama's address on Wednesday.   The first two minutes were Hell's Kitchen from CITY until someone woke up and switched it back to Fox Rochester.    I explained the other issues in an earlier post in the "maximizing choice and flexibility" discussion.

      We all heard the song and dance about broadcasters paying a lot of money for the rights.   Well, I and other Canadians pay a lot of money for cable, proprietory PVRs.   So we have the right to watch the programs without the Canadian one butting in all the time.

      When the CRTC did the ChoiceBook a while back, they proposed a simsub-free package of US channels.   I support this option in recognization the broadcasters will lose advertising revenue.   At the same time, the price cannot be too high, as this will take money away from subscribing to other channels.

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - 18:44 kcbrk32

  81. A few comments as I listen to the hearing:

    1. I believe local television stations operate as businesses, and deserve to earn revenue to survive. Since the beginning of television, this revenue came from advertising. This should continue if we want to continue to receive OTA signals. Therefore, in order to protect the revenue stream for the local broadcaster, sim sub should be allowed. It seems too many people in this forum think everything should come for free.
    2. During the CBC presentation today, they are advocating removing OTA. Their main reason seems to be because the model is changing and most Canadians do not want OTA. I believe this is incorrect. Most Canadians do not know that OTA exists, and if more people were aware then there would be more demand for OTA. The old model of advertising supported broadcasting should still be viable.
    3. If the BDU's are being paid by subscribers to carry the local stations, then part of that subscription fee should go back to the local station. This will also help support local programming.
    4. If subscribers find the BDU's fees to high, then they can unsubscribe and return to OTA.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 11:31 deaglesham
  82. I'm really disappointed as a young Canadian reading some of the comments broadcasters are making.
    I watch tv Over the Air via antenna in HD because I can not afford cable, it is simply too expensive to match the quality I would like out of my TV.

    I don't want a skinny basic package, I don't want to go back to lower quality analogue cable, I want my full HD signal I receive over the air now for free. I don't want to be in a cable company’s database, I don't want them to beg to make me a customer to get more channels. I simply would like the service I receive now, for free.
    When companies suggest I stream their content, I feel like throwing the keyboard across the room. I have a data cap of 75 GB a month and can not afford a better internet package. I do not have the bandwidth to even stream CBC's the National Live.
    Why must this 22 year old Canadian who works full time, barely makes ends meat in this economy, has debt and loans to pay back in the household be constantly suggested that I want to access content online and stream everything. That is simply not true because I simply can not afford to and don't expect to be able to anytime soon.

    Why should I lose what I have and possibly lose access to our Canadian Media because someone has told broadcasters that a 22 year old doesn't watch TV over the air, doesn't want cable and wants to stream everything online.

    It's simply not true.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 11:45 cm023
    1. You need to change your ISP.  there are many small ones that offer unlimited data, such as VMedia which is what I have. Big Telecom is being ridiculous by promoting their "Go" apps like crazy and then having small download limits on their wireless and internet packages.  How is a person expected to use these services with these caps?  

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - 12:06 Chileiceman

      1. Easier to do in some cities than others. Try living in Vancouver where your choices are basically Shaw or Telus. If you live downtown, you could get access through Novus, but I'm in an area where I have no choice.
        The one thing that I fear from the VI's is that they will increase internet rates to offset any losses they will incur from future changes in the televsion industry.

        Friday, September 12, 2014 - 12:38 Consumer

        1. My choices are Teksavvy re-sold service from a Rogers or Bell line, or I could buy service from Rogers or Bell.. which I'd rather not.

          Friday, September 12, 2014 - 13:13 cm023

      2. I have Teksavvy Cable which for what we pay offers better a service then my other two options despite being on a Rogers line (other options being Rogers or Bell).
        I just simply can't afford another $10-15 more a month for increased bandwidth and a bigger cap. Everyone promotes download, stream, use our app but it adds up too quickly and leaves folks behind.

        I'd love to stream TV or Netflix 24/7 but it just isn't possible for Canadians like myself.

        One day once I've worked up to a better position in life I'm hopeful things would change, but for now it is what it is I suppose. 

        Friday, September 12, 2014 - 13:06 cm023

  83. The TSPs should not be allowed to be the supplier of services, owner of the stations and be able to set the price for delivery of the services - there is a monopoly and a conflict.
    One used to have unlimited internet service but it was arbitrarily removed and now we have to pay for broadband or "have all three of the TSP services" in order to have unlimited internet.
    Advertising has been allowed to be increased to over 15 minutes each hour - too much. The advertising is broken into programmes which makes the programmes disjointed.
    Privacy of account particulars - What are the privacy requirements imposed on TSPs. Our account particulars are in India and the Philippines, etc. They should only reside on Canadian servers.
    Why do TSPs charge "termination" charges on month to month accounts?
    There should be compensation for "down time". The ISPs should also post their downtime so that people are not left in the lurch.
    Access to all Canadian Stations from coast to coast should be basic and at little cost.
    Seniors should have a discount on all services. They are on a limited income.
    Each TSP claims they have the better service. How does the CRTC confirm these claims?

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 12:42 crichman
  84. All stations should be available OTA, just like radio stations.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 12:47 crichman
  85. They want you to keep basic and add? I'm sorry I am tired of paying for sport channels that are never watched. I try to watch Canadian channels and Canadian content I feel that is important and important to support my country.  If the basic remains the same with all the sport channels I will continue to seriously think of getting rid of cable or satellite. Would rather go to Netflix and not only that I can get news and weather on my iPad plus see shows and movies I choose on it. Costs a lot less also.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 12:57 2AlexAidan
  86. I do not watch a lot of TV so do not want to be forced to pay for the little I watch.  I live rurally and the few channels that come in via my tower and HD box are just fine for me.   We are slowly being taken over by big corporations...please leave my TV alone.   It would be sad to see the transmiters shut down leaving us no choice but to purchase cable or satelite TV...
     

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 15:19 rudy dejong
  87. I followed the CBC's presentation to the CRTC this morning.   They want to shut down their remaining 14 English and 13 French transmitters and go cable only.
    If the CRTC approves this, it should also make CBC part of  pick and pay so people would have to explicitly subscribe for CBC to get it.  No more "must carry" prvilege.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 15:38 MikeToronto
    1. Better yet, the CBC should be defunded and lose all government funding if that is the case. In that case, the CBC would likely wither on the vine and die, since its ratings are much lower than private networks in most cases.
      They should be ordered to put back up - in digital - at least 50 more transmitters, serving every large and medium-sized city (ensuring 95% coverage).

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - 17:52 Craigc_00

    2. Perhaps the CBC should return their radio licenses as well, and force people to buy Sirius XM subscriptions if they want to listen to it.  It's pretty much the same logic as what they are proposing for television.

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - 11:00 OTA ATSC

  88. I have watched the discussions and I don't like what I hear. I am sorry Rogers and Shaw but I want a complete pick and pay...if a station can't make it on their own then they should not be broadcasting. It's as if I were to walk in to any grocery store and all I need is milk, but according to the broadcasters rules I would have to buy a turkey as well as my milk, and I don't want the turkey. I hate being forced to pay for something I don't want for example Omni 1 and 2. I don't care for multiculturism nor do I want to watch it but yet I still have to pay for it. What happened to capitalism ? right now television is more like a communistic approach.
    Please CRTC pass a totally pick and pay and just may be the stations that start to fail will up their game and make it a station I may want to buy. Natural selection "only the strong will survive".

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 16:39 Mark Harper
    1. Personally, I would rather the channels be offered to me directly through devices of my choosing. Unfortunately, the power and control that VI's hold will never allow that to happen. IN reality, the pick'n'pay or skinny basic will not address the concerns of canadian citizens.
      Watch the concern when HBO decides to sell directly to consumers.

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - 16:52 Consumer

  89. What are the chances that any form of skinny basic will contain any form of high def content? Or will we have to pay extra to get high def? Will skinny basic really be crappy basic?

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 17:19 deaglesham
  90. All we ever here about is for government to stay out of business.Now we have business telling us we need these packages to keep smaller channels alive and so that non sports watchers  can support sporting channels.What a crock let the market place decide which are worth keeping.Personally our house needs approximantly 15 channels not 100 which 60 will never be on and 25 only 1% or the time.
     

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 17:36 bbrown
  91. I would love if we changed it to strictly pay per channel and make your own bundles, but making a skinny basic package is a start at least.  Please eliminate the CBC from being in the basic package though.  It already gets tax payer money and should not get to double dip into Canadians pockets.  Let's see channels forced to suceed on their own merits and not based on having the right connections to get bundled.  The way Al Jazeera is bundled into many packages for example is crazy.  I do not want to be forced to pay for al jazeera and its propoganda.  Please let us choose what we want and only what we want.  Most packages i currently have only have 1-2 channels per theme pack that i even want.  It is a waste and frustrating.  Please fix this broken system!

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 17:38 classydj737
  92. 2 things....I disagree that 95% of Canadians no longer use "over the air" tv.
    Being on disability I can no longer aford to pay for even basic cable, we use "over the air" with an "out dated" antennae.
    We also ulitize services such as Netflix, at $7 a month it is by far cheaper then cable....even utilizing a proxy server to access US Netflix it is an extra $4 per month.....$11 per month compared to (the cheapest I could find) $33 per month.
    And my family is not the only one....I happen to know dozens of families who are dropping cable for Netflix Hulu etc.
    One other thing, when we did have cable I would have loved to have had a sports chanel to acess cricket...but to do that I had to order an addon feature which cost an extra $20 per month for channels I wouldn't use except for one....just one extra channel was all I wanted.
     
    Thank you
    Jeff King
    London, Ontario

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 20:12 Jeff King
  93. Here is my opinion, first of all, the free tv many grew up with should not be forgotten because, any of these decisions made wont change the fact that, with the right antenna an older tv can pick up distant channel outside of the CRTC jurisdiction, that may air shows for free that CRTC will try to make a new pricing model about, on top of all that, going online will always be the way around corporate broadcasting & releasing models because, there are old films I would never buy that are online I can watch the one time I want to like most people would, not wanting to buy every youtube video because they happened to watch it past the advertisement to watch it because of how much of it was buffered, that,s what it's coming down to because the production is going to be subsidized so it could be a bag floating in the wind and one or another broadcast release wants money for leting you watch it because you don't own it at home, and the best anyone can do is hope like in the 1990's that with 2000 different channels with the satellite dishes, cable subscriptions and black boxes, there would be something good on any of these tv channels with tv shows the next generation is going to grow up asking why we spend our money on making this crap, when first of all the writers strike happened for a reason, so did the student strikes, because of situations like these that don't make the right choice that is going to be enforced any way it's decided to be, when really!
    Every local community should have a video archive of it's history that should include it's library, because! Libraries like the news started with the stories that needed to be told, not the paper they were eventually and now not the web which is just one large paper we all have as a place to share on, so as I cut my part of it out with every word, words are meant to be shared, same as feelings, thoughts, dreams, inspiration, experience, wisdom, and all the other things that can be shared by collaboration, because, yeah I think writers should be able to inside trade good ideas to improve shows throughout the process, but more to the POINT! why in a small town where one trusted news institution for radio, web and tv broadcasting that can be a publicly collaborative place that any formal broadcaster could keep a towns history instead of competing to define in in the minds of it's viewing consumer, the local radio stations should be helped to stay current and reputable, the news recording and events clips from areas, could have reputability enough that these types of smaller town stories make it to the larger cities news room where, the market is large enough to warrant discussion, the hearings and the need for comments like mine, because look, there are towns that have less then 1000 people, and I went to a school with over 1000 students, and so small town news and historical reporting is far less in every way, in long term costs, to amount of man power, also the resources needed, smaller population and prosperity, the less of the cost effectiveness and incentive for the publicly or privately funded broadcasters to be there, and so it's nice that CBC & BELL(CTV) want to keep local reporting alive, but in the face of reality & the CRTC and the viewing public, the Government, CBC & BELL & ROGERS & whoever else, should already know what distracts need subsidizes representation & don't forget the NORTH! also the shared materials from these areas, will allow for a more open sharing of canadian culture to canadian, and more local places to areas, that people are that want to join the video & radio associations that I wouldn't join because of how they operate as a whole industry including the whole corporate & production culture that prevent the growth of amateurs across the whole spectrum of creativity, which is why, I have mixed feeling about the CBC, I feel as thought the CBC has always cooked their books in both what they produce to meet obligations and the favoritism and selective elitism which is a very bad habit of broadcasters the produce because they are unregulated or regulated in CBC's situation to show favoritism to the limited or proffered production methods, and as a public person myself as a part of the public, I know these large business, have no idea who shows up wanting a little respect that they would sooner call security on, then take the time to show any respect to what bring a writer, producer, singer, dance, actor, director, artist, or form of, that would just like that fast track pitch person to run creativity across for it's possible value to the "history of" where ever or when ever, because of the value of the eye witness that I have never seen a news broadcaster pay for, like why can't news reporters pay for crime tips and them with their broadcaster be eligible for a reward if the news investigation lead to an arrest and conviction, at this point in time, hat I'm trying to say, is that, life is on tv and we live like see our life on tv, so if tv is, just the sound, it's radio, if tv is video and audio, it's a device viewing experience at home or on the go, so the real question is how do you protect the value of live & newly released material because once it's existed digitally in the public domain of the internet, anyone that watches stuff online knows to just wait for someone to release it free, it gets shared, it gets regulated by some paid enforcement and the web will create another link to the same content and so after one week, everything broadcast to the public will be digitally shared to the world on a 24 hour bases online regardless of who produces it, who broadcasts it first, where, who advertises, because once online, there are no advertisements, so most people like me don't miss tv because we don't miss the commercials, I hated commercials growing up and I still hate them now, but now, people record shows to watch at home so they can fast forward commercials and broadcasters like CBC that are paid money by the public to provide a public service & not waste the public purse shouldn't be making shows that are ad revenue generators because it does a disservice since you can work for CITYTV or Rogers or OMNI if you want to make shows that are made to generation of advertising revenue which will always be a disservice to what great service a public broadcaster could provide, Honestly CBC should be more like TVO and TVO should be funded like the CBC is.
    I am 35 years old, I am from Toronto & I have never paid for TV, and everything that broadcasters have dont to make me have to pay, as made me a non viewer of broadcast television, and had made me by the high priced for garbage cable tv to wait days after a shows broadcast release on tv, so that I can watch it and any prior episode online, instead of being a mental victim to the effects of horrible tv for years without any viewer control of whats on and when, Like seriously! did all the other channels have to put on crap because Opera was on at 4PM, I mean, if one channel would put anything with watching on, maybe the only people watching tv wouldn't just be the ones watching Opera or someone who just left their TV on, these days, broadcasters websites make it impossible to watch their content, so why wouldn't someone who wants to see it, avoid the headache and watch it on some other online source for the same material, meaning that the CRTC should really be making the better choice for all of us, because corporations, running our minds and lives with ones on TV and doing it to make the most money at it isn't what we need the CRTC to allow an unregulated broadcasting system to do to who dare watch broad casted television, don't forget it your reading this, that "a person used to be able to get distant channels for free with some wire" so things have come a long way, but the companies, can't be refusing a society it's art & television over their attachment to greed because, the viewer, will still find what they want to watch in this day and foreseeable future, so the CRTC has to consider it's own stance on the next 100 years of TV, and honestly in that conversation, t has got to be about the artist right to choose the official broadcaster of their art, and where are the artists that make all this content being heard in all this CRTC hearing conversation

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 02:32 frank12345
  94. Most if not all of the channels OTA are owned by the broadcasters (Bell, Rogers, Shaw etc…) That being said, I believe Television should be broken up into 2 different pieces. Over the Air (OTA) signals (Keep the Transmitters), that consumers either receive through their own antennas (free to consumers after the purchase of the antanna) or from the local broadcasters (Cable, Fiber optic, etc…) for a fee that is equal to the cost of providing the signal to the end user and a profit for themselves, no fee for subscribing to the channels to keep costs low. The end result would be the same the owner of the channels would receive the advertising revenue and the distributor (eg cable) would receive a fee for providing the channel to those who need it.Then a “pick and pay” of ALL specialty channels with subscription revenue going to both the channel and distributor.
    With this model consumers would receive local channels at a low cost to no cost. Then choose what extras they want.
    Television started as OTA and local, Cable companies came around to service a need that in an urban core it was very difficult to receive quality signal from the broadcasters due to taller buildings and other obstacles. The cost to consumers should be the cost of “gathering” the TV signals and providing them to consumers with a quality they could not have received on their own, plus an adequate profit margin (they are a business after all).

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 07:49 I own stock in telecom
  95. If im unable to watch cbc anymore.Will my tax contribution to the cbc be dropped? Again its gvt and big buisness telling everyone what they want to do. Its NOT about what we want.The rich get richer and middle class poorer. As stated before.I will not sub to ANY broadcast service again nomatter what is decided.Also I can now see a revival of piricy will be on the rise.All this debating is for nothing .Sounds like its already decided...

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 08:12 Rt
  96. There definitely needs to be change. Forcing seniors to buy even basic packages that are now available is not fair. There should be availability to pick and choose the channels you want. For example seniors do not need cartoon channels but they are in basic package!
    In a short few years we went from free over the air TV to being ripped off by the cable and satellite suppliers. Commercials were supposed to be paying for TV. They have not been removed. All we are doing is paying for another step in the distribution!
    It is time for CRTC to not only show some teeth but to use those teeth and bite!

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 11:49 Denis
    1. If the CRTC allows the suspension of Over the Air transmission of TV signals then it is in collusion with the present cable and satellite providers to protect their income stream. If these companies have something of better quality and commercialfree to offer, fine, then they should be able to charge a reasonable fee for their services but the basic information and news should be free to receive by all Canadians  over the air. Especially senior citizens and people in rural areas who have to watch their expenses, should be able to receive their news  and basic information over the air. Are there any other countries on the globe, aside from dictatorships, which are controlling all information by channeling it through cable or satellite ?? 

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 13:20 Schrader

  97. I think what is being forgotten is the fact that TV exists because of advertising. Broadcasters create programing to focus on spcific groups so that they can charge a premium rate to advertisers who want to reach that group.  95% of the channels have advertisting, Broadcasters ARE making millions selling that advertising.  I resent that I have to pay also for that advertising since I am THE commodity being sold to those advertisers.  By wanting more and more money from Canadians broadcasters are in a sense double dipping.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 17:34 Angry Canadain
  98. While I do think it's ridiculous to pay for channels we don't watch I just looked at my recent Rogers bill. I have a bundle with all home services together.When it's broken down I'm only paying 50 bucks a month for a lot of channels. (An offer I know that's been available in Atlantic Canada).

    For me, depending on what the basic package is, I for sure would be paying more or about the same already. My Mom could add one channel of her interest with her service provider and it costs over 2 dollars a month. So assuming that could be the basic a family channel, the Telcom companies are right that we could be paying more.

    In these proceedings are the channel costs broken down? What does the basic package look like? This needs to be looked at first before a final decision should be made.

    I am for the most part OK with how things are. But, I'm sure there can be some design brought in for people to just have the very basics (for seniors for example) while leaving the rest as is with maybe some leeway. For example I would like the movie channel but I'd pay almost 20 dollars for it which includes other channels I don't have an interest in. Why can't I just pay an extra 5-7 for that specific channel?

    I hope this isn't a decision made in haste.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 21:05 AReimer101
  99. I must confess that I think the the industry spokespersons at the hearings are either delusional or thoroughly cynical. About the only thing that they haven't attributed to "pick and pay" is the end of civilization

    Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 11:21 jasmit
  100. I thought about writting a missive and publishing it here... probably a waste of everyones time.
    I will keep it simple...
    The question is: when will the CRTC actually protect the consumer?
    I suspect that's a dumb question. We no longer live in an era where we watched AT&T get split up.
    I have 'cut' the cord. I am now doing the attenna/Netflx thing. If this goes the way I think it will I'll toss TV entirely. An occasional DVD/Blueray and that's it.
    I'm one of the oldsters going the route a lot of younger people are going... dumping corporate TV. They will probably go a step further than I to get their content and tell the industry to take a walk given the possible outcome of these hearings.
    The government and CRTC have allowed the concentration of power - TV, internet, media - to the few companies we see today. Whatever the result of these hearings I fully expect that Canadians will pay more for it.

    Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 14:04 PCleary
  101. I agree with many of the comments posted here regarding the provision of cable services to Canadians.  It feel for too many years there has been a stranglehold on the industry by a select few, with minimal competition or obligation, to offer quality service to Canadians at a reasonable price.  The one issue I have not seen raised with the CRTC or heard discussed in any media thus far is the dictate by cable providers that each TV set within a home, must have an individual and dedicated digital rceiver in order to receive a digital signal for that set.  
    Prior to this CTRC ruling (that analog signals must cease) consumers were able to receive the analog signals into their home via one cable.  Regardless of the number of TVs in the home, there was but one conduit which provided the signal for every TV.  
    Our cable provider in the Halifax area (EASTLINK) informed us that "due to the recent CTRC ruling, they can no longer provide an analog signal, and must only provide digital signals."   This statement was quickly followed by "and of course you will need an individual digital receiver for EVERY TV set you own."
    However, the question I pose is whether the CRTC has mandated that cable providers require consumers to rent individual digital receivers for EVERY TV a consumer owns?  Or is that fee merely a convenient way for the cable providers to increase their revenues, all the while citing the CRTC ruling and proclaiming they have no choice?
    It is 2014.  Surely, SURELY with the technology that exists today, is there not a way to provide digital TV service into a consumer's home, without requiring multiple receivers?  The technology has already existed with the cable services for decades......are we progressing with our technology, or are we regressing?  While I realize it is an individual's choice to own multiple TVs, it will have a substantial impact for many Canadian families, who may have two or three (or more) TVs in a home (the family room, the living room, a den, or the children's bedrooms, etc.).  At the current monthly rate for digital receiver rental in the Halifax area (which will no doubt creep higher every year), it would lead to a $4.95 PER TV increase to an already exhorbitant bill.
    From what I have read, in order to protect the American consumers from the costs associated with the ensuing regulatory change, the equivalent department to the CRTC in the United States Government mandated several years ago, that ALL TV sets sold in the United States (I believe I read after 2009) MUST have digital capability.  Retailers are not permitted to sell an analog set.  American consumers were protected in that they are not required to continually rent a, or numerous, digital receivers, just to enjoy the same level of service and programming.
    If the technology does not exist to bring digital signals into Canadian homes for ALL TVs, via one conduit, then why has something similar to the American example, not been implemented in Canada?  Or at the very least, will the CRTC choose to protect Canadian consumers and rule that cable service providers can not charge individually for and repeatedly for the same digital signal? 

    Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 17:07 SKillam
  102. Yeah, I know, if the broadcast signal is less compressed than it often is on cable, it looks good, but Ad-supported free-to-view broadcast TV is not viable in today’s heavily fragmented market, where many if not most of us record our shows and skip the commercials.
    Still, throwing any concept of fairness to the wind, most commenters want cable and satellite subscribers to subsidize the cost of keeping free-to-view TV on the air.
    That’s understandable – free stuff is always popular, and weaning the television industry and some viewers off of government-mandated handouts is hard. But as we continue to Talk TV, the CRTC should be guided by this simple fact: Canadians are tired of paying for other people’s choices. Some of us even hope to live to see the day when we will be allowed to choose to be free from the dreadful 91h designation, all things CBC, and foreign channels that have ‘Canada’ appended to them.
    PS – Good presentation from the Telus folks. They seemed to feel less threatened by the facts than most … more to gain and less to lose, I guess.
    Feed Choice – Starve Basic

    Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 19:29 Letsgiterdone
    1. Typical free market fundamentalist religious dogma. The world isn't a market and broadcasters have a responsibility to serve the public who own the airwaves. OTA is a cost of doing business in Canada. People must stop listening to small minded opinions like this as its ultimately self destructive.

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - 13:08 gregconnon

  103. Lobbying to end OTA TV is the CRTC admitting it is a rubber stamp for the big telecoms. More OTA! Less cable junk

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 06:04 gregconnon
  104. To get money, the CBC should do what PBS (state side), TVO and Knowledge (out of BC) do and ask the viewers for money.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 14:42 robman50
  105. I question who really benefits from the death of free TV: the consumers or the cable companies. Given the continued growth of cord cutting in Canada, I see shutting down over the air transmitters as the opposite of what should be done. On demand services offer you the latest from Hollywood and ratings juggernauts from yesteryear, but few if any provide local content. I'm talking community news, sports and other things too niche for a national audience. A lot of that content is produced by channels you can find over the air. By killing that distribution method, the CRTC is implementing a paywall for access to community content. That's only good if you're a cable company desperately trying to push back the inevitable.
    Instead, I'd rather see Canadian networks try to better position OTA. This is going to have to start with the CRTC, broadcasters and the government educating consumers. In the US and other countries, the digital OTA transition meant a new beginning with better picture quality than what you find on cable or satellite. It saw the start of sub-channels (or multiplexes) intended to split transmitter costs over multiple revenue streams. In Canada, the digital transition was seen as a burden and was used as another vehicle to push more people towards subscription services.
    I'm frankly confused and concerned that the CRTC has positioned this TalkTV discussion as Pick And Pay vs. OTA. It doesn't need to be either or. The fact that it's being done so feels like a compromise from the CRTC to the cable companies. "Oh, you lose revenue from not forcing consumers to pay $80/month for a package mostly consisting of channels they don't want, but here, we killed OTA so now you have a bunch of new subscribers." These are incredibly profitable multi-billion dollar companies. The onus is on them to justify their subscription services, not the CRTC.
    We're one of the few countries in the world where paying for TV service is seen as the only option. As someone that believes information should be available to all, that's a horrible reality.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 17:16 OTA needs to stay
  106. After viewing several presentations by various intervenors I am beginning to realize that most of the problems facing a true pick and pay television world is caused by the content providers themselves. Certainly when this hearing started, I was totally unaware of how the wholesale pricing is controlled by the media providers, and supported by existing policies of the CRTC.
    I would like to thank Telus for their presentation, as it clearly describes the problems of rate cards and make whole arrangements. If the commission does address these problems, then the pick and pay world will become very expensive for consumers. If the BDU's cannot operate in a pick and pay environment on the wholesale side, then it becomes very expensive to break apart these bundled rates in order to offer consumers channels on a one by one basis.
    I wonder how consumers would react if other entertainment venues were operated in the same fashion? If you want to attend a movie, you would also have to purchase a ticket to a local live theater and a hockey game at the same time (a rate card). Then, when you arrive at the movie theatre you are told that you have to pay extra because they didn't sell all their tickets, plus the local theater was undersubscribed so you have to pay extra for them as well (make whole arrangement). I don't think the Canadian consumer would put up with this for very long, but it seems to be the environment that the BDU's operate.
    There should not be any rate cards or make whole arrangements on the wholesale side. The consumer needs the ability to pay for what they watch and not bear the expense of subsidizing all the content providers.
    Also, the vertically integrated BDU's should not be allowed to use their content holdings to restrict competition. There should be no exclusive arrangements for content. When content is available it must be provided to all BDU's at the same time. As mentioned, Shaw and Rogers should not be allowed to restrict access to their Showmi streaming service to only their existing cable customers.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 18:03 deaglesham
    1. I'm not sure what "rate cards" or "make whole arrangements" are.   I'll try to make a guess:

      - Canadians should be able to get HBO Canada without having to take TMN or Movie Central.   Bell/Corus could probably sell a lot more stand-alone HBO Canada at say $5 than the whole TMN/MC at around $18.
      - End having to buy other channels in order to get AMC and WGN Chicago (now a "The CW" network affliliate),   Incidentally, these are considered basic service channels on ComCast.   They should be basic service in Canada as well.

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - 18:39 kcbrk32

  107. RE: The Set-Top Box and the Set-Top Box working group mentioned during these hearings

    Dear Mr. Chairman Blais,

    I won’t bore you with the details already raised by the OPC, https://www.priv.gc.ca/information/research-recherche/sub/sub_crtc_14062... and others. However, I do wish to comment on the total lack of information coming from these hearings in regards to the “STB working group”, and the *required* consent of Canadians before even thinking of taking private and sensitive data from the living rooms and bedrooms of private homes.

    Is the CRTC now is the business of building new business models for advertisers and the telco’s before even informing Canadians about anything? The only thing I was able to find out thus far is that there will be a secret working group working behind closed doors. Well, I have news for you, I want to be part of it and know what they plan on taking. Every detail of it. The eventual outcome as this closed door working group looks at ways to exploit Canadian privacy will likely be no different from what Bell Canada is currently trying to get away with, and exploit people, with their Relevant Ads Program, which already crosses many lines.

    What appears to also be missing are the results of this “fact-finding exercise” of Vice-Chairman, Broadcasting, Tom Pentefountas. What was the outcome of his “fact finding exercise” in regards to STB data? Privacy? Required consent? I could not find it on the CRTC’s website. Care to share the link?

    Given how some American company, Rentrak, was practically drooling into the microphone at the hearings today at the thought of taking Canadian data from every private household and bedroom I think you owe Canadians a little more respect and transparency about the full details of these nextgen STB’s (and/or software) and the data these profiteers want to take from our private homes.

    From what I saw, Numeris (AKA, BBM), does not even want a working group to muddle their commoditization of sensitive and private data. They said it will slow them down.

    To date everything is clouded in secrecy and appears to be headed towards closed doors.

    Well, I want in. As does likely a few million other Canadians. When is the CRTC going to put up the information on all this *and* open this working group up to public scrutiny and participation? Or is the plan to just let them continue drooling at the prospect of entering our bedrooms and we put the smack-down later?

    Thank you for addressing these concerns and providing some clarity, honesty and transparency for us plebs.

    Marc

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 19:49 Marc
    1. You are forgetting 1 key issue.

      We shouldn't have to have a set top box in the first place its not 1980. They can decrypt the signal before your home and only send you your channels in clear QUAM then you can watch it on your own TV's or DVR/PVR or home theater PC. Hell even windows media center did a better job of TV guides and recordings and that was 10 years ago.
      I do not want the telcos terrible software and hardware that is still using 1990s technology and now being setup to data mine in my home. 
      SAY NO TO STBs!

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 13:10 RSS

      1. Hi RSS,

        From what I recall, the reason for the Set-Top Box (STB) is to "prevent signal theft". At least, that is the reason Videotron gave me. Not to mention the X-hundred dollars for each additional STB in each kids room, family rooms, and basement.

        Now, all of a sudden, Videotron et al need the STB because they *need* to know what porn or netflix movie is being watched, when, and where in your house. I take great offence to this. I'll drop TV before I let these perv companies in my home to take info like that from myself or the kids. It's just plain wrong.

        Another issue I see is this:
        They stated the new STB's will have such-and such apps on it. Well maybe netflix or youporn.com doesn't want Bell, Videotron or Rogers to know you bought their service and use their apps. Maybe people who buy their services don't want these teclo's to kow either. Do these telco's *need* to know what OTT services you bought and from who? Apparently they do.

        What the STB is, and the way the telco's, Numeris (BBM) and Rentrak stated it should be used, It's a DPI device attached to your TV (smart-tv) from which they will also look at, take and sell competing OTT service information from you. WTF!

        There is no other way of looking at what the STB is, and is headed for. A household DPI device.

        Yet the CRTC isn't opening this up to the public. So far this new household DPI device is being discussed behind closed doors with zero transparancy. By doing this the CRTC is literally stating "to hell with your privacy there's money Bell can make from your bedroom info".

        I'm better stop here... getting very steamed...

        RSS Said:
        "Say No to STB's"
        You should send that to OpenMedia. Maybe they will run a campaign with that slogan and educate people on what information these perverted vultures plan on taking, and how they plan to make the STB a household DPI device, while the CRTC says nothing and opens nothing up to the public. grrrr

        Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 20:02 Marc

  108. We are very concerned about the proposal to eliminate OTA transmission of television in Canada. This intent by the CRTC has major implications for all Canadians.
    First, OTA television reception like radio broadcasting is subject to international treaty and as such is considered an element of national sovereignty. Furthermore, the CRTC does not have authority to enter, amend, or abrogate international treaties.
    Secondly, from the standpoint of peacetime civil emergencies such as catastrophic weather events, no other system can match the reliable broadcast of necessary emergency information as OTA television reception. Satellite television reception is hampered during stormy weather with loss of signal thereby rendering it useless as a medium for delivery of emergency weather information to consumers. Furthermore the reliability of cable television providers during extreme weather events is also cause for concern. The recent Toronto ice storm highlighted the vulnerability of the cable television providers.
    To eliminate OTA television reception for Canadians would also impact the rates current satellite and cable television providers charge consumers as this would effectively remove a source of compettion. Furthermore, a considerable amount of tax dollars from consumers goes to the public broadcasting corporation CBC. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's original mandate was to provide television availability to all Canadians coast to coast. When the CBC decided to suspend its OTA transmission in London Ontario, it left over 85,000 households without CBC programming. Should OTA television transmission be suspended in Canada, will all Canadians be provided with a tax rebate to compensate for their loss of CBC OTA programming? I certainly hope so.
    If the current business model for OTA broadcasters is broken and these same broadcasters are losing revenue due to OTA broadcast operation, then the business model needs to change. Not shut down local broadcast stations. One simple fix for this situation would be to allow the sim/sub of additional channels at the transmitter site. Our neighbors to the south have successfully done this with as many as 3 sub channels all sharing the same frequency assignment. This would help broadcasters defray costs and provide consumers with greater choice.
    Finally there is no better picture quality available to consumers  than that of OTA television reception. Due to different signal compresssion methods, the OTA High Definition television signal puts the cable and satellite television providers picture quality to shame. Until the cable and satellite providers have newer technology available to improve their picture quality, consumers should be provided with the high quality, reliable OTA television reception they have come to enjoy.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 20:30 Harvest
  109. I am concerned about the proposal of eliminating OTA TV.
    I will start off by mentioning that I am a cable tv subscriber. I pay for cable TV for the choice of seeing specialty channels that are not available over the air. It is expensive, but something I am willing to pay for.
    However, in growing up in my youth, I relied on OTA TV since my parents could not afford a subscribed TV service. I was use to watching OTA and I enjoyed watching channels like TV Ontario, the CBC National News, Global TV., etc. I learned alot with the educational programing on TVO, and I was upto date with the news and Canadian politics of the time. I also was able to watch network TV from the States. All in all, it was a good mix of choice.
    I feel that this choice of basic TV, free for the offering, is disappearing. It should remain available to those who can't afford pay TV services. Some may argue that all is available on the internet, but once again, some can't afford to pay for internet. Free access to news, information, and entertainment to those who rely on OTA should always be available. The technology behind it is simple, not overly complicated. Kids should not be shut out from good educational programing that is only availble free to them by this means.
    Pay TV services should remain for specialty channels. Basic TV from Canadian networks (especially those subsidized by Government $) should be broadcast OTA free to all Canadians.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 21:12 TVjunkie1969
  110. If the OTA transmitters get shutdown will the cable companies provide the basic channels that people would pick up on there antenna? For example Cogeco would offer me CHCH, CBC, CTV, CTV2, Global, City, CTS, and both OMNI's for free. Like the Shaw Direct LTSS program.
    Could something like that ever happen?

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 10:44 robman50
  111. Back in the 1950's TV was new, we had several radio stations and only one or two public/private TV choices.
    The government supported public TV and should continue to do so now as it is one of the most universal methods of reaching out to inform Canadians of issues and other information.
    I agree in principle with 'Pick & Pay' though there must be a core component of stations provided for a base fee that include our public stations, perhaps other public TV regional choices like TVO, WNED, Weather and CPAC. Then the concept of picking and paying should be like other types of shopping.
    When I shop I have a choice, buy one at this price, two at a discount, three, four and so on. Perhaps TV should be the same, I can buy one sports channel at $$ amount, two sports channels for less than double etc. If I want kid's channels, dramma, science, other specialty offerings the same principles apply. Each sector 1st choice is a set price and adding more channels gets me a bulk saving.
    There should be a discount on the total number of channels selected across all sectors. And unfortunately some channels that have no user base or such a small one as to be uneconomic will disappear or be drastically discounted.
    I also agree with the point that other media services that do not generally fall within the CRTC mandate should pay a fee/tax on profit to support the diiversity and continued ability to produce Canadian multicultural content for all media service including TV. 
    We hear that media services are merging and at some point there all media will be available on all remaining streaming protocols. At that point if there is no regularion or oversight the only product we will see will be that owned by the largest and wealthiest media companies and the view point will be biased in favour of whom ever has the most power. At that point media becomes an oppressive tool and no longer in the public interest.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:02 plucas1373
  112. 0ta is a business they can not be expected to provide the seervice free, so possibly only large centers can afford to provide it, also large centers in border cities have sometimes a large selection of ota services with less need for cable or satellite.
    The providers control programming, and can influence channel popularity by program selection. It seems popular programs get relocated to a pay for view channels.
    The solution would seem to be individual channel selection, with a minimum time lock in, would enable everyone to view the programs they want. I select programs not channels.
    Whatever is decided, I'm sure the large providers will come up with some arrangement which will allow them to replace lost revenue. Forcing canadian content does not mean people will watch it, The quality of the programming will determine the number of watchers.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:34 frank hyde
  113. I would first like to point out that I am someone who has worked in the television production industry for some 30 years and can attest that the landscape has changed dramatically not only due to internet availability but in truth due to ownership of the broadcast and cable market.
    The Bells, Rogers and Shaws of the world are really utility companies that provide a monthly subscription to their cable, fibre and cell phone network.  That is basically all they know about broadcasting.  They happened to be the only companies around that had the ability to connect internet to our homes and as such caught a wave for the future of all things in our lives including entertainment.   But lets be clear, just because you own the highway does not mean  you know how to build cars.  
    I can tell you that since broadcasters and cable channels were bought by these utilities there has been a massive drop in quality production and money for that production.  Broadcasters spent millions on co productions 20 years ago and now create junk television that manages to fill the channels but offers little quality programming.  Reality TV was born out of the need to fill up those speciality channels with the cheapest possible product around.   While there is still some quality stuff being done it is being done at such a meagre level that it pales in comparison to days of the past.
    I watch with some degree of skepticism as the "media" folks at Rogers, Bell and Shaw cry poor at the recent CRTC hearings and laugh at how they are attempting to create their own cheapy version of Netflix.   You must be aware that Netfilx did not come up with the idea of programming on demand via the web but they did time it just right PLUS more importantly they have taken BOLD steps into creating new and well produced ORIGINAL programming proving that "if you build it they will come".   I honestly do not believe that Rogers or Bell will ever put the money that Netflix has committed to production.  These utility companies have become enormous entities  because of their business model of subscription or annuity based billing.  They do not understand production and only produce programs if they are MANDATED to do it.  They would rather buy stuff cheap and fill up their channels in order to be able to advertise a 500channel HD service. 
    Recently the CRTC granted Bell the permission to purchase Astral Media and as one of the provisions was a 225 Million dollar fund where 175 Million would be funnelled into Canadian Film and TV production.   Sadly, if you scratch below the surface you will see that this funding is OVER SEVEN YEARS resulting in a modest 25 Million per year for the entire country.  The CRTC must enforce much much higher Canadian content quotas or perhaps suggest to Rogers et al that they should not be in this business. You simply cannot suck and blow at the same time.  Furthermore, the CBC should be looked upon as a service not a profit centre … that makes no sense.
    The CRTC has given these utilities far too much latitude and really has killed the production industry (excluding reality tv junk)  We are at a critical time in canadian production history.  Enough of the junk TV ..  Let us see a resurgence in quality original programming.   Broadcasters were more than willing to commit millions of dollars to production many years ago but now want to produce material for pennies.   It simply cannot be done.   We have the skilled people here but we lack the funding and putting the broadcast industry in the hands of utility companies has netted us no results except the junk that is filling the airwaves now.
    The recent push to pick and pay WILL SEE a huge number of specialty channels go under.  Well over 50 percent in my mind.  The cable/phone people say these channels do not generate enough viewership to be profitable.  Well, they need to put money into production and that will drive the viewership.  That is the way television has worked since the very beginning.  They do not understand this… they only know the value of subscription.  Which is why we are seeing this vast number of broadcasters buying wholesale rights to the NHL and NFL ..  They are finished production free products that they just stock their shelves with and have guaranteed viewership plus can charge a ton of money for people to watch games on their tablets and smart phones which adds to their bottom lines.   And that is all they really care about.   Unfortunately we have put the absolutely wrong companies in charge of the broadcast market.   They will put as little money into it as possible and buy off the shelf material to loosely satisfy their mandate and obligations.  And now these "media" companies want to eliminate over the air broadcast...the very definition of broadcaster... they want everyone to be on the hook to pay for everything.  If you have the best programming... ie buy and make great things... the broadcast model works.  But if all you want is to make everyone pay for every MB of data then clearly we will never see home grown production like we used to have.  I have been using OTA antenna for years and I can tell you the Americans would not stand for this concept of removing the OTA feed.  Never.. there would be riots.  In Canada, we write letters in blogs that eventually get deleted.
    I ask why the CRTC would grant these specially licences and then watch these channels die a quick death due to lack of funding by these utility companies.  I don't get it really.
    It is all about funding in this industry.  But Canada has no interest in culture which is why funding across the arts is a huge problem.   It is simply not a priority .   Even Jeffrey Steiner, interviewed by Steve Paikin on TVO,  who helped build the Pinewood studios in Toronto said that productions above 20 million have to be funded in the US.  We have little means to create a sustainable culture in media without proper funding.   But these cable and phone companies have damaged the industry so much that I fear we will never see the kind of programming we had some 20 years ago.  
    Regardless of the delivery system,  over the air or via internet,  the production costs are still an important factor.  Writers, producers and the crews cannot work for minimum wage and live in Canada.  We need a proper funding system that will make things fly for years to come.   It is not magic but money and some foresight into the future.

    Mike Belanger

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:45 puddytat62
  114. I don't have twitter, so I'm publicy stating that Gregory Taylor is my new hero.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 15:26 Consumer
  115. Unfortunately many Canadians feel the CRTC is nothing but a mouth piece for the big cable/satellite companies and broadcasters.  I am leaning towards that feeling.  I think nothing will come out of this hearing that will be of benefit to consumers.  The decision from the CRTC will benefit large companies and the CRTC will tell us all that it had to be that way to save Canadian broadcasting.  The large companies are in the business of making money for their shareholders.  They do not care one bit for the Canadian consumer at large.  Their submissions to the hearing are self-serving and when they claim the consumer will be harmed if the consumer is allowed to pick and chose his/her channels, what they really mean is that they (the large companies) will be harmed.  I hope the CRTC will see through the submissions from the large companies but given past decisions from the CRTC I have almost no expectation that it will.  Thank you for the oppotunity to comment.   

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 15:35 bottos
  116. Congratulations to Dr Gregory Taylor. It is refreshing to hear such a vibrant plea in defense of OTA.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 15:41 JF Bérubé
  117. I just got an Email today from Videotron. The basic TV is going up 2$ (along with a ~1.75 for phone + 1$ for internet).

    I just saw the Antenna Guys presentation on CPAC. I'm sold.

    Now the only issue I face is the following:
    If I get rid of Videotron TV, I lose unlimited internet. Videotron *only* allows unlimited internet if you buy their TV package. See:
    http://www.videotron.com/residential/internet/data-transfer-packages/residential-internet-data-transfer-packages/residential-unlimited-internet-add-on

    So in effect, videotron protects their TV revenue and will punish me with larger internet bills (due to the kids watching content online). Thus, when/if I get rid of TV and do what the Antenna Guy said in these hearings, then Videotorn will raise my internet fee's due to the kids habits and usage. Thus they protect their revenue.

    It seems no matter what I do, Videotron has me by the you-know-what.

    What exactly are my choices again, commissioners? What exactly is the competition? What do I save by doing what the Antenna Guy said? I save nothing. I have a tiny choice, yet the bill remains the same or even increases.

    Why?

    Protectionism with a stab in the back and no lower costs for daring to buy an antenna. Of course the CRTC allows this to continue.

    While the Antenna Guys presentation was excellent, it saves me nothing in a household with kids and Videotrons predatory and protectionist ways (that the CRTC allows).

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 16:43 Marc
    1. Change your ISP for an independant one such as Distributel, Cooptel or whatever indie is available in your area.

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 14:19 JF Bérubé

    2. I agree. I called my cable provider (Shaw) to discuss my plan and discovered the my plan had recently increased $3.00 a month to a ridiculous $39.00 a month. That is the cheapest plan available. My subscription was grandfathered at my cost ($36) but the shaw person could not explain why the cost went. She figured a new channel was added but wasn't sure.
      I wish I could go the antenna route, by my geographic location prevents me from getting the one channel we want to keep (global), so I'm stuck.

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 14:22 Consumer

  118. The CRTC is supposed to protect the consumer, NOT the media corporations.  What is in the best interest of the consumer is to have no channel bundles or basic cable packages at all, every single channel must be pick-and-pay.  This would force the content providers to increase the quality and variety of shows on each channel to attract viewers.  The channels that do not have good quality programs and poor variety will, and should, go out of business.
    OTA TV must remain an option as well.  I would love to be able to get rid of cable and put up an antenna.  Paying money to a cable company so I can watch commercials is ridiculous.  The advertisers pay to air their commercials, and I pay to watch them, the cable companies are getting paid twice!  How can the CRTC call this protecting the consumer?

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 17:13 avshook
  119. As a former tv subsciber I have cancelled mine due to the high cost and low number of channels watched. With cable packages I was forced to subscribe to channels I wouldn't blink an eye at. Now I save my money buy subscribing to netflix and watch shows on the internet. If pick and pay tv ever came in I would only get it if I had total contol on which channels I recieved. I don't go to the grocery store to pick up steak but are forced to buy chicken hearts ill never use. Yes some channels might die but that is business,  if something can't sustain itself it is clearly loosing money and wont survive. If cable provider choose to provide these channels at a high cost the public will have there say and continue to drop cable television as many people are already doing. Either listen to what the public wants or choose to suffer the consequence.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 18:23 sturbs87
  120. Regarding the proposal to allow TV stations to turn off their transmitters and end OTA broadcasting,
    I watch TV using an outdoor antenna.
    I do not have cable. I will not get cable.
     
    I have seen the proposal to end OTA broadcasting and require cable companies to offer a minimum basic package, possably at $20 per month.
    I will not pay $20 a month for cable.
    I will not pay $2 a month for cable.
    I will not pay 20 cents a month for cable.
     
    We have had free OTA TV for over 60 years. It is our right. You can not deprive us of this right.
     
    I get all the U.S. and Canadian OTA stations with my antenna.
    If the Canadian stations stop transmitting OTA I will simply stop watching Canadian TV and only watch U.S. TV.
     

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 21:42 brian_mtl
  121. Viewers loyalty lies with the shows, not the channels. Why can't we only pay for the shows we want to watch? I'd be happy to support a show I am interested in but not an entire channel. Channels are obsolete. I will watch what I want, when I want. You couldn't stop me even if you tried. New websites emerge everyday that allow me to get content for free. You should be charging by data usage. Nobody can control what come's in on the internet any more than you can control what becomes of the water coming through the water pipe.
    Thanks,
    Kosty
    Long live the CBC!
     

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 23:06 Kosty
  122. Not tied to any particular topic, I want to weigh in on TV operating standards and practices in Canada.
    I want the CRTC to mandate the ELIMINATION of those annoying opaque logos appearing in the corners of screens when ad-based programs are airing.  Paid advertising seems to be exempt.  Program length infomercials are exempt.  Such a double standard.  They should be eliminated entirely OR made to appear ONLY superimposed during commercials - with time and temperature optional.  Station IDs should be at the top of the hour identifying the main or only transmitter's call letters - not a staton "nickname" or network name.

    Stations broadcasting digital over-the-air should be required to send correct time-of-day clock information in the digital metadata, include the transmitter call letters in the virtual channel ID, and transmit the program rating information along with the content where that rating info is available.

    When stations produce a local newscast and that newscast IS NOT LIVE, they should be required to have a small tag way up in one of the corners of the screen with the words "recorded" if it is not airling live, and the word "re-broadcast" when a live newscast is aired at another time.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 00:39 DeepTV
    1. Maybe we should do the same as they do in France and Italy. Have an identification logo and jingle at the begining and the end of each commercial block and super the word advertisement in the upper left corner of the screen the whole time.

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 13:26 JF Bérubé

  123. My cable bill arrived this morning.
    My bundled cable bill (compulsory package) is $61.99 with tax Total = $70.05
    We use only 3-10 news information and enterainment channels.
    We have no use for the 50 plus channels we are required to pay for.
    We want the CRTC to order an unbundling of the channels, letting us pay a reasonable price  for the channels we use.
    The rates we pay are usurious,

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 14:37 Catherine27
  124. Good day, I live in rural New Brunswick. I have a very satisfactory and affordable satellite TV system with excellent picture Quality and I have a very good choice or mix of programming available to me.
    To back up, for 10 years at my home location, local programming was never available, the quality of signal we could not watch any over the air TV and no cable was available. I relied on grey market TV when the large C band dish became available. When programming became available in Canada I switch to Canadian service provider and when they dropped providing the service I paid an other Canadian provider for the same content. Channel by channel along with the HST tax they billed. You could not afford everything they offered so you had to make your choice channel by channels. This service deteriorated and by the early 90ths I had move from C band to Canadian service provider Bell Expressvu.
    For the last 20 years i had exceptional service, honest billing and the ease of picking what i wanted to watch sometimes channel which we might never turn to but none the less we are very pleased with the pricing offered by Bell and the flexible programming they offer. You might not realized that over those years many fringe channels were in those packages, channels that you might never watch but I have to say it gave them a light of day and funding that they improved there services. Becoming one of those channels you turn to for a speciality shows, or on an evening when content was repetitive in the main line programming.
    I live in Rural NB I do not get fast enough Internet speeds to enjoy internet TV and with the current plans for Fibre op in New Brunswick I will never, might i repeat never, be available to connect to . Rogers internet or landline phone are not available in my area and as such is not a viable options. The only winners in these price change and service packages is shareholders as profit go up who cares what happens to a few back wood customers. I can see no competitive advantage having used both system of purchasing contents. channel by channels and the cost in the bundled packages is actually cheaper with more viewing options.
    I know when the CRTC change the rules for Cell phone companies, my cost went up and up significantly with inflation rate at 2%,my provider in 2014 jump his base rate by more than 10% and my value added package by 50% and I was only with them about 8 months so I know that what the government has been saying on the floors of parliament has not been right for me. As well, dealing with another service provider that never had to call for a payment and had a large monthly service package I was almost ready to file a fraud charge ( I am a senior and defrauding a senior is especially important to the government of the day) against the President of Rogers for them to honour there contract. I am just at the stage of throwing the current useless cell phone in the bucket I cannot used it at my location, and many areas of my community i am force to pay for 911 call features that only one works from my land line. So while you may help people who live in large metropolitan areas you do not address the many issues that rural seniors are faced with.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 15:53 GHMcEwen
  125. As an independent, award-winning producer, I've been producing programs for specialty channels for many years. I'm concerned that the Pick & Pay model proposed by the CRTC will ultimately result in the loss of some of these channels and therefore the loss of quality programming along with many jobs in the Canadian broadcasting industry.  

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 20:59 Dale Burshtein
    1. If some channels get ditched it is because Canadians couldn't care less about them. What's the use of operating channels nobody is willing to pay for and watch? That's life in any normal market. Why should it be different for broadcasting and cable? If you came to my grocery store and wanted beef how would you feel if I told you that in order to buy beef you first need to buy tomatoes? The only problem is you hate tomatoes and are allergic to them. This broadcasting system is sick. It has a business model you would hardly find in any other type of industry. Who likes to be force fed stuff they don't need or want and pay for it?

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 23:41 JF Bérubé

  126. I would like all consumers to be allowed to keep their existing cable (or cable/telephone/internet) package at our current rates for an indefinate period of time...a sort of grandfather clause.  This would allow consumers the flexibility of choosing basic cable plus pick n pay or keep their exisiting cable package, whichever is cheaper.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 21:14 Movie Mogul
  127. I would like the CRTC to allow new independent cable and satellite companies to enter all Canadian markets to serve as competition to increase quality and decrease prices.
    Currently, most satellite companies are owned by existing cable companies.  This makes for no new competition for consumers and tends to keep prices high.
    If new competition means foriegn companies, then so be it.  Consumers want more choice!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 21:20 Movie Mogul
  128. I strongly urge the CRTC to base its decisions on the principles of providing consumer choice, and when this is not possible, protecting services to the citizens.  When consumers are not given a pure choice in choosing only the channels they want to pay for from a service provider, it is imperative that the CRTC not force consumers to pay for other channels to watch local television stations that are currently shown over-the-air. 
    Over-the-air TV is once again a growing method of watching television.  A growing number of citizens do not believe they should be forced to pay for access to channels they do not want.  Additionally, lower-income citizens, senior citizens, and citizens in remote locations rely on over-the-air broadcasts as their only realistic option of accessing television programming. 
    While providing free over-the-air broadcasts may be presented as unfair to some local television stations, as there is undoubtedly a significant cost for maintaining and operating over-the-air transmitters, it should be noted that the over-the-air audience is growing and it does add to viewership of local stations, allowing these stations to charge a greater fee for advertising, particularly for popular programming such as live broadcasts of the NFL and NHL.  In addition, these local television stations are granted mandatory carriage on service providers.  Mandatory carriage guarantees access to audiences and thus, potential advertising revenues.  In return for these benefits to the local stations, the citizens should receive a public good - free over-the-air broadcasts.
    I recognize many citizens who have stopped purchasing television services from traditional broadcast service providers use over-the-air TV as a supplement to another source of television - online digital media providers.  Broadcast service providers have expressed concern that the proliferation of online digital media providers are aided by these providers not being required to pay into a fund to finance the creation of Canadian content.  This gives digital media providers an unfair advantage over traditional broadcast service providers which contribute to the fund.  To level the competitive playing field, online digital media providers should be required to pay into this fund as well.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 21:43 nicholas.c.stewart
    1. One interesting thing to note about OTA transmitters is that the new digital ones are in fact less expensive to operate than the old analog transmitters. It is hard to believe that the proposition to allow broadcasters to shut them down is anything other than a way for them to get more revenue as BDUs by forcing people to subscribe. The actual savings they would make on actual costs of maintenance and operation are insignificant. The idea is just another cash grab for BDUs.

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 23:23 JF Bérubé

  129. First off, the CRTC is to be commended for allowing the Canadian public to voice their opinions on these issues.
    Regarding the idea of having a basic package of local channels provided by the BDUs, this is something that is readily available to most Canadians in the form of Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcasts.  This form of local television is very affordable, as beyond the initial equipment purchase, there are no recurring fees.
    The pick and pay concept is long overdue, as consumers have become frustrated with BDUs bundling channels that force consumers to pay more.  Consumers should be allowed to select exactly what they want, and only be charged for that content they have selected.
    Local stations should not be allowed to shut down their OTA transmitters.  The history of television is built upon the foundation of broadcasting signals, and the viewer "paying" for the programming through exposure to commercial advertisements.  This is no different today.  Canadians living near the US border, which encompasses a significant portion of the Canadian population, are able to receive TV signals from both Canadian and American OTA broadcasts.  If Canadian stations were allowed to shut down their OTA transmitters, those living within that area would only be able to receive American OTA broadcasts.  Consumers with OTA setups would have no choice to view Canadian content without subscribing to a BDU.  This seems contrary to the CRTC's goal of providing consumers with more choice and flexibility while promoting Canadian content.
    While OTA television setups have been increasing in popularity recently, it seems that a large number of Canadians are not aware of the quality and quantity of television programming that is available OTA.  The transition to digital OTA broadcasting in 2011 lead to the picture quality provided OTA becoming far superior to what is available through cable or satellite.  Perhaps increasing consumer awareness of  the quality and quantity of programming available OTA would lead to more consumers being interested in it, thereby producing greater advertising revenues for broadcasters.
    OTA transmitters should only be allowed to shut down if the same local programming is made available through another means that is equally accessible as OTA and does not have recurring subscription fees.  I believe there is no alternate technology that would fulfill this criteria.
    I urge the CRTC to listen to the voice of the Canadian public and act in the best interest of the citizens of this great country, putting their voice ahead of the profit-hungry corporations.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:18 cm
  130. Please don't kill OTA! Many of us rely on it for our TV and will never switch to the archaic concept of a Cable TV subscription in any form (slim, fat, $20, $30, etc.)!

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:56 mark_aok
  131. I hope that the CRTC makes sure that we, consumers, do not end up paying more in the end than what we are paying now.    The bundling of channels helps lower costs but everyone ends with useless channels.   The pick and pay option shouild not cost more  than the packages.  For instance, if there are 50 channels in all the packages and someone selects 50 channles then the cost of picking the channels should not be more than the 50 channels in any bundling.  Also, all new TV,s are high definiotns; 1080p or higher but cable providers (and satelite) are charging extra for high definition.   High definition is  the new standard for watching TV. Therefore there should be no extra charge for what is normal everyday TV watching standard.   Yet cable providers have two charges;  one for non high definition and  another for high definition.    I request that CRTC makes sure that cable or satelite providers do pick conlsumers pockets in allowing the pick and pay option, and they should not be allowed to offer bundles, Flat rate per channel.   The companies are out to make money.   They are going to find new and inventive ways to make more money like charging hihger for equpment purchases or rentals, higher for insurance,,  higher rates for channels they call specialty .   The CRTC tried to help with Cell phone contracts but ended up costing consumers more for basic planes and for internet  on cell phones.   CRTC failed the public with cell phones don't faile the public with TV.  The goal of the hearing should be clear, allow pick and pay and not let cable or satelite providers pick our pockets.   Compnaies are inventive.  They will find new ways to charge more because that is their job; to make money.   I hope the CRTC does their job by not letting anyone to pcik our pockets.  Thank you 

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 10:01 monkie
  132. Thank you for the debate! It is very enlightening. But I have to comment on a remark of M. Blais that we live in a “Capitalist democracy”, when one of the panelists requested free access to the “skinny basic” package. In my view it was a worrisome statement. To get to my point, just let me explain how I see, the CRTC handled the BDUs and OTA television in the last 20 years:
    Phase 1: Back in the 80s and 90s the BDUs start their business: first cable then satellite. They offer to Canadians more choice than terrestrial TV and the American networks. In addition, new channels (movie, sports etc.). In contrast to satellite or cable services in other countries (Europe), the Canadian BDUs do not only provide access to their transponders but are also the gatekeepers (with the CRTC) of the programming. But in the early years this did not matter.  Packages were cheap, a market had to be conquered. In addition, CBC and Radio Canada and many private channels maintained a TV distribution network that in the case of the CBC amounted to more than 600 transmitters distributed around the country. Almost every Canadian had free access to the main networks (in both official languages)
    Phase 2: As the BDUs grow and more and more Canadians sign-up, so does regulation through the CRTC. There are must-carry policies in all provinces that try to assure equal access. And there is a new aspect. As the BDUs are the gatekeepers, they can be forced by CRTC licensing conditions to finance useful services for the community; CPAC, APTN, services for the impaired, funds for Canadian content, for local television etc. It seemed the best of the worlds. The CRTC has no own budget to fund these services and  the additional cost for the subscriber seemed, at the time, still affordable. The minorities, the Canadian producers, local stations and the impaired were more than happy to get better access and special services and started to depend on the steady flow of this income provided by the BDUs. There was a problem though: the CRTC started to depend on financing of the BDUs for its policies. In other words, without the BDUs there was no funding for the useful services for which nobody else would pay. In 1995 the CBC also tapped into this system. They created their news networks (Newsworld and RDI) just for the BDUs and through the “must carry” policies of the CRTC they got, for the first time, a new stream of income that had to be paid by all subscribers. These were the first Pay-TV channels of the public broadcaster (many others would follow). The BDUs knew, the more the CRTC relied on this financial stream for the regulatory policies, the better for the BDUs position in the TV market.
    Phase 3: In the early 2000s competition between the BDUs is still strong, good packages are affordable. The terrestrial digital TV system (ATSC) is created that would bring HDTV to Canadian homes. But unlike in the US the terrestrial broadcasters did not transition to terrestrial digital OTA in Canada. Meanwhile the transition to HDTV at the BDUs was in full swing and attracted more clients. Prices of the packages started to rise dramatically since then. Market penetration reached almost saturation levels. Now it was time for the CBC to pull the plug on OTA television. In 2011 the CBC requested from the CRTC the suspension of the broadcasting licence of their analogue transmitters without replacing them by digital ones. According to the CBC it was too expensive to replace the transmitters in the whole country and that viewership was near zero. Only in those cities where local programming was produced, digital OTA ATSC transmitters were installed otherwise the CBC would have lost the right to be carried by the BDUs. Large cities like London (Ont.) lost their CBC transmitter. The CRTC regretted the decision but basically said it could not force a broadcaster to keep an over-the-air network. As part of a deal with Shaw Communications Canadians could get free access to the lost OTA channels through a free “skinny basic” named LTSS. Even though receiver, installation and the local channels were free the program had limited success, mainly because it was not promoted. It took over three years to get the 31500 applications for the program and most subscribers immediately were driven into a “sweet deal” that offered them a nice package for 10 to 15$ a month for two years. Protests to the closure of the analogue network of the CBC seem also to have been limited.
    Phase 4: Once the CBC refused to promote digital OTA, the whole transition process came to a halt. In addition, the financial crisis and the rise of the internet put many local TV stations into financial difficulties. The “white knights” to “save” the networks (Global, CTV2 etc.) were the BDUs which gave them also the power to control terrestrial TV. In a last attempt to save digital OTA the CRTC forced the BDUs to transition their broadcast towers to digital as a condition for the purchase but it became clear that the CBC was not ready to expand its network and without them, there is no future for OTA in Canada. In addition, most BDUs with the CBC declared that the OTA business model was broken, a thing difficult to verify in their convoluted and opaque finances. Unlike in the United States, the OTA system is kept frozen up to now. The creation of OTA networks on sub-channels as proposed by one panelist is unlikely. Nobody, who knows about the distribution system in Canada, will invest in an OTA system controlled by the BDUs where the biggest player, the CBC, does everything to get out of it. I have the impression we are witnessing the funeral of OTA television. No other developed country is doing that.
    However, the transition in the biggest cities, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver went ahead with no loss of OTA channels. While prices of the BDUs were climbing people sought and found alternatives and found them in OTA television´s superb HD quality. With new choices over the internet, OTA has recently had a renaissance. This undermines the strategy of the CBC (and of the BDUs). They must pull the plug of OTA sooner rather than later in order to be able to become a Pay-TV to get the extra funding. In the Windsor to Montreal corridor tens if not hundreds of thousands have put new antennas on their rooftops. The CRTC now believes that about 6-8% of Canadians get their TV signal via OTA. This is a significant increase if compared to just three years ago. As a real choice of OTA signals only exists in the most populated areas we have to assume that in areas like Windsor, Toronto and Montreal OTA reception is hurting BDUs significantly. The outcry of Canadians, once the CBC shuts down the Toronto and Montreal signals will be heard loud and clear, I am sure about that.
    The CBC is bound to the broadcasting act. They have to deliver their signal to the people by cost effective means. Cost effective to whom? To the Crown Corporation or to the Canadian Taxpayer that provides the CBC with most of the funding? In their search to improve their revenue they not only outsource broadcasting but, in doing so, turn the CBC into a pay-tv channel and want effectively get a license (wholesale) fee from the BDUs. The CBC did not want to give any details during the hearings about the amount they hope to raise but we must assume the price tag should be in the hundreds of millions per year to offset the shortfall in advertising. As they are a “must carry” channel, the price tag will be billed to all subscribers. The “skinny basic” will balloon in price sooner rather than later. The CRTC (and the CBC) never contemplated other “cost effective” means to broadcast the CBC. Europe has a different model: The satellite company SES Astra for example offers only the satellite transponders. It has nothing to do with programming. The public and the private broadcasters lease the transponders on equal footing and then decide if they scramble their signals. Public broadcasters usually do not do that. (eg. Germany, Britain, France). The BDUs could be forced to make the signals of the CBC available free of charge and all Canadians would have access to the channel ( there is a precedent for that: The public “Knowledge” channel of BC is decodable on Shaw satellite systems even if there is no subscription to Shaw) or the CBC could lease transponders from the BDUs to broadcast its signals from coast to coast. The CRTC would only have to mandate that the BDUs provide that satellite space and make their encryption system available to those who do not want to sign-up with the BDU (copyringt US-Canada). But these possibilities are not explored by the CRTC as they would undermine the financial viability of the policies of the CRTC. The CRTC has created – in good faith, I believe – the regulatory net in which it is now trapped. The BDUs seem to outsmart the CRTC. The option of free CBC or “Skinny Basic”means less subsidies for the “goodies” the CRTC provides. The present situation with free OTA in the big cities is unfair towards those Canadians living in rural areas who have no access to OTA signals. In this environment an impartial decision taking by the CRTC seems difficult, if not impossible. 
    And now the remarks of M. Blais about “capitalist democracy” shine in a new light. He can argue that 90% of Canadians have signed-up to BDUs and like in a company with shareholders, they can force the minority to contribute their fare share to the system. Yes, for the financial dependence of the CRTC policies on the BDUs we seem to need “capitalist democracy”, “democracy” plain and simple does not seem to be enough any more.  But we should not fool ourselves. The results and choices that are offered today were not inevitable. In my opinion, the Broadcasting Act is at least violated in its spirit.  The decision if the CBC should be allowed to be turned into a Pay-TV channel should be left to Parliament Hill, not to the CRTC. Imagine the next federal elections and many Canadians do not see the ads of the parties because they do not want to pay to see them. Is this the path we, as a society, want to go with our publicly funded system?

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 12:10 Victor
  133. If over-the-air signals are tuned off, I suggest the CRTC retire the  BDU acronym and replace it with CDU (content distribution undertaking) since nobody will be broadcasting anymore.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 12:26 OTA ATSC
  134. 1) If the CRTC wishes to regulate online streaming services such as Netflix, Youtube, Amazon etc. they should classify these services separately from TV / Cable subscriptions. IP TV/Internet based streaming is an entirely different entity growing quickly amongst subscribers due to its apeal as a low cost option.
    While I understand the commission’s request to regulate these networks I believe the direction they are taking is archaeic and ultimately hurting consumers looking for low cost entertainment. This proposal if accepted seems to only benefit the already well-established cable networks such as Rogers, Bell, Shaw and Cogeco while adding additional costs to the Netflix, You tube subscribers, of which neither group will be able to use any funds contributed as they do not operate OTA or use the same networks.
    2) You require an ISP to utilize the available content from these providers. As an Internet subscriber you already pay ridiculously high fees for your bandwidth and service. How about focusing more on usage based billing. The BIG ISPs are already turning a profit on consumers streaming IP/Internet based TV since most do not have unlimited packages and cap their subscribers with very low Bandwidth capabilities while charging mile high per MB/GB rates.
    The bottom line is consumers will always find a way to cheat the system seeing as so many online streaming options are available. Categorizing the above mentioned services under a new mandate will allow consumers to openly accept the CRTCs attempts to regulate the networks. Play fair, don't mess with Net Neutrality (which is what I feel is being done by trying to mandate online streaming services), and don’t lump in the new and improved methods of delivering low cost entertainment to consumers with Cable Network Providers. Stop allowing the Telecom Giants to monopolize the CRTCs decisions!

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 12:42 Motoko
    1. Furthermore, please don't regulate OTT services to such a point that additional services/companies who are possibly looking to come to Canada will now disregard Canada as a viable market. Let's create opportunities for all, not penalize those who are finding success in Canada.

      Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 15:36 Consumer

    2. Reclassifying the Internet will never work. They are trying to do it in the US right now and are facing the biggest backlash ever with people from all over the world flooding the FCC's website and phone lines. The issue will certainly end up in Congress. If the CRTC dares to go down that path they can expect the same kind of popular reaction and they know it well.

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 02:51 JF Bérubé

  135. I would also like to thank the CRTC for enabling the public to really have a voice here. I just hope we are heard. I want to ensure that the CRTC and BDU's understand my view as a consumer and what I think about when considering new services. If you really don't understand how we, as families, make these decisions, how will you really be able to offer something competitve? 
    I had to ask myself a question earlier this year. At what point did the value of "televsion" entertainment to a point where I can no longer justify the monthly fees? The answer was fairly easy. With quality shows being spread out over multiple channels (in different packages), my monthly cost (incl. Internet fees) was close to exceeding $200 a month.
    I believe that broadcasting or the televsion medium can no longer be discussed as an independant issue. Viable and affordable access to the Internet alongside broadcasting is a MUST.
    While my son enjoys the full benefit of Netflix, due to Shaw's internet usage caps, my wife and I can't accomodate anything but sparse usage of the service. I can't even consider getting NHL Gamecenter as I would have to also increase my internet plan to the next level up. The combined extra monthly cost equates to almost $50. If I could, I'd be screaming at the BDU's to offer more reasonable internet packages to allow people to actually use these packages along with OTT services. And yet, they seem to be happy protecting the status quo.
    In my family, a PVR is a necessity as children always take priortiy and sitting down for a full show is almost an impossibility. When I crunched the numbers for the shows I watched, it was turning out to be about $2.50 an episode. For example, 10 episodes of Orphan Black cost me $25.00 for a 3 onth run. That cost is slightly more than 25% of what Netflix will cost me in one year. It's not the channel I care about, it's the show. If the channels were consolidated an offered more than one decent show, the cost per episode would shrink, but sadly, the bundles are set in a such a way that good content is spread out. I am cord shaver as I cannot fully access the local channel I want with OTA. (As a side note, I didn't know that OTA was still available until started researching viable alternatives.
    As noted, I supplement my minimal traditional viewing with an OTT provider (Netflix) and the occasional use of iTunes. Has Shaw suffered in any way at all by me dropping pre-packaged bundles and going with Netflix? I don';t believe so as I doubled the cost I pay for Internet access to ensure I had the proper speed and bandwidth to handle my families OTT wants. To be clear, Netflix isn't just $7.99 a month. I have to add the additional cost of the Internet plan.
    My current paln has a monthly cap of 250GB for $60. That equates to $0.24 per GB. A 2 hr HD movie over an OTT provider equates to roughly 4GB. Looking at other available Shaw plan, I can see the cost per GB as low as 12.5 cents (higher usage caps but the plan is cost prohibitive). As I average 210 GB per month since signing up with Netflix and 90% of the watched content is children's programming, my Internet cost could be reduced by a significant amount if I could receive the 12.5 cent per GB without giving up a body part for payment.
    Why would I even consider Showmi to compliment my regular viewing if my current internet plans are, imo, restrictive enough that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the availble content?
    So, instead of trying to attack what you fear, embrace the competition and actually do something valuable for your customers. I don't want 300 channels so I can possible find a few hours of quality programming. I want quality programming that's affordable. You might find that when quality programming for a resonable price is available, people will subscribe.
    Just look at Netflix. In one year (excl. Intenet fees), I won't even spend $100 for access to their library and new content on my schedule. With Shaw, that will only take 3 months with the cheapest plan available and for much less content. Netflix gives me the viewing experience I want. Lots of content, ease of show discoverability (I'm now hooked on Weeds), add free, and I can return to the show exactly where I left off when interuppted.
    Traditional broadcasting gives me the following: access to new shows every season, a chedule that I have to adapt to (unluss I spend money on required equipment), 15 minutes of commercial every hour, commercial overlays during the show I watch, and I run the risk of missing final moments of a show due to sim-sub.
    I agree with Reed Hastings and the term "managed dissatisfaction" with the current broadcasting model. Years ago, like many others, I got hooked on the show Lost. At one point, it was almost 3 monthe between new episodes. I never watched another episode. That was when I started to question the existing system and what I was actuall paying for.
    Netflix hasn't just opened the door to a new way to experience entertainment, they kicked the door right of the hinges.
    Btw, I am a proud Canadian and believe that Canadian content is good enought to stand on its own. I am a fan of Rookie Blue and Orphan Black, If you constatly act afraid of 'the big bad wolf' and you offer tnothing of substance to compete, you deserved to be surpassed by a better valued product.
    Ugh..didn't mean to drone on, but I wonder if the media companies and the CRTC actually care. If anyone is actually listening, please ensure that the BDU's keep existing plans in place when developing skinny basic or whatever as I truly don't believe those options will solve the current mess.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 13:56 Consumer
  136. Apologies to all for the spelling issues in my previous post. Had to quickly retype during a small time window...

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 14:09 Consumer
  137. Wow, Ethnic Channels Brought up the CRTC as Copyright Cops, Internet blocking, and more.

    What I saw was the ethnic channels complaining of piracy. Internet piracy. Maybe, by virtue of their message it could also mean people can't afford traditional TV methods of obtaining their content?

    Why don't they offer an OTT service at reduced cost? Or do they? Or is the bandwidth usage costs too much for both the end-user and the programmer (while Bell tries to offer lowers costs for their own content as shown in the Klass part-1 filing)? Have the big players over-protected their BDU service with over-inflated TV/internet/mobile usage costs?

    I only caught the last few interveners in today’s hearings (ie. ethic channels) before it broke for lunch and after lunch. But, the few I did see seemed to be carrying the exact same message. They want the CRTC to block internet content, or certain OTT content, to secure their business model, and perhaps protect the Big Players exaggerated costs.

    In other words, what I saw today were the representatives of these ethnic channels asking the CRTC to be their copyright cops, copyright enforcement muscle, business model security arm, and to also be judge, jury, and executioner for their internet blocking agenda.

    The above reminded me of when Telus put in a filter to block Telus customers from accessing the Telus union website, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telus#Labour_dispute. It also reminded me of when the Canadian Jewish Congress wanted the CRTC to force the blocking of certain websites in Canada that originate from the U.S., http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2006/8646/p49_200610510.htm. Needless to say, it also reminded me of the traffic management & Neutrality rulings in addition to all the data these BDU's (and VI companies) want to collect on people via the STB and via the likes of the Bell's Relevant Ad Program.

    I also find it funny how Teksavvy can be out of scope on some issues. Mainly because there is a convergence of Telecom and Broadcasting, as we can plainly see with what the ethnic programmers brought up. Yet here we find no one telling the ethnic channel players they are out of scope while they are proposing the blocking of internet content that can be streamed to people's (smart-)TV's as they ask the CRTC to be the internet content regulators. At least I didn't notice anyone telling them they are out of scope (I missed some of todays hearings) and put an end to their speeches.

    I may be mistaken, but I recall reading in the media about how this broadcasting shuffle could lead to the failure of some stations. If/when some stations begin to fail will they be blaming the end-user and try to go after the end-user because they have been priced out, and then blame it all on the end-user who stream content from China, Russia, India or other?
    ==========
     
    1. It “seems” the methods of sending content to Canadians are over-priced by any delivery method traditional or OTT (including wireless, TV, or net).
     
    2. Ethnic channels are blaming the end-users pirating.
     
    3. Ethic channels want the CRTC to protect the business model with enforcement (be it going after the end user, or by internet blocking, or other).

    4. Their failure is not being put on their ability to give content via OTT or traditional methods within costs that people can afford, but rather they blame the end-user using pirated content.

    I find myself agreeing with the Quebec Consumers Union more and more. Affordability. A skinny Basic that is worth 10 to 15$ at most as they explained.

    I have a TV and STB in each room of this house, not to mention internet, and all the mobile/cell devices. Price increases for these services far exceed the wage increases of mom and pop (not to mention increases of electricity, food, school, transport, various taxes, school taxes and so on). All these increase. Yearly wage increase isn’t there to match.

    Imagine someone at minimum wage, or a single parent family, or a kid working part time while going to school or other.
     
    Can much of the ethnic channels argument of piracy (the common denominator) also be due to the big players sucking all disposable income possible, and the over-inflated prices they have as they control all of the pipes?
     
    I haven't seen the ethnic channels argue the affordability for Canadians to get their content via an end-users method of choice (traditional, wireless, landline). They just blame piracy and want to either go after the end-user, or have the CRTC go after (or block) internet sites.
     
    Personally, I think the Klass part-1 filing shows how the big players priced themselves out of properly competing and delivering affordable content by any method. Not just wireless.
     
    Protectionism and predatory practices.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 15:28 Marc
  138. Thank you for the opportunity to make a comment, although I realize it is late in the hearing game.  Our family had to make a change in how we watch TV.  Over the years since the TV digital change came into effect, we watched OTA TV, and were very happy with what we were watching.  The reason we went with OTA, was because we were sick and tired of the repeated and not worth watching programming on cable TV.  We left our detached home and moved into a twonhouse complex, where there is a ban on antennas and satellite dishes.  Did not make me a happy camper, but that's the rules.  There could be a challenge there on freedom of rights, and archaic townhouse rules, but that's another story.  Where we now live it's either Rogers or Bell, and neither one is any better than the other.  It costs a bundle for either one, and the programming, in plain englilsh, sucks!!  Bell claims they are giving thier customers fiber optic service, and that's just not totally true.  It may be fiber optic in their own faciilty, but it's still coper wire wire into customers homes.  There is the claim of hundreds of channels, but if they were to have to eliminate all the doubled up channels, the numbers would be far less.  There has to be some form of control on what and how they advertise their services.  Internet is no better, and it's still turtle slow, for what they are charging.  Do not get rid of the local TV service, as that would be a total disservice to the Canadian public interest.  Bell, Rogers, and the rest of the service providers have to get real, and understand customers cannot afford their constantly increasing price base, for the services they are not providing, and offering lame excuses when people actually complain to them.  We cannot go on paying to make their stock holders happy.  WE need, and must have, a better method of choice, meaning lower pricing, for theTV we watch.  Plain and simple, the providers have run the gamit, and Canadians are sick and tired of being gouged, for what used to be free to air TV. 

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 17:46 claudeont
  139. I believe Canadians should have more channels available with the basic cable package esp. channels linked to CBC like the documentary ch.
    All news channels like CNN and CNBC should be included in the basic cable package instead of the $10 package because I get 90% of my news online, this would benefit both sides.
    Pick and pay is also important but without a high fee increase, I would like BET but it is too expensive now as a a-la-carte opiton with Shaw cable.
    With more content online, there should be more channels available with the basic cable package. All Canadian channels should be on the basic cable packge for $40/ month including Channels with Apps. including US and international.
     
    Thank you
    vdogg33
     
     

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 19:37 vdogg33
  140. Dear CRTC my understanding is you the regulator is working in the intrest of the citizens of this great country.  My family has been using "Over The Air " TV reception for over 5 years.  The wife and I have now been on a tight budget & can't justify paying for bundled packages and high cable fees.  
    We rely on OTA for our local news and local programing.  We rely on the CBC and TVO for their excellent documentries and Canadian programing.  
    When I look around my neighborhood I see more and more people erecting UHF antennas as they are discovering that we can receive around 26 digital channels with excellent picture quality.  
    Please don't abandon the OTA broadcast as a lot of us rely on this medium.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 19:57 jeff
  141. Regardless of what the big monopolies (Rogers, Bell, Shaw, etc.) say about the matter, the CRTC must listen to regular everyday Canadians regarding all of these issues. We're the ones who choose when, where and how we watch TV -- not the big executives at Rogers or Bell. The monopoly and lack of competition amongst BDUs and Canadian TV Providers must come to an end.
    Channels must be offered on a "Pick and Pay" basis. Simultaneous Substitution MUST BE ELIMINATED.
    As regular viewers of television, we all need to stand up and support these measures. The status quo will not cut it. That's why these hearings are taking place -- because we as Canadians are tired of how the system works and we demand change. We have to stop letting the big monopolies dictate to us how much we have to pay in order to get the channels we want, or having to put up with simultaneous substitution, a practice which is all but useless nowadays, especially with the Internet and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 02:49 DialgaChampion
  142. To get one last comment in, the Commission needs to pay close attention to the presentation made by Gregory Taylor (int. #2,077), specifically in regards to creating a skinny basic package that offers services in the public interest and is available over-the-air through digital multiplexing – a technology that the CRTC is long overdue in properly exploring and mandating.
    Not only is it essential for the CRTC to 100% maintain current rules for over-the-air broadcasting, an additional hearing needs be held in the very near future to explore OTA television and the possibilities for expanding the technology that lie in multiplexing. In the UK and Australia, elaborate multiplexing systems are setup between digital transmitters in order to deliver dozens of channels to the public through Freeview systems. While it may be difficult to do something on the same scale in Canada, a similar system can at least be set up with the proposed “skinny basic” and standardized through most parts of the country. There is no reason why Canadians should be forced to pay for the essential services that it offers.
    I honestly believe that over-the-air broadcasting will outlive cable and satellite providers in most countries, and as such it is vitally important that Canadian broadcasters (including the CBC) not be allowed to squander this important technological resource.
     
    If you’re not aware of how Freeview systems work, you can read about them here: http://www.freeview.co.uk/

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 04:27 jbetteridge
  143. OTA may be a relatively small sector of the tv market but it is democratcally, socially, economically and historically significant to the citizens of Canada. It permits a sizeable numer of people access to the airwaves and programming that otherwise may not be the case. It allows at least a minimal level playing field for those without the means - physical, financial, technical -  to enjoy the educational and entertainment benefits of perhaps the most prevalent of all mass media. OTA provides all Canadians with some connection to the rest of the country and the global community. It needs to remain an option in the country's media 'picture'.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 08:57 markl
  144. I agree with many others on this forum - the CRTC should maintain OTA broadcasts as a free option to access local Canadian TV content, particularly for low-income Canadians. Large telecommunication companies can surely afford to keep the transmitters operating.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 09:00 Channel 1
  145. Netflix is not at all convincing as far as the popularity of cancon is concerned. Confidential information is only a way of telling us that cancon is crap they feel they have to make available to please the industry and a good ecxcuse to be a bit more expensive in this country. In fact, that is one reason why I cancelled my subscription.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 09:46 JF Bérubé
    1. In fact, in this regard, the traditional broadcast and cable systems at least have Numeris as a measurement method. I understand no such thing exists for OTT and Netflix doesn't really have an interest in providing such data or have it measured in any way.

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 10:10 JF Bérubé

  146. Before this board is closed for comments, I want to add that it will be a grave mistake to cancel OTA services that are avaiable to Canadians. I don't think the CRTC realizes how many Canadians use OTA in one form or another. I also think that therr are many OTA users who are not aware that this services is in jeoprady of being cancelled. There has been no coverage on the TV networks that I have seen and if not for the webboard on Digital Forum, I would not have known about this either

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 09:55 Rob57
  147. Thumbs up to Mr. Chairman Blais in regards to the Netflix hearing

    1. He brought the hammer down stating Netflix will respect the instituions order and submit the data requested of them. Both Netflix and Google annoyed me on the confidentiality points as they take sensitive information of millions of people. Though I wonder what happens if they don't submit.

    2. For bringing up privacy, which she had no clue about. I would like to know how all the data is being used, and given to whom.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 10:16 Marc
    1. And what about a possible STB Data based-measurement system?

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 11:44 Consumer

      1. Consumer said:
        "And what about a possible STB Data based-measurement system?"

        I'm not sure I fully understand your Question, or if it's even aimed at me, but like stated in the previous topic on STB's, we all should know the full extent of the data being taken, who it's shared with, where the data is going and being stored, do they have the *proper* consent to use it in ways they are currently or proposing to use the data, and everything else that falls within scope of this.

        In addition, just by the name of what the CRTC and the industry groups call this, "ENHANCED stb users data", the point is raised about how they will take your netflix info (or even netflix's info) from the STB.

        *ENHANCED* data coming from an STB, as the american company stated the other day, will include what buttons you press on a remote (pause for example, and know you went to pee). Thus it's pretty easy to say they will indeed compile and steal any and all info w/o proper consent from a 3rd party OTT service such as netflix (ie the netflix app running on the STB). You clicked on Netflix, or a youporn app? They will collect this info.

        It may even include data polling from your (smart-)TV's memory. Such as the titles on that USB key you inserted in the (smart-)TV or STB.

        Big issues here. Big idea's from the industry and the CRTC, and nothing public. Keep in ming, this is *enhanced data*.

        In regards to Netflix, the same has to apply. People have a right to know, and proper knowledge and consent is required. Thus I fully stand behind Chairman Blais' questions on PIPEDA. This has to be known not only by them, but by the public. It has to be looked at. After-all the CRTC has the obligation to protect, enhance protection, and play a role in proper meaningful protections. Not enhance revenue to these data thieves.

        So far, in regards to STB and this enhanced data, it is all hidden from the public. Even the "fact-finding" study conducted by the vp, chair of broadcating is held in secrecy. I contacted the CRTC to get my hands on his "fact-finding exercise" the reply I got is less than 30-minutes ago is:

        "there is no published document for the fact finding exercise".
        (direct quote I have in the Email)

        So they have no plans of sharing what the tax payer paid for. And are not sharing anything with the public that is all about the use of the public's private and sensitive info.

        I guess an arguement could be made that Netflix should follow the CRTC's example and do the same. Share nothng about how/what/why peoples information is used.

        Friday, September 19, 2014 - 12:42 Marc

        1. Great clarity on the STB and enhanced data. Thank you. Trying to watch every session over a 2 week period gets difficult and I felt that Netflix was targeted unfairly this morning. I just got the sense that an uneven playing field was developing.
          I greatly your appreciate comments. Maybe we all take privacy a little too lightly and should more concerned.

          Friday, September 19, 2014 - 15:04 Consumer

          1. Hey Consumer,

            I watched what I could as well, but I have more of a leaning towards the privacy issues in all this. And I know I likely missed a lot.

            Netflix was in no way taregted unfairly this morning. At all. Nor was google the other week.

            The CRTC needs info, needs objective evidence, needs proof to back up what the players are stating. Without proof it's all lip-service.

            I even find myself ranting against the CRTC at times (more often than not), but when a foreign entity operating in Canada won't even give basic information to the CRTC because they want to lock the CRTC into some sort of unheard of secrery pact (like what Netflix tried to pull this morning), then I have to back up the Chair. Netflix, in many ways, tried to tell the CRTC that they are the boss, not them.

            A good read of what actually went down this morning can be found here (minus what people in the twitterverse think they know):
            https://dwmw.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/no-regulatory-cherry-picking-allowed-the-crtc-vs-netflix-clash-the-talktv-hearing/

            Privacy wise, I do believe netflix aready ran afoul with some things a few years back by publically showing what films you have watched to your facebook friends (or similar). This would/should go against Canadian privacy laws. So would the use of certain account information, and what they may share with others.

            Privacy wise, netflix stated (as all the big telco's do), "We take privacy seriously". Well, the CRTC asked them to prove it by showing how all our data is being used (and by who). This is indeed the proper thing to do.

            What Netflix also showed (and even stated) was that they take their own privacy more seriously than that of their customers by butting heads with Chairman Blais.

            But yeah, whatever they decide on STB's is worth looking at very critically. Something for you to keep your eyes on. ;)

            Friday, September 19, 2014 - 15:30 Marc

    2. They do not have a don't like button to your statement about the demands of the CRTC of Netflix to hand over their business information. Who do CRTC think they are. I already see them as bullies and Canadian Media snobs who always think they can order the conscience and conversations as well as our television viewing wants about, but this is a joke. The snobbery and arrogance of the CRTC is for your pleasure only and I certainly would hit the don't like button if they were allowed to put it on. Political correctness forces me to inform you of my digression from Orwells 1984 -"you have to say and do as we think and you shall be destroyed if you think otherwise attitude" I definitely don't like what you said!

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 15:57 melogardener

      1. melogardener said:
        "I definitely don't like what you said!"

        Hi MeloGardener,

        Feel free to dislike whatever you want. Fact of the matter is you have no grasp or understanding of what went down today. You are following the made-up hype (and a lot of this hype is actually the harper ministers playing you if we look at their tweets).

        Feel free to "dislike what I said". Feel free listen to the hype and the kids on the twitterverse (and the harper manipulators trying to play you for a vote by tweeting about netflix taxes and netflix regualtions).

        Or, you can actually re-listen to what was said. The video's are on CPAC.
        http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/cpac-special/episodes/35620446/
        http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/cpac-special/episodes/35621010/

        The only "snobbery and arrogance" (your words) came from Netflix and Google (and harper ministers playing everyone). You may want to review this and actually look at it.

        Friday, September 19, 2014 - 18:13 Marc

  148. <p>I am very disturbed to learn that consideration is being given to stop OTA broadcasting! I currently am a cable subscriber, but I am not oblivious to those people who live on fixed incomes and cannot afford cable. These are people who cannot speak for themselves, as they probably cannot afford internet or newspapers either. They are unaware of these proceedings/process and are not able to voice their opinions. They rely on OTA to get local news/broadcasting. In this day and age, we are too dependent on digital technology, and we forget that there are people who do not have the resources. We need to be cognizant to the needs of others and stop living with blinders on, only thinking of ourselves. We are a society, and as such, we are suppose to be considerate of others in our communities, regardless of income/resources.</p>

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 11:44 salbertarose
  149. I find it absolutely shocking that Mr.Blais would order Netflix to hand over Canadian data information. Netflix is based in the U.S and has millions of satisfied Canadian subscribers. It doesn't even have a Canadian office. I hope Netflix does not comply with this data request because the CRTC has not ruled out if it would make this data public or disclose it to someone else if they get their hands on it.
    CRTC, in my view has absolutely no right to tell Netflix what they can or cannot do. Don't try to fix what isn't broken.
    CRTC should focus their energy on the anti competitive practices of Bell, Rogers & Telus instead.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 12:27 twentyfirstcenturyinternetuser
    1. Hi twentyfirstcenturyinternetuser,

      you said:
      "I find it absolutely shocking that Mr.Blais would order Netflix to hand over Canadian data information."

      He didn't. He asked how the data is being used. Where it's being held, and if they are complying with Canadian privacy laws. Netflix is to submit how this is done in compliance with Canadian law which does indeed apply to them.

      These are the rights for all of us to ask, and Chairman Blais spoke for many of us in asking this. There is absolutley nothing shocking here. He did not ask for the data on all Canadians that they have. Just how it's being used and if they are in compliance with Canadian law.

      This information is not confidential and should even be right on the Netflix website for you to know about and see.

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 14:35 Marc

  150. Like many government organizations, the CRTC has inserted itself into areas it should not, and neglected areas that should be its primary focus.

    Specifically, The CRTC should not be involved in determining what Canadians can view and cannot view, and how much they should be paying for that viewing. The presence of bundled services should not be mandated, and where the cable and satellite providers chose to offer them, their content should not be dictated by the CRTC. This would mean the end of obligatory Canadian Content and OTA services, but if these things are desired by sufficient numbers of Canadians, and they are given the opportunity to choose them in a free market, then they will not disappear.

    It is important that Canadians have the opportunity to view any programming of their choice, especially news and information programming, unaffected by government manipulations of those choices. Relegating various news and information networks to differing levels of access and pricing, as is happening now, is anathema to the concepts of free-speech and free-choice, and an insult to large numbers of Canadians.

    It is equally important that service and program providers also have full opportunities to provide the products that Canadians choose, and that such offerings are not effected by government influence. These choices and opportunities are the bedrock of a free and democratic society.

    Where the CRTC has a duty to Canadians is ensuring that the programming provisions of a free market are kept competitive and free of unfair manipulations by the service providers, acting alone or in concert. The CRTC must have investigative authority and enforcement power to ensure that competition between the providers is genuine, and that all Canadians have a genuine choice as to their provider. The CRTC must ensure that all transactions, whether by contract or by marketing, between Canadian service consumers and the providers are honest, unambiguous, clear and concise.

    In short, the CRTC must be dedicated to freedom for both Canadian consumers and programming providers. Freedom of opportunity, freedom from coercion, freedom from deceit and, most of all, freedom of choice.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 12:43 MSCole
  151. There is no reason what so ever that the crtc needs to regulate canadian internet. The internet is freedom the crtc control. I live in a free country and should not be told what i can and can't watch. We are not like china and our internet should not be monitored and controlled. If If I want to watch all american movies and shows i should be able to do so as i like. Do not control my netflix or youtube. you will kill in in this country and leave us with nothing to watch. Stop giving into the big three corporations and do what is right for canadians. We want total freedom and the ability to choose what we want. Canadians have been spoon fed for too long and we finally get the opportunity to choose a different method in television viewing and now were being told that it doesn't have enough canadian content. A majority of canadians do no care what is canadian content, they want the option for good television with a budget, not mediocre canadian content. 
    If there are any regulations or package channels i have to subscribe to in the pay per channel option it is clearly not a pay per channel option. I should have the option to pay for the channel i want and nothing else. I do agree that some channels will fade and will not have the support they need. But businees is business and if it doesn't have enough views or subscribers it shouldn't be held up by another channel. I don't want to see outrageous prices for pay per channel, there is no reason for me to pay more then 5 bucks a channel. If the price is inflated to support the less watched channels then it is clearly not pay per channel system. 
    If the pay per channel system is adopted I strongly recomend a review 6 month after they system is brought in to address possible high prices, or adjustments to the program. 
    This could be a huge step for canadian if it is done properly and for canadians. But if this is done to make big companies richer, and ignore the wants of canadians, it will be a complete failure and might possibly be the end of television in canada

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:00 sturbs87
    1. Wow! You have said what everyone I know has said for years. I resent the fact I am forced in Canada to pay a double whammie in taxes for creating Canadian Television and the absurd CRTC as well as basic cable fees for Canadian programming I dislike and dispise because of its' liberalist propaganda engine built into all of its broadcasting. I do not have the freedom if I cannot afford to pay first for what I want but must pay first for what the Canadian broadcasting insists I must first want what they want me to watch. I am in the process of eliminating Canadian television because of this and utilizing Netflix and internet just as all our children and their friends are doing. The CRTC and Canadian Broadcasting at all levels is a liberalist propaganda machine who is trying to entrench itself in our very thinking processes as well as our pocket books for which I disdain them for and refuse to be part of. That is why cable tv is on the way out! Greed!

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:11 melogardener

  152. What Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Guiton of CBC fail to realize is that over-the-air viewers are some of CBC's most loyal viewers.   They don't have a 500 channel universe cable viewers have.   Broadcasters have complained about audience fragmentation for years - that's a disease cable caused.
    Nobody subscribes to cable in order to get CBC, and shutting down over-the-air service won't change that.   People would rather live without.   Furthermore, there is already a segment of the population what wants to kill the CBC.   Disenfranchised over-the-air viewers would add impetus to this movement.  

    Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Guiton, you better be careful for what you wish for.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:09 OTA ATSC
  153. CRTC: "That's a heck of an answer for someone who takes, perhaps, hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Candian economy."
     
    Perhaps the CRTC should be  a little more sensitive to the wants of Candian consumers. Netflix provides a value that Canadian consumers are willing to pay. I'm pretty sure that canadian consumers also give their dollars to other US-based firms because of the value they offer. Should those successful firms be prepared to subsidize poorly performing Canadian counterparts?
    I was hoping for more from the CRTC today.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:36 Consumer
  154. As a consumer I want to be able to choice the service, provider and content that I want.  I can't have that if the CRTC over regulates the TV and internet market.  Currently our service providers control the playing field.  They are too expensive and provide poor customer service.  I'm tired of paying for content I don't need or want.  I currently get hundreds of channels of content of which I don't need 90% of.  Services like Netflix allow me to watch the same content as provided by the large cable and telephone companies at a fraction of the cost without the bundled redundancy. 
    I plan to cancel my TV service and get an HD antenna and switch to online TV viewing.  This is becoming the trend with the viewing public.  As long as Cable and Telephone companies control content distribution it will be impossible to progress and evolve and to have a competitive system of content distribution. 
    As technology changes so must the services providers, the content provided and the laws regulating these new technologies. You cannot impose archaic protectionist philosophies on the public to booster poor content and call it Canadian content.   With internet come freedom of choice and the accessibility of unlimited content.  We no longer need to finance content that is not capable of surviving in a free market system.  We no longer need to support fringe programing for small groups of people.
    Do not allow Canadian media and internet to be monopolized by a few companies.  The system must remain open to competition and choice.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:36 Doc Rak
  155.  
    I believe that local stations should not be allowed to shut down their over the air transmitters.

    Over the air broadcasting (OTA) provides an alternative to the BDUs. Canadians that want a low cost solution with HD quality can choose this option without having to pay monthly fees or fees for equipment rental.

    OTA is a cost savings alternative for people on fixed incomes, such as seniors and others that do not have the disposable income to pay the BDUs. Stopping over the air broadcasting would remove an option currently available and history has shown that reducing consumer choice typically leads to higher costs for consumers.

    It was stated that this is a cost savings strategy for broadcasters, I wondering what independent research has been done to quantify the "cost savings" and if other alternatives have been looked at, which may produce some savings, without impacting a percentage of the population that does not want to support the BDUs.

    I find it ironic that since most of the broadcasters are owned by or affiliated with one of the large BDUs, not only would stopping OTA contribute to "cost savings", it would also increase revenue for the BDUs.

    It has been mentioned that  in place of OTA the BDUs would offer a package that included local stations for a price in the range of $20 to $30. On the surface, this would appear to be low price however, when you factor in digital box rentals and HST, this in not a low price solution. Additionally, history has shown that BDUs typically increase prices every year- what would become of this low priced package after a few years?

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:38 BobC
  156. The last thing I need this the idiots at the CRTC to tell me what I have to watch.  The CRTC needs to go away, what is this the third reich?  You're a dinosaur and you need to die.  Quit shoving your crap down our throats.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:55 calvin114
  157. The CRTC want to kill you tube and neflix to aid their buddies at the cable companies.  Want their big donations at election time.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:58 calvin114
  158. During the presentations in Gatineau last past 2 weeks, it became obvious that many of the CRTC commissioners are not well versed on the over-the-air landscape in Canada today.   I can only imagine what that means for others that work at the commssion.
     
    - one commissioner appeared very surprised that CBC is already off the airwaves in Canada's 10th largest city, London ON
    - others seems confused with the concept of a digital subchannel and the possibilities for broadcasters to provide additional content or for multiple broadcasters to share a single transmitter.   A large number of US broadcasters are already doing this - this is not anything untried and untested.
    - another appeared to think a TV antenna was either 1960s rabbit ears or the monstrous outdoor antennas from yesteryear that had to be big to receive the longer waved VHF-lo frequencies.   Many new products have appeared as digital television arrived (by the way, most broadcasters use UHF channels which only require a much smaller antenna)
    - nobody seemed too concerned that OTA usage data is mostly about a decade old and pre-dates the availability of digital transmitters, HDTV, and the whole cord-cutting concept
     
    Please CRTC, in rendering your decision, please familiarize yourselves with what's really going on in our country and not just take Bell's or  CBC's, etc. word for it.
     

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 14:03 MikeToronto
  159. As a soon to be Canadian senior citizen I am so very concerned with the autocratic not democratic direction this country is moving towards. The CRTC which I and other canadians pay for should be serving us. This clearly is not what is happening. My home and my choice of what to watch on TV or internet is none of the government's business. It is time to let free markets decide and this means the CRTC should not even dictate basic service or canadian content.  If canadians aren't choosing canadian content then 'the market' is saying something and attention should be paid to this. The government with it's "tax credit' terminology should be saying 'we are taking money from canadians to pay for canadian media so we can control what is produced and what is watched'. Smacks of how business is done in the communist republic of china. So I say to the government & CRTC 'Back Off', you may just be surprised how Canada does once dictatorship is removed and canadians can not only choose and pay for what they want but also the media may just surpise you with what they can do on their own. Of course we all must realize that in order to change the mandate of the CRTC the Broadcasting Act of Canada would require a re-do! From the Broadcasting Act:

    Broadcasting Policy for Canada
    Marginal note:Declaration

        3. (1) It is hereby declared as the broadcasting policy for Canada that

            (a) the Canadian broadcasting system shall be effectively owned and controlled by Canadians;

    It should state ' ...... controlled by a select few Canadians' because the citizens of Canada certainly have no say! Try a referendum and see what the results would be.  Time for 'Quotas' or Canadian content rules to be completely removed and let the free canadian market move us into the global world we now live.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 15:34 Eljay
  160. Our TV system is state of the art. If we were still living inthe 1960s.  Years ago, it was impossible for BDU's to offer pick and pay options without sending a technican up a pole in your neighbourhood. Today, all a customer service representative needs to do is click a box in your profile and refresh your receivers and your programming changes are nearly automatic.  Pick and  pay is a very viable option.
    I disagree with the notion that pick and pay availability will hurt local TV stations. The only thing hurting local TV stations are the stations themselves. The content these stations offer is for the most part, garbage.  During the day, people do not want to watch Marilyn Denis.  The content is of low quality so it does not entice people to watch local Canadian TV channels.
    I give you the example of CHCH in Hamilton. A few short years ago, they were struggling to stay on air. They were losing money rapdily. New owners bought the station and changed the format. All news during the day. Local news being the emphasis. They increased the quality of the product and guess what- their ratings increased. With a ratings increase naturally a revenue increase is not far behind. If we are worried about local Canadian stations going dark, perhaps we should increase the emphasis on having them air quality, watchable TV?
    I also find the rates that the BDU's charge to be exhorbitant. I pay 72 dollars a month and I have the "better" package from BCE. That gives me 253 channels. Of these 253 channels I only watch the following with any regularlity : CHCH,CTV,NBC,Fox, CBS, ABC, City ,CBC for 3 hours each Saturday night ( that will likely change in 2016 with RSN movies HNIC off of CBC),TSN 1-5 and the Sportsnet Family of channels.  Sprinkle in some CNN, Discovery and Natgeo occasionally.  Of the above mentioned channels, all but cable specality channels are available for free over the air in uncompressed HD. Why am I paying hundreds of dollars a year for channels to be included in a package when I can stick a coat hanger on my roof and get a better picture for free?
    Also, for far less money then I pay Bell each year, I can get the NFL streaming package for 280, the Amercian version of NHL game center for 99, MLB extra innings for 200, and the NBA package for about the same price. There you have it. I can get my Canadian, and American major networks OTA for free and my sports packages via the internet for less money than I pay Bell each year.  It would seem to be like the TV landscape in this country is shifting. The problem is BDU's are making far too much money to embrace the change and the CRTC is permitted their gauging ways to continue.
    The packages BDU's offer are out dated and over priced. Why am I forced to pay for channels I will never watch? The Canadian TV model is like going to the grocery store and being forced to buy Pepsi, even though you only ever drink Coca-Cola.
     
    If you want to save local TV stations, make them more enjoyable to watch.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:06 griffin
  161. I note in your hearings that some industry members are requesting that digital broadcasts of local TV be eliminated, or somehow paid for with subscriber fees.
    We have a digital antenna and enjoy the local channels: mostly news, and some shows like nature shows; and TVO. We do stream specialty videos but pay high fees for high-speed Internet; isn't that what it's for, in addition to Internet browsing and email etc?
    The Canadian content we enjoy is provided by these local stations and of course by radio - we listen to CBC 1 and 2 and somethimes other stations. We also listen to CBC - with lots of other stations - on satellite radio when on the road. This over-the-air transmission is historic, and local TV (and radio) broadcast was the original means by which these programs were distributed to Canadians.
    We have no trouble with advertising as a means to (partially at least) pay for these services, and I note that CBC-2 is experimenting with this model every now and then, despite huge federal financing. It's OK, provided they adopt some tasteful ways to do this, perhaps in the model and style of NPR in the US, where they often say "this program is provided by...." and name names, descriptions of service, and websites of the sponsors. CBC TV of course has full ads running, and certainly this is the traditional and standard way to pay for this service; surely the overall "viewership" of CBC TV forms the basis of their ad rates and support, whether the viewers are cable/fibe subscribers or digital antenna users.
    We therefore stongly object to any suggestion of cutting off the local TV signals because the providers somehow now cannot afford it (meaning they don't earn as much from it?); this is sheer nonsense. Should they be allowed to do it, or be allowed to somehow charge us for it, I assure you we will not watch Canadian channels or content at all on TV. Same goes for radio if it ever comes to that too. This is certainly not compatible with CRTC's mandate.
    dave43

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:11 dave43
  162. I object to Canadian Televison being paid for by the tax dollar. I also object to the arrogance of the CRTC in demanding Netflix disclose their private business and of course I object to being forced to pay first for the Canadian package before I pay for the programming and channels I really want. I already pay for Canadian content in taxes and the ugly advertising channels and endless programs are paying for their time on tv so why should we pay more to be subjected to their disgusting market strategies. This is why most of us have gone to internet, phones and Netflix etc. because we still like to have the freedom to buy what we want. This is not Orwells 1984 (try telling that to the Canadian Media) and we will still choose what we want to watch or read or listen to no matter how much garbage the CRTC dish out to us. Freedom to choose the more expensive channels lined up for us by the Canadian broadcasting after we have paid the initial cable to Can tv is left wing communism ordering us what to think and watch. I resent it as does everyone I know and we will all leave you sitting in the dust raging at the likes of Netflix from another country because they won't pay you to do what you want. This is too absurd to watch though I did and laughed to think you think you represent Canadians.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:21 melogardener
  163. I had a similar impression. Some of the commissioners did not seem to know much about the technology of ATSC and where it is still available OTA in Canada. I do not blame them if they do not know everything, but if they are in charge to make decisions about these issues, they should have had somebody on the panel to explain the technology.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:28 Victor
  164. I want the weapon of choice back
    I am sick of hearing the talking heads of major corporations cry poverty and whine that they need devious new ways of picking the pocket of the Canadian people to "Save Canadian TV"
    This is nonsense, these corporations make millions in advertising revenues but they choose corporate profits over quality programing
    Everyone has likes and dislikes, for me what I dislike is the scourge called Reality TV,  it has invaded the TV landscape like an infestation of cockroaches feeding on the the carcass of a once proud medium 
    I hate Reality TV but I realize that since it's the cheapest to produce it's not going anywhere
    What I want is the power of choice, the power to say NO, the power to choose what so called specialty channels I want to support with MY hard earned money.
    I am sick of being forced to subsidize mediocrity
    I am one VERY angry Canadian

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 17:16 Angry Canadain
  165. These hearings have convinced me to cut the cord.  And if the CRTC tries to regulate the internet, i will use a VPN/Proxy etc. and bypass Canadian content all together. 

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 18:11 mpa
  166. If the CRTC does not regard simulaneous substitution to be a problem, I would suggest the commissioners go http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/ and search on the "simsub" term.    I got 2,930 matches.  
    Sorry to be a stuck record, but if we want to have a viable Canadian TV industry, the practice must be stopped as soon as possible.   I would support a separate bundle of simsub-free US networks which can be purchased such that proceeds go to creation of CanCon and payment in compensation of rights.   Add TNT, USA Network, and TBS to make the bundle more worth while purchasing.
     
    Until such time simsubs can be fully eliminated, I suggest making it easier to report bad simsubs to the CRTC.   Why not a badsimsubs.ca web site?  Send messages to site by Twitter or log on the site.   I am sure the CRTC will find out just how bad the problem is.
     
    On other matters before comments close:
    - Keep OTA!   Have a separate hearing on how to improve this for Canadians,
    - I support small basic, but since there is basically nothing in it, it should not be priced more than $10 a month.   It would be a basis for pick and pay.  
    - Yes to pick and pay.   Due to Bell/Rogers/Shaw's tendency to gouge, the CRTC must set max prices based on channel type. 
    -  Allow HBO Canada to be purchased separately without a tagalong Movie Central or TMN.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 18:12 kcbrk32

Quality programming for all Canadians

View comments
  1. If you expect to enable quality programming for ALL Canadians you cannot hope to so do by permitting TV broadcasters to "switch off" their antennas.
    I have previously subscribed to cable and now to satellite TV but have been giving serious thought to re-activating my antenna.  Basic rates constantly increase and I see little or no hope of them ever coming down to a justifiable level.
    i do agree that subscribers should not be forced to take channels they don't want and that allowing people to choose what channels they do wNt is a good idea.  I suspect, however, that the resulting cost will be higher.
    Hopefully some of the more useless channels will go out of business.  Let's face it, many of them would not have survived this long if we were not forced to have them in packages.
    All of this will only work if some form of price controls are put in place.  Otherwise, I fir one will want to option of having over-the-air broadcasting as on option.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 17:59 brumas
  2. We have been watching TV exclusively over-the-air for years now.  If local stations do not broadcast over-the-air any more, there sure won't be access for "all Canadians"!  We put up with advertisements to fund this TV, and are in no mood to pay $20 to $30 per month AND put up with ads for what we get now for free.  Please DON'T move toward stations stopping broadcasting over-the-air.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 18:13 thewiseoldduck
  3. I don't understand why there needs to be any mandated multilanguage / multicultural programming. The official languages for Canada are French and English. If you don't speak them , well then you should not be in Canada!
    Let the market place decide what multilanguage / multicultural prgrams are offered. If there are people that want news broadcasts or programming from other countries, then specialty Networks Channels can offer it. Then it becomes a "Pick and Pay" channel you should be able to opt into and PAY FOR it. If small number of people watch it, then it's going to be expensive - just as any Specialty item is - that's the way it is in the Real World.
    And "Free" OTA should be ended. If there is still going to be OTA offered, then it should be encrypted and require a rented box to watch it. Why should any of us that PAY for  Cable / Satellite / IPTV subsidize people to cheap to pay for it? Where is "TV" a constitutional or mandated right of Access? NOTHING is free and I am tired of subsidizing people that think they deserve this for FREE. And if the TV encrypted Box isn't a workable solution, then allow the Channels / Networks that still generate OTA to put 2 or 4 times the advertising that is on there now. OTA has to be paid for somehow, so either pay a subscription fee or accept that advertisements have to cover the costs. Again NOTHING is free - somebody pays for it eventually - and I am tired of it being me in my monthly Bill.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 18:19 MJA_OUT_WEST
    1. Hey why stop there, let's get rid of all radio stations and force people to pay for sirius or xm.  At it's roots, tv was a broadcast medium, and still is.  These channels are free and have always been free, supported by ad revenue much the same way as a radio station operates.
      Only in recent years has it become acceptable and commonplace to pay a cable or satellite company for the exact same channels with the exact same ads.  In fact the cable companies love these channels as it allows them to throw toegher a basic cable package which they can force all of their subscribers to take, without costing them anything, it's all profit for them.  Sure the channels are free (ad supported), but you the subscriber must pay for the delivery of those channels, which is what you're paying for with a basic cable subscription, Delievery... the channels don't receive any of that money (as they're freely ad supported channels).  If a subscriber wants only one or two premium channels, they must also pay for the delivery of all of these bundled basic (FREE) channels, from which the cable companies profit in a big way.
      But what make you think you are subsidizing those who choose to receive these broadcast channels ?  First off no one is forcing you to pay for cable.  Secondly the cable company is paying nothing to carry the channel (other than delivery infrastructure costs).  The channel receives it's revenue from ads as it always has, and benefits from the extra distribution the cable companies provide allowing many more people to see those ads.
      The problem ocurrs when cable and satellite giants with their record profits decide to get into the business of buying these local channels.  It's in their best interests (in a conflict of interest sort of way) to shut down broadcasts.  While it doesn't cost them much at all to broadcast (they already own the antennas), if they buy up and shut down broadcast channels, they may be able to increase their profits by a few million.  And who wouldn't want that...

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 16:15 milesf

  4.  
    1)Code of conduct
    Im sure a code of conduct wouldnt hurt - if nothing else I would like a plain english (ie not legaleze) contract requirement for all providers.  With a maximum length - having providers manipulate contract/requirements and then bury the changes in a 30 page document written in micro text isnt reasonable or fair to consumers.
    Ombudsman is always a good idea - while Ive had fair dealings with most distributors in the past I have had a few problems - it would be nice to have a very clear path of escalation when dealing with things.

    2) Language minorities
    If the issue was with regard to the french langauge minority I would say yes I think it is very well served.  Others minorities maybe not so much.
    That being said as a country whose official languages are french and english I think its reasonable to direct our resources in those directions.  Tax dollars along with broadcast requirements should be focused on the two official langauges - the one exception to this is for native canadians which I believe should be helped in this regard.

    3) third language channels - standalone basis why and to what effect:
    Just like english or french channels if the distributors chose to carry it they should be required to offer the channel standalone at a reasonable price. It would effect me personally but still...
    4)  Describe video - increased quantities?
    I think the bulk of primetime shows are currently available - along with news programming(i think).  If this is the case I think its fine - although im sure people requiring it would like 100% coverage and if I didnt think it was very expensive to do I would agree.  Im wondering if requiring a small quantity of legacy/older shows per year be updated with describe video would work (over time) along with requiring new content be updating now...
    5) Closed caption online
    If possible - that said the CRTC and canadian governmenet need to stay away from regulating online providers.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 19:27 adamg98
  5. I don't agree with the decision to stop offering over-the-air broadcasting.  This is a service that makes TV an affordable option to many Canadians.  I think it would be a big mistake to remove this option as other cable options can be very cost prohibitive.  Forcing people to pay an extra $240 (at a minimum) a year for something they can get for free today does not seem fair.  I wouldn’t bother spending the extra money I would just increase my use of other services like Netflix’s or the library for my entertainment needs as these are currently much more affordable and offer a great deal of choice.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:47 k-silk
  6. With the advent of digital-over-the-air TV in 2011, I dropped my cable subscription in favor of putting up a TV antenna for the following reasons:
    A)  The TV signal is not encrypted so I can use it on all my TVs/devices without the need for proprietary decoding hardware (i.e. ugly cable box on the wall).  This includes devices like home-theatre PCs (HTPCs) that are locked out from BDU distributed content.
    B)  The signal quality (bitrate) from OTA was superior to what Shaw provided for the same channels
    C)  Cable/Satellite TV rates are increasing at a rate that is much higher than inflation, and is increasingly a waste of money.
    I've since been very happy with the change.
    I'm saddened to see that the CRTC is making a move that will probably encourage me to drop broadcast TV alltogether and just rely on streaming video from the Internet.  Why would I want to pay $20-$30/month for a encrypted TV signal when I currently pay $0/month for a unencrypted (and therefore more useful) signal?
    I'd agree with the statement that in the long term broadcast TV is dead including OTA and BDU services, and streaming video services on the Internet will take over (services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube).  But right now of all the current broadcast TV options OTA provides a lot more value than anything that the BDUs provide.  You can't beat free.
    If OTA is "going away", then I'd hope the CRTC would force cable TV providers to offer their content using "Clear-QAM" signals, otherwise, I'm probably not interested in their products, period.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:15 Geoff Armstrong
    1. Let's remember that for most people internet comes from the same provider as TV (or telephone).  So if the long term is streaming and TV is dead, the same "BDU" interests will still have their hands in your purse fishing for more money.  No, I see the long term future being a combination of OTA broadcasting and internet streaming, with no cable (or any kind of wired TV) at all, since every program broadcast over cable is just bandwidth that is wasted and would be better dedicated to internet.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 16:03 DarylK

  7. I feel some related CRTC policies being applied to broadcast stations are hindering their ability to survive.
    I speak specifically about CTS, (CHRISTIAN TV), being forced by CRTC to carry non-christian programming.
    How many times does a person have to go to that station and find a religious program that is clearly NOT christian before they stop going to that station. If non-christians want a TV station let them set it up and pay for it.  It is an abuse of CRTC power to force a christian station to carry non-christian programming.
    Would CRTC force a sports station to carry religious programming?
    Would the CRTC force a french station to carry english programming?

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:36 RoLeGa
    1. They can consider themselves lucky to have a license in the first place as far as I am concerned.

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 15:08 JF Bérubé

    2. Actually if Christians want to broadcast to the public they can follow the same rules as everyone else

      Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 18:49 gregconnon

  8. LOCAL PROGRAMMING
    16.) Licensing Regime for over-the-air stations
    I disagree with local stations being able to shut down their transmitters while continuing to be receive distribution as a basic service. Over-the-air television broadcasting is important, as many Canadians cannot afford to pay for subscription services. If a local station decides they can no longer afford to operate, so be it, no over-the-air signal, no mandatory carriage. We cannot be giving stations an excuse to stop serving  Canadians who do not have the means to pay for a subscription service, be it cable or internet. Free over-the-air television is important, regardless of the viewing habits of the majority of Canadians. We need to encourage broadcasters to expand their over-the-air networks, not reduce or eliminate them.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:59 DARainnie
  9. Clearly there is nothing more "local" than picking up an OTA broadcast since you have to be in the brodacasters region to pick it up with antenna. As more people move away from cable to OTA broadcasts this will actually improve "local" programming because "local" advertisers will be reaching "local" OTA recievers. So allowing broadcasters to turn off their transmitters would eliminate "local" programming.  If the "local" broadcasters want to turn off their transmitters simply license anyone else who wants to broadcast programming on those airwaves the chance to do so by issuing them a license. Very simple use it or loose it. I am sure there would be many companies lining up just to transmit over the air broadcasts if "local" stations in Toronto turned off their transmitters. I am sure "local" broadcasters who opt to broadcast only to cable and turn off their transmitters would switch them back on immediately if another company broadcast using that broadcasters old air waves they were licensed to use. Like I said use it or loose it. With this conditon of use it or loose it I am sure this proposal to turn off transmitters would never have been made.  

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 16:14 bradOTA
  10. LOCAL PROGRAMMING
    16.) Licensing Regime for over-the-air stations
    I strongly disagree with local stations being able to shut down their transmitters while continuing to be receive distribution as a basic service. Canadians should not have to subscribe to a cable provider to receive local news and content, especially from taxpayer driven broadcasters like the CBC. Over-the-air television broadcasting is important, as many Canadians cannot afford to pay for subscription services and. Free over-the-air television is important, regardless of the viewing habits of the majority of Canadians. We need to encourage broadcasters to expand their over-the-air networks, not reduce or eliminate them.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 22:12 jodijets
  11. Currently my only concern regards the proposal to allow stations to stop OTA broadcasts. That is, I am retired, and cannot afford to pay for a cable package.  So if OTA broadcasts stop, then never mind quality, diversity and choice of programming, I lose access altogether.
    Further, I'm a little surprised that the government is moving us in this direction, into the pockets of the big-money service providers, like Rogers, Bell, Videotron, etc.  Well, I guess it is the othere way around, it is the service providers being forced into our pockets. I'm surprised because there really isn't a very healthy competition at the moment when it comes to service providers. Every place I've ever lived in Canada, there has been the choice between either a single cable company and satellite.  So the providers have had pretty much a free hand to do whatever they wanted with regards to crappy packaging, exhorbitant pricing, etc. In Ottawa, Rogers once created a new basic plus package, and everyone on the old basic package got moved to the new more expensive one unless they explicitly opted out. And many who weren't paying attention to the fine print on their bills were unwittingly upgraded. My experience with the big providers has been that they are quite unscrupulous, so I am surprised with the proposed cancellation of OTA, we are being herded into their corrals.
    I would also add, as have others, that the notion of having to pay for a service provider, when I am already 'paying' for my television by watching ads, makes me a bit uneasy - the notion of paying to be sold to.
    But I digress. My main point is simply this, if OTA broadcasts stop, I lose television  access.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 07:36 Stephen
    1. Absolutely Right!

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:45 Jenniferatemple

  12. After reading the discussion document I am perplexed. I see no choice to not have mandatory Canadian content. I do not support any basic packages and am vehemently opposed to any further funding to the CBC. It has become as redundant as the rest of the bureaucracy that is our civil service. I will be forwarding my comment to my MLA; hopefully he will forward a motion in Commons to rid us of this white elephant.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 11:14 Average Joe
    1. You are not the only one who is perplexed. The only CBC production that I listen to is the morning radio show, which is quite useful.
      I never watch CBC TV, and I would not mind if it went away.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 18:04 steamtrain

      1. PLEASE! don't say that. The CBC keeps getting more squeezed every year. It would be as excellent as the BBC if it were not suffering the death a a thousand cuts! Think of the Fifth Estate, The Nature of Things and most importantly, every country needs a public broadcaster that is NOT controlled by the Government of the day. We need to empower the CBC not help to kill it!

        Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:49 Jenniferatemple

  13. Re: OTA Content
    Message to OTA Broadcasters in the Ottawa area, you know who you are.
    Your Sat & Sun 6am to 8am audience is not much different that your Mon-Fri 6am to 8am audience. Some folks work Sat/Sun, other get up at the same time on weekends. Why do you dumb down your programming in that slot on weekends. I doubt that many teens are up watching three-year old 'Juicebox' videos, or many toddlers are watching cartoons, ot that your potential viewers are interested in a rehash of the clips you showed during the past week. Why must we get on the internet at that time to find out what happened overnight and what the weather is expected to be. The audience is there for the taking, doesn't anybody want it?

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 17:18 RoLeGa
  14. What do you agree or disagree with?
    Proposal
    Local stations would be permitted to shut down transmitters.

    Do you have any concerns?
    I disagree with this proposal. If OTA stations were to cease or reduce it will have a disproportionate effect on lower income households in and around around urban centres. The only alternative, subscription cable or satellite, is a significant portion of this demographics disposable income. Thus placing local television and its critical role in outreach, "out of reach". 
    With the current ties between broadcasters and stations, it would be like allowing a company that own the parking lots be allowed to shutdown the bus service.
    Regards,
    John

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 09:45 johnells
  15. 1 - I think that myself, along with most Canadians, have no idea about most of this stuff. Canadians don't know who to complain to or who to contact. As far as a contract is concerned, as far as I know I do not have one with Shaw. I think a code would be great and could help. I do believe that something needs to be done about Shaw's (and i'm sure other providers) mess of services. Currently with Shaw I think nearly every customer has no idea what channels they are currently paying for because Shaw has basic package channels all over the channel line up that it is nearly impossible to find all of them. Shaw also hardly ever advertises when they launch new services or when there are free previews, unless they own the channel. If you were to contact a Shaw customer and have them scroll through their current channel line up i'm sure they would be surprised to find channels they didn't know they were paying for! It is such a mess and is confusing, especially for older people like my parents, and something should be done about it. Group all the basic channels together at the least. To add to the problem because we subsribe to the main 3 tiers we get a bunch of other channels at "no additional charge" that are all over the place!
    2 - I don't really know, I think so. I do think that it is wrong for Shaw to stick all the French channels in the 900s range while everything else is lower on the dial. I do know that Manitoba has the largest amount of Francophones outside of Quebec yet Shaw offers very little French channels compared to MTS or the satellite services, this should be changed. Shaw should be required to offer more French channels for those who want them and I know people want them.
    3 - I think this would be good, not sure why people should have to subscribe to one network to be able to get another network.
    4 - Yes, it should be totally accessible to everyone.
    5 - Sure why not, the internet should be accessible too!
    One additional note I wanted to make. I see lots of people wanting more HD channels and wanting channels to launch in HD only. I think it is time for a change myself. I believe all new English channels should be launched as HD only and should be down converted for those with SD services. I think all HD services should be like this. I think it is crap, and double-dipping, for companies like Shaw, Bell, and Rogers to force consumers to subscribe to an SD channel before subscribing to the HD version, why pay twice for the same thing? Offer just 1 HD channel and down-convert it to SD customers. It would also de-clutter line-ups and free up bandwidth. It's a win-win solution for everyone! I also personally think it is embarrassing to Shaw, Rogers, and Bell that nearly EVERY French network is available in high definition while most of their English services are not available in HD, why??? These broadcasters seriously need to get with the times. People want more HD!

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 20:53 vjose32
    1. Agree 100% I'm with Shaw and I am same boat.
      TV channels are a dogs breakfast.
      I have been wanting CBC Newsworld in HD for ages, but it never gets added.   Some channels owned by Shaw like Showcase Action are SD only, why in this day and age?

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:39 kcbrk32

  16. There should be a television service provider code of conduct.
    Rather than cable companies having control over television signals, consumers should be able to order standalone channels directly from the television broadcaster and stream this over the internet.  The cable companies can still make their money as internet providers.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 23:27 otafan
    1. Consumer interest organizations such as Open Media.ca should be directly involved by having representatives nominated on whatever board or committee in charge of inforcing it. Do not let the wolves alone in charge of the sheep barn.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 16:58 JF Bérubé

  17. Do not stop over the air broadcasts. They are by far the best deal for all Canadians. I cannot wrap my head around how it is a better deal to pay $30/month for a service that anyone can get for free currently. Perhaps if you wish to stop the best quality signals available (aka OTA service) you should Serve Local programming on cable and satellite in the clear and free. 

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 12:22 tjprod
  18. The new Shomi service from Shaw and Rogers seems to go directly against the "Quality programming for ALL Canadians" directive. This partnership is mkaing deals to have exclusive content but is then limiting access to only their own customers. Canadians need the Governement, through the CRTC, to step in and block this anti-competitive behaviour.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 10:41 CoryB
    1. Shomi should be offered to ALL Canadians. They are buying exclusive rights to content, then denying that content to the majority of the population.

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:27 mpa

      1. Shomi is just another rip-off. Its only purpose is to buy as many exclusive rights as possible and make the Internet as much of a living hell as cable is. If it's based so much on exclusivity it should die. We don't want it unless it's available to all of us with no strings (or cord) attached. :)

        Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 16:13 JF Bérubé

  19. A surprising number of Canadians, particularly rural, aboriginal and low-income families, depend on over-the-air television as their sole source of local, national and international news, sports and current affairs. Even the trimmed, basic cable package as proposed by CRTC ($20 to $30) is beyond the reach for people like us.
    Our family of four lives in a rural Ontario community where we pay $55 plus tax to receive an extremely basic internet package from a wireless provider. High-speed cable is unavailable in our community, and our budget has effectively forced us to choose between paying for wireless internet or satellite tv. We can't afford both, given that we also pay up to three or four times what urban Canadians spend on heat (we are forced to use propane due to the unavailability of natural gas) and transportation (distances are longer, public transportation is non-existent in most rural communities like ours).
    We know many others like us. Everyone I have mentioned this issue to in the past week has been completely unaware that the CRTC is considering dropping over-the-air television. With a university degree and many years of past experience working in communications, I consider myself relatively well-informed. Yet it took me nearly 45 minutes to navigate the CRTC's complicated website, register, log-in and leave a comment. I wouldn't have bothered were it not such an important, life-altering issue.

    If the commission goes ahead with this proposal, it will be utterly abandoning its historic mandate to serve and protect the broadcast needs of all Canadians. I wonder how many Canadians who depend on over-the-air television even realize that their days of watching television many be numbered.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 13:01 G.G.
    1. I disagree with your statement that OTA is the "sole source" of information.  Whatever happened to radio??

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 17:58 steamtrain

      1. You're correct, there is also radio, so I should have clarified that ota television is the sole source of video news and current affairs. However, let's remember that the hearing impaired don't have the option of listening to radio.

        Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 09:57 G.G.

  20. One of the key purposes of the CRTC must be to ensure that the basic democratic function of mass media remains accessible to all members of the democracy.  Over-the-air broadcasting is a critical part of this mandate.  With a small up-front investment in an antenna and television anyone can have access to news, local programming, and other important information (not to mention sometimes enjoyable entertainment).
    Media networks have to accept that providing a certain amount of programming free to the general public via over-the-air broadcasting is just one of the costs of doing business.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 13:51 sneufeld
    1. OTA requires that TV companies spend money on transmitters, just as consumers spend money on receivers. Traditionally, TV companies make money from advertising, which pays for things like transmitters. So, if you require companies to provide transmitters, everyone will be forced to watch more commercials.

      I think a better idea would be for everyone to pay an annual TV license fee, as in Britain; this would reduce the need for commercials.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 17:52 steamtrain

      1. "Reduce the need for commercials?" In Britain where people pay small tv licenses, there are absolutely no commercials on BBC. Is this what you're suggesting? Because if it is, it would require massive funding increases for CBC.
        What's going on here is that the networks and cable companies in Canada want to make money from commercials AND from cable subscriptions while cutting transmitter costs.  There has been no credible suggestion that commercials will somehow be reduced by the elmination of over the air television. That is plain bunk.

        Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 09:55 G.G.

        1. The notion that charging a fee for a signal would contribute to illiminating or reducing on-air advertising is total bullshit. Specialty and pay channels are evidence of this. They enjoy both sources of revenue.

          Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 14:49 JF Bérubé

      2. It may reduce the "need dfor commercials"  but we will still have them, the only difference being the brodcasters will pocket the money with no investment in infrastructure.

        Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:25 mpa

      3. We actually HAD a license fee in Canada many decades ago. It didn't take long for them to realize that it was not an adequate way of funding our broadcasting system. Maybe it could in theory today, but it's pretty much impossible to implement it in today's media environment.

        Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 00:35 jbetteridge

        1. Ask people from Europe what they think of licensing systems such as what they pay for in the UK, France or Italy. They will tell you that it is expensive and those who are not paying are seen as criminals.

          Friday, September 5, 2014 - 16:44 JF Bérubé

      4.  
        We would not have to watch "more commercials" just the same we always have. Eliminate OTA and double dipping will become the norm

        Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 18:45 gregconnon

  21. OTA brodcasting should increased not eliminated. There is more room on the frequencies now for more channels since the digital format has been introduced.   All the channels the CBC owns including cable channels should be available OTA.  Why can we not recieve basic satilite channels across canada for FREE like in europe while using a FREE TO AIR satelite receiver.  Advertising should pay for channels the same as the does on internet sites.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 00:20 normal guy
    1. OTA requires providers to spend money on transmitters.  Who is supposed to pay for this?

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 17:44 steamtrain

      1. Answer: The more than 22 minutes an hour of airtime already devoted to advertising.

        Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 14:38 JF Bérubé

      2.  
        They are. Its a cost of doing business and a nessescary public service. The CRTC should require every cable channel to be broadcast OTA and let advertising be the only revenue available to broadcasters

        Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 18:11 gregconnon

  22. 1. Television service provides should be required to advertise their services in a clear manner, without double-talk, and without hidden costs, or small print that requires a magnifying glass and a lawyer to understand. Years ago, we had laws in Canada prohibiting misleading advertising. Today, not so much. On a typical day, we get bombarded with ads from Bell and Rogers about prices for services, that after reading the fine-print, are valid for only 3 months, and the advertised price does not include all the hidden fees that go along with the specific service.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 09:30 Gerry1
    1. I just looked at a mailbox flyer from Cogeco. 21 lines of fine print. Why don't they just simply write throw me in the trash on it? They still cap their Internet at 65 GB/month and offer a trio at $62 a month. The competition offers me unlimited long distance phone and Internet for $58 a month including taxes. Cogeco should be fined for polluting mail boxes uselessly. They couldn't care less about the environment.

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 15:56 JF Bérubé

      1. Does the LPIF still exist or was it really abolished? The fine print on that flyer still refers to it.

        Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 18:59 JF Bérubé

  23. Just drove from Burlington to Crystal Beach & saw numerous houses with big antennas getting their TV over-the-air. What about those Canadians if broadcasters no longer broadcast!

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 15:59 thewiseoldduck
  24. 1) If you subscribe to a television service provider, like Rogers or Bell, do you understand the contract you have with them? Do you know what you’re paying for and what the distributor is supposed to do if you have problems? Do you know how to make a complaint if the distributor doesn’t fix a problem? Would a new Code for distributors, similar to the Wireless Code, help you be more knowledgeable about your contract with your distributor and how to register complaints?  Why? Should there be an ombudsman to help resolve issues? Why?
    No, we don't have a TV subscription but do get phone and internet from Bell.  Agreements are so complex now that I support the idea of an ombudsman to resolve issues and a Code for distributors.
    ==================
    2) Do you believe Canadians living in official language minority communities are well served by the programming available to them in their language? Why?
    Yes they are well served.  The local French language programming has stayed nearly the same over the years and accessibility to other French programming options from across Canada has increased with cable, satellite and internet.  Thus, there is more access and choices than before.  (Do your metrics take into account all media sources or only TV when developing ratios?)
    =================
    3) Do you agree that Canadians should be able to subscribe to any Canadian or non-Canadian channel in a third language they want on a standalone basis? Why? Would this change your viewing habits? If so, how?
    Yes. With a continuing increase of immigration there is a demand (need?) for other languages. Canada has a policy of multiculturalism - this should be expressed in radio and TV options.  We have access to multilingual radio free of charge - why should TV be different?  I watch shows on Omni channel as much as the French channel.
    =================

    4) Do you agree that the amount of programming available with described video should be increased? Why?
    As our demographics result in a larger proportion of elderly over the next two decades, the demand for DV will increase.  Is there enough now?  How did you determine that?
    ===================

    5) Should broadcasters that show content with closed captioning on television have to make this closed captioning available when they show that same content online? Why?
    Why not?  Once the cost of developing CC is incurred, use it as much as possible.
     

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 13:01 Tom
  25. This is a good idea only if serioulsly heavy fines or even imprisonment are mandated in case of abusive use.

    This is a good idea only if seriously heavy fines or even imprisonment are mandated in case of misuse or abuse. I fail to see anything to that effect in this press release. Broadcasters will spend a lot of money on this and we should just make sure that such a system does not become a joke!
    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=880239

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 00:52 JF Bérubé
    1. Mixed feeling on these emergency alerts.   The US OTA channels had these for years, why did it take so long for Canada?    The concern I have is almost all of my programs I watch are previously recorded, so a lot of good it would do seeing the message instead of what I intended to watch the next day/week.

      Shaw likes to put advertising on their EPG.   So Shaw could put a warning banner in place of their usual ads as an effective way to alert people without much cost.   Why here?   Everyone uses their EPG at some point.

      Perhaps the CRTC could mandate that a standardized channel on PVRs, say 911, be reserved for emergency messages?   Crawls on other channels or on the EPG would give basic information, but channel 911 would be for more detailed info on the emergency.   If time permits, the authorities could provide described video to be placed on the emergency channel.

      Use of the emergency channel for anything other than emergencies is to be strictly forbidden,

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 14:49 kcbrk32

      1. We used to have this alert system in the 1960s and 70s in Canada. For whatever reason the requirement was dropped. The US kept theirs in service and have had it for 50 years. Ironically it was not used on 9/11.

        Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 15:12 JF Bérubé

  26. 1. A code of conduct would be a very good idea, since there’s always room for improvement in terms of communication and clarity for prices and contracts. One particular practice I’d like to see come to an end is introductory prices (ie: $10 for the first year) being advertised up front with little to no indication of how the rates will change. Perusing the websites of a few major cable and satellite companies, it’s really difficult to tell which services I’ll be getting with certain plans. There doesn’t even seem to be enough information to deduce what the total regular cost of everything is going to be. These advertising practices definitely need to be reined in.
    2. As an English speaker it’s hard for me to make an informed judgment on the situation for official language minority communities, but the services for Canadian French speakers definitely seem to be robust and adequate. For First Nations representation, there’s definitely room for improvement. For one thing, the Commission needs to prevent cable and satellite providers from stashing APTN so extremely high on the dial. It should be placed right along with other basic services on station 3 or 4, not 78.
    3. There is loads of improvement that can be made for accessibility to multicultural channels. Use of illegal satellites in order to pick up overseas channels is a huge problem and is very difficult to combat. Anything that can be done to increase choice and accessibility of foreign language service will only increase the chances that these audiences will opt for legal, domestic providers in the future. Things definitely need to change in this area.
    4. I’m not sure if this is the most appropriate forum for raising accessibility concerns, but I have no problem with increasing the amount of described video programming. I can’t see why anyone would object to this.
    5. Obviously increasing closed captioning options is a good thing, but I am skeptical to show my support for accessibility issues in this particular debate, especially when it comes to the potential of regulating online streaming. Here you say that this will apply to streams for Canadian broadcasters, but how do we know it will end there? These types of regulatory policies are very likely to wind up being a foot in the door for applying onerous restrictions or taxes on foreign services like Netflix, which I am strongly opposed to having happen.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 23:15 jbetteridge
    1. As for the code of conduct groups representing the interests of consumers should be involved in their inforcement and application.

      Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 16:32 JF Bérubé

  27. Contracts that tie you to a service provider should also guarantee prices for the duration of the contract.  Cable/ISP are forcing 2-3 yr contracts on people then raising prices.  A contract needs to be 2 ways.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 22:31 mpa
  28. First, I am not a subscriber to any cable, satellite or other provider. I got rid of them in 2000 saving tons of money. I am relying on OTA for television and I intend to keep it that way.
    Second, who mandated CRTC to kill OTA for Canadians in order to recuperate vacated frequencies and resell them.
    Third, how could CRTC keep this consultation low profile so only a very small part of population could express themselves on the subject. I was just made aware of it by reading on the Web.
    Four, Just like the postal system who is going to soon be destroyed after a "consultation " with the population. (I don't know of anybody who has been consulted anywhere around here). The same is now happening with the public tv broadcasting destruction because I never even heard that its survival was being questioned.
    Five You would be surprised at the results if you were to ask the population who uses antennas not necessarily visible and outside of their homes for their tv reception. CRTC mislead people  into thinking that free tv was disappearing at the digital transition  and that everybody would have to subscribe to paying services. NOT SO. They minimally publicized the fact never emphasizing that you could receive tv for free with an antenna. Shame on you.
    I stand against the destruction of our public broadcasting system and urge people to voice their concerns to the CRTC which (if I understand) is there to protect and serve the public.
    Angry and disgusted.
    P. Plamondon

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 12:37 Angry Canadian
  29. Why not go to a Freeview/Freesat system like the UK uses? This would ensure that all Canadians, regardless of location or official language would have access to subscription free Canadian programming. The programming is already broadcast on numerous satellites and an inexpensive receiver would allow free TV. In urban areas, antennas could still be used as they are today. If the CRTC decides to allow stations to turn down their transmitters, people would still have the option to switch to satellite.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 07:33 Crewze
  30.  
    The idea of eliminating OTA transmissions is abborant and evidence that the CRTC has fallen victim to regulatory capture by the large content providers.
    Proposing to replace free advertisement supported local stations with a 30 dollar "basic package" that will contain the same commercials is a broadcasters dream come true.
    This council is supposed to defend the rights of consumers not ensure a banquet of income for companies that are already gouging Canadians through expensive internet and cellular telephone rates. Many Canadians can't afford a basic package and many more simply will not ever pay for cable or satellite as it is overpriced and valueless. Streaming a la carte  service and OTA for local stations are reasonable,responsible and should be encouraged.
    The CRTC should remember why it exists and keep OTA mandatory and free.
     
     
     

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 18:33 gregconnon
  31. I completely disagree with the proposal to shut down OTA television. 
    If this is allowed to go ahead, then it would be one of the largest corporate thefts in Canadian history.
    Television signals have been available OTA since the birth of television, and the traditional tradeoff for this was the inclusion of advertising.  Cable companies came along sometime in the late 1960s, and started offering a service that promised more channels and better reception.  Many took them up on this, but it was never mandatory, and some prefered to stick to the traditional way of viewing television.  Some could not afford to pay the fees for cable, and some didn't live in an area where cable access was offered. Much later, they started buying up the television stations and producing programming themselves.  Now it is to the point that they produce the programming, own the stations, and own the distribution system, and they would like to complete the total takeover of the Canadian television system by shutting down the historical access to ad supported OTA television.  To add insult to injury, they turn around and offer to sell us the same television they are taking away from us.  It is not mentioned, but I would suppose they would then use the airwaves that are traditionally used for OTA to generate even more profit. 
    This move will do nothing to improve Canadian television, or increase access to it.  Depending on location, people who now watch OTA television will simply turn their antennas to the south, and tune in the American channels instead.   Others will watch various on-line options.
    What I was hoping to see was the continuation of traditional OTA television, but the ability to supplement this by purchasing individual channels of interest that are not available OTA.  No basic package - no mandatory must buy channels.  This is the only thing that would tempt me back into the hands of the cable companies. 

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 20:38 Goldielover
  32. I believe that a "bundling" approach for channels is necessary to ensure a wide range of programs can be produced to serve Canadians. I am concerned that any "pick pay" direction by the CRTC will result in less choice at a higher per program cost, and will also have the (perhaps) unintended consequence of reducing overall Canadian production of content and therefore employment in the sector. While tru that the current bundling system results in me "paying" for services I watch very little or not at all, it's not at all clear that a pick pay option would result in a lower overall cost for programming, and would most certainly reduce the choice I currently enjoy. 

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 10:38 macbug0610
  33. Very concerned with the proposal that  local stations would be permitted to shut down transmitters.  Many of the arguments have been expressed well in these comments, and I would like to add my voice to the those who would like to see OTA be available as an option for the many people who either can't get or afford a cable package.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 16:57 MikeCr
  34. It is no coincidence that the movement towards shutting down OTA transmitters has gained momentum after the Cable/Sattelite companies acquired the TV stations in question. The fact is that the Licences were granted to these TV channels to use over the air bandwith that is owned by all canadians. Failure to abide by that implicit agreement should void the License. 
    As someone that moved into our new house, we have made the concious decision not to subscribe to cable / sattelite and rely solely on OTA. Our TV viewing  has had a dramatic increase in local stations that we watch compared to when we had cable. Given that is one of the mandates of the CRTC (to promote local programming), allowing stations to shut down transmitters would contravene its mission statement.     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 00:55 gbhat99
  35. In a free market, customers should have choice and receive value for the money they spend. The current Cable providers dump a large number of channels in their base package that have very low value and charge a significant amount whenever you select an additional package. Again in these additional packages there are few channels of any interest. So, for the amount paid to the Cable provider there is very little value. 
    If the Cable Providers dropped all the garbage channels it would lower their costs. If the Cable Providers paid their content providers based on the popularity of their content it would lower their costs. This is in keeping with a Free Market. Supply and Demand. 
    I stopped my subscription to Shaw for two reasons. First the content of the base package was of virtually no value to me. CBC was the only gem in the mix. Second the amount of advertisement on all channels is extraordinary. Programming is interrupted with long meaningless ads which repeat themselves over and over. It detracts from the content and annoys. If Cable providers receive large funds from their customers and large sums from the corporations that advertise on their network, I can not understand why the content is so poor and the cost to the subscriber so high. 
    Monopoly on Cable services by a few corporations that appear to be in collusion on pricing rather than in competition. 
    I have turned to the Internet to find content of interest to me. I have found what I like and the cost is affordable. 
    The Cable Companies have had it good for too long and have not evolved into a better service in fact they have gone the other way. Broadcasting is very very poor now. I am glad there is an alternative. 
    Break up the Cable providers hold on their customers and give us CHOICE... at a reasonable price. 

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 10:50 BryanArthurReid
  36. Consumers should be able to select channels they want rather than being told what channels they have to take. i.e. Shaw has a package plan for Personal, Personal + Best of HD, and Premier + Best of HD. Shaw will let you add Best of HD to their Personal Plan but will not let you subscribe to their Premier Plan without taking the Best of HD add-on. Costs for the Plans are: $39.90 for the Personal, Personal + the Best of HD has an additional cost of $35.00 making the total $74.90, and the Premier Plan + Best of HD is $89.90. Shaw tells me I can't have the Premier Plan without the Best of HD (although their web-site reads "Premier Channels + Best of HD") because they don't offer it! I believe consumers are being taken to the cleaners and we should be allowed to take the Premier Plan for $54.90 ($89.90 less $35.00). All pricing quoted is monthly and therefore having to take the Best of HD costs the consumer $420.00 per annum plus taxes. And that is my comment - Thank You.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 16:20 Dennis Knaus
  37. Hi,
    I have two things I'd like to see the CRTC mandate for any provider of TV service:
    1. Make the volume the same for all channels, simple audio technology can do this.
    2. If I pay for American channels, give me American ads! Why companies like Rogers think they can hijack a service I pay for and insert Cdn ads is beyond rude! Give me what I'm paying for!
    Thank You.
     

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 18:30 jerrygbtx
  38. I subscribe to Bell now.  We have an uneasy relationship at best.  For a year, I fully expect our agreed upon rates to continue as is with maybe some minor price increases like perhaps a $2 per month CRTC tax or something.  After the first year, all bets are off.  Bell will try to charge me about 30 - 40% more for the already overpriced amounts I pay for cable.  Then we do a dance, where I call and threaten to switch to Rogers, then they begrudgingly lower the bill, hopefully to where it's almost the same rate as it was the first year.  This madness will continue every year until I finally get exasperated and switch to a different Canadian monopoly company, like Rogers.  So to answer your question, there's more fine print subscribing to cable then there is buying a car.  In my opinion rather then have a set negotiated price up front that will not change, ever, the Canadian monopolies try to give sweet deals up front to lure you into a contract then slowly, inevitably raise the price over the years in an effort to get every dollar they can get out of the Canadian consumer.  If CRTC sees this as bad, then they should step in and have a code.  But better yet, why have a code when you can have an open, North American free market?!?  If a company like Comcast wants to come in and offer a flat rate of $40 for 70+ channels with no price increases ever, I think a lot of people would bail out of their Bell, Rogers, Shaw packages that are tremendously overpriced and subject to hefty, unilateral price increases.
    Don't you agree, CRTC?

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 07:59 Cashcow
  39. All television providers are complaining about loss of viewers. They have lost us due to lack of affordability! They keep trying to squeeze more from us while providing less and choking in more ads. The idea for the "basic" package should be a maximum of $20. and more realistic would be $15. because they are closing the over air option and every Canadian should have access to the CBC new, legislature and community channels for free. I am also betting that a decision to insist on pick and pay options will cause providers to charge excessive rates per channel and those channels that are most wanted will be most unaffordable. Rates need to be set for limits on the perchannel charge. This all looks like they will be getting much more money from us than they do now!
    ALSO! neutrality is a huge issue! By squeezing band with and charging greater and greater amounts for internet use they are tring to force us to pay for online for abandoning the higher priced direct TV watching / Phone service. The attitude seems to be that one way or another, they will force us to fork over money the vast majority can not truly afford. We poor folks pay these fees by reducing what we pay for other more basic needs. It must be so, because, as providers know, they have created a world where you can not fully function in life without the internet. Now, even many job applications must ber made online.Employment, itself, is often internet dependent. It has, in effect, become an essential service and as such should be priced in such a way that even a very poor, unemployed and disabled person can access basic internet services. This is all part of the issues now being discussed.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:42 Jenniferatemple
  40. The biggest problem i have is channels playing the same crap over and over and over and over!Well you get it.When channels like TSN replay games played on the weekends to fill slots during the week it's madding and insulting.We pay alot of money to have channel after channel play the same junk month after month.Also cable has problems all the time channels out,fuzzy or different shows on all together.When programming fails its not the customers fault and should fall on the cable companys to take the loss and reduce the costs on us when we dont get what we pay for.Which is way to much as it is.We as customers need to band together and say we have had enough and if big changes are not made then maybe its time to cancel it all and see what happens then.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 13:22 Shanesworld
    1. Good point.  Instead of constantly replaying the same events during their down time, sports channels would serve customers far better by broadcasting lesser known sports.

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:45 Jack

  41. Rowdy a friend of mine asked me to make this comment he has no internet. His Bell satellite bill has increased from $40 to $83 in past years with no programming changes. He cannot afford this and picture quality is far superior.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 13:16 antennaman57
  42. RE:Minority language services:
    This is a bi-lingual country and thus, particularly for our children taking immersion, extended and French lessons or alternatively English as a second language in Quebec,  there should be compulsory addition of the alternate language to the consumer across Canada. This is needed for National Unity and to service all minorities. 
    RE: A third language
    Why not? It is a global society afterall! 
    Perhaps Spanish for usas a third international language  to help us appreciate our allies to the south of us!
    Or certainly any international language as requested  by the consumer.
    RE:Described Video
    Why not ? The  Inclusion of hearing impaired citizens in programming  is an appropriate thing to do.
    Set-up on most DVD's allows people to delve through foreign accents as well as languages when watching films.
    How difficult would it be to do this for our TV viewing as well as internet viewing? 
    This should be an inclusive society. 
      Additionally  this would help new immigrants to the country to learn spoken English or French as well as with the reading of the language in either of the two official languages.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 15:14 Catherine27
  43. Comments on TV Hearings-in General Radio / TV

    After reading some of comments on the presentations to date it seems things have become a bit of a mess.
    Why has this happened?
    I think the Government and the CRTC have forgotten the original purpose of TV and Radio in Canada.
    TV and Radio were to be local services to communities across the country. CBC was a national service to all Canadians.
    Later those independent TV stations created a National network (CTV) to compete with American or obtain better
    programming from anywhere around the world and made it available to Canadians. CTV was owned by the
    independent TV stations across Canada as shareholders. CBC was owned by all Canadians and supported financially
    by the Government of Canada as it is today.
    American stations were available to a majority of Canadians as were at least 1 CTV and the CBC over the air (OTA)
    free with an out side antenna.
    Cable TV came along with the promise to give consumers better quality signals and later added a movie channel.
    As cities grew buildings became bigger, OTA signals were becoming harder to obtain for Canadians and cable filled that void.
    Back in 1999/2000 at a hearing at the CRTC a comment was made. The CRTC needs to be careful because soon Canada will
    have just a few broadcasters or companies controlling all the broadcasting  in Canada. And that’s what we see today.
    Also back in the early days of Radio, TV and Cable the BBG/CRTC had a rule. If say Corporation ABC owned a TV station
    and say an AM and FM radio station. Profits from Radio had to stay in radio. Profits from TV had to go back into TV.
    Also programming in radio must be separate from 6am to 12 midnight. Overnight was allowed to carry same programming.
    TV was required to carry a minimum local programming and local newscasts.
    How do we correct this?    JUST a Suggestion
    As stated at the hearing in 1999 the Telephone, Cable and TV companies have grown and keep on growing! Now few control
    our life style as we know it today. CRTC keeps trying to allow competition when it can, but this is hard for start ups to do.
    With technology today there are many options to the consumer. Not all consumers can afford all the perks of today’s technology.
    1. The CRTC needs to go back and force the separation of Radio, TV, Cable / Satellite and Telephone Internet.
         - Radio profits from radio stay in radio ( 1-2% of gross income to Canadian development ie Factor etc.)
         - TV profits from TV stay in TV ( 1-2% gross income to TV production fund)
         - Cable-internet / Satellite profits stay in Cable / Satellite (4-5% gross income to Canadian production funding)
         - Telephone /Internet profits stay in Telephone Internet (5% gross income from internet to Canadian Production funding)
         - Specialty channels (HGTV, Show Case Bravo etc). are separate companies from Cable/TV (1-2% gross income to TV production fund)
    Example BELL or BCE would own 5 separate companies.
    Company A –Distribution services-Telephone /Internet/ Sat. TV or fibe, /cable TV
    Company B – All Radio AM/FM
    Company C- Mobile services
    Company D- TV (with over the air signals)
    Company E- all specialty channels
    Company A (D-E) pays for all content (others or their own) and pay small 5 cent per customer charge monthly to all
                                   over the air TV stations divided equally.  (payment to fund handled by dept set up by CRTC)
    -------------------------
    How do you set up cable and the idea of pick your own.Please everyone!
    Basic Channels include:
    Same for all cable-fibe/Sat providers. At a moderate price !
    all available OTA TV and CBC in the province they service.
    TSN and one Rogers sport channel
    Weather network must be same on sat (Shaw/Bell) and cable for that province.
    all Canadian news channels plus CNN
    CTS and OMNI
    Sun TV News
    basic 5 USA networks ABC,NBC,CBS,PBS and Fox
    Local Community channel (sat make it local to that area from local cable feed)

    Add On Channels-extra
    Cable and Sat set up their own packages you can get -Package # 1 $ /Package #2 $$ /Package #3 $$$
    plus Package-Movie 1 #4 $$$  or Package-Movie #5 $$$
    OR ADD Pick your own
    Package A consumer picks X# stations for $
    Package B consumer picks X# stations for $$
    Package C consumer picks X# stations for $$$
    Package D all sports $$$
    Or all in $$$$
    Shaw Direct seems the best to divide basic service per province.
    If you add time shifting you get all Canadian stations coast to coast and eastern/western American networks.
    NO RADIO service on Cable or Sat TV! This is bad for local radio.....
    CRTC should have all Cable and Sat companies follow this type of set up. I’ve seen Shaw/Rogers /Mountain and Bell and Shaw Direct is the best.
    OTA TV must carry some local programming (few hours per week) and 3 local news casts daily either morning/noon and 6pm and 10pm or 11pm.
    Performing simultaneous substitution
    Networks can follow Global lead and adjust their American programs just as Global has done with Y & R.
    Like sports and award shows no choice you must protect Canadian revenues as it’s part of the bigger picture.
    $$ for Canadian broadcasting!
    CRTC needs to get extra channels to get back on track and supply programming they were approve
    for ie: Castle on the Space channel. How’s that relate?

    CRTC needs to set up hearings and staff to deal separately with Radio, Cable-internet/Sat service, Phone -internet and TV.
     
    Netflix
    Leave it alone.....it’s a Global over the internet product and you need a internet service to access so all Canadian internet suppliers are profiting by peoples use.
    If a person is a heavy user then they will up their internet package to avoid over usage. In most if not all cases the TV content suppliers are internet suppliers.
    Bell used this tactic in the 60s...they would cry to the gov’t for increase in phone pricing, because their supplier of equipment is charging more. They owned the supplier.
    CBC
    Should supply OTA TV-Radio French and English across Canada every market.
    1 English TV /1 French TV  and 1 English Radio network (add classic programming)  and 1 French network all other signals sold to private broadcasters or turned off.
    All technical services to be out sourced in each province, all transmitter sites sold to private sector and leased back, all engineering out sourced on tender bases and work approve by engineering  at CBC (small staff)
    Funding committee--- set up made up of 2members each of parliament and Chairman  or Vice chairman of CRTC. Review and approve CBC annual budget from Gov’t and broadcasting money collect through the CRTC. NO Majority Gov’t should have control...all parties must be involved 6 member and the CRTC.
    CBC radio allowed to sell advertising only regional ads or national ads...4 minutes per hour. Rates to be set at top average price of 4 major markets in Canadian radio.
    This makes it fare to private radio.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 17:13 Rae
  44. The prosal to implement "Section 16 - Licensing regime for over-the-air stations"..i.e. the OTA poison pill is a terrible idea! Please don't kill OTA! Many Canadians will literally never pay for Cable TV subscription...to force them to choose between seeing local news and an overpriced cable subscription will simply mean the end of local news :(
    Don't kill OTA!!!
     

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:44 mark_aok
  45. On Friday Sep. 15 2014 I made my presentation to the CRTC in Gatineau.  I am from Toronto but thought the issue I spoke to, the possible shut down of OTA (over-the-air) television, justified a trip to Gatineau to tell it to the commissioners directly.  (I had the option of Skype from a CRTC location in Toronto.) If you want to see my presentation on CPAC, I was the last speaker of the day, about 10 minutes before the end of hearings.
    The commissioners asked me intelligent questions and I found their overall posture inviting.  I really do not think the CRTC is a mafia in bed with big business but rather a group of people dealing with very complex and interconnected issues, and perfectly capable of making mistakes as are we all.  It's not their job to be very entrepreneurial but rather to look at available evidence and make reasonably wise decisions within their legal mandate.  I personally think the decision to allow Bell et al gobble up their OTA competition was very unwise, but even now when I speak to people around me, most do not view OTA as a real option simply because they are unfamiliar with digital OTA.  OTA is not even on the radar for most TV viewers. That the question of OTA was in this consultation at all says to me that the CRTC has not given up on it.  The rest of the questions in this consultation assumed cable/satellite as the TV norm, and responded to what Canadians said they were concerned about: overwhelmingly issues with their "TV providers" such as packaging and price.
    Naturally, since I don't use a "TV provider" (I get all my broadcast TV OTA) I do not care at all what TV providers do to their customers.  If they treat their customers badly enough, they can always drop them.  If anything disappoints me the most, and even angers me the most, it's that so much effort --effort paid for by taxpayers-- is spent dealing with issues that ought to be easily resolved by simple market dynamics.  We should not have spent one second discussing whether or not there should be a new kind of "basic" package, or whether or not the providers (VI BDUs) should be able to spy on their customers with set-top boxes.  That so much effort has gone into tweaking and fixing an artificial monopoly rather than promoting strong competition from OTA broadcast TV really galls me.
    Now, I am not a libertarian, but I do think that we should seek to allow the market to do as much of the heavy-lifting as possible, and only regulate it in necessary ways, with a small amount more for desireable outcomes.  We already have the CBC (and a few other publically-subsidised broadcasters) to ensure that Canadians can receive programming of a certain quality and with Canadian content, wherever they live.  One publically-funded giant like the CBC in the marketplace raises expectations and other networks follow suit.  This is justified.  What is not justified is burdening every private broadcaster with so many content requirements that they can plead poor at the CRTC, and thus play into the hands of the very monopolies the government/CRTC created.  Properly regulated digital OTA broadcasting can solve many "TV provider" regulatory issues simply by putting competition back into play. It can also fulfill CRTC mandates regarding Canadian content and local programming.
    What that "proper regulation" might look like is a topic for another essay, but I will hint that it involves fully exploiting digital TV subchannels.  I currently receive 24 channels reliably from both Canadian and American transmissions.  That number could easily grow today if Canadian broadcasters were willing (or permitted) to put programming they already create out on antennas they already operate.  That the CBC, CTV and Global news channels are not already going out on digital OTA subchannels (eg. 5-2, 9-2, and 41-2 in the Toronto area) is a virtual crime.  These would be a good start but of course much, much more is possible and desireable.
    'Nuff said for now.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 15:52 DarylK
  46. In terms of multi-lingual content:
    It is amazing that so little is done to make content from our other oficial language available to all. I'm sure the French broadcaster do a lot to translate english content for the french markets, but little is done in the reverse as far as I am aware of.
    What I find particularly interesting in recent years is that Netflix actually offers Quebec created sitcoms, and you can see them with English subtiles available. I have enjoyed watching this content for the first time, and being a Quebecker I find it particularly interesting. The programming has never been made available to the English community, other than the watch it in French approach which is useless for me.
    Hats off to Netflix for doing what our broadcasters and distributors have not !

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 17:03 Bruno
  47. 1) The contracts are meaningless from their ( the television providers) perspective. They can make changes to price and content when ever they want without so much as a phone call to let you know. I have lost channels that I was paying for yet my bill did not go down accordingly. The price can be changed anytime they like, however, if I decide I want a change, I have to jump through hoops and risk paying penalties. There should be some oversight such as an ombudsman, but only if it actually works and it is not just a pointless endeavour.
    2) I don't have enough information to respond, I only live where I live and it seems fine here. There are plenty of stations in my language.
    3) As long as I don't have to pay for their channel, that's fine. However, I do not want to subsidize it.
    4) All programs should be have DV available if possible.
    5) No, because the internet does not belong to the CRTC, and the CRTC should have no juristiction online. I read that the CRTC has been talking to Google and Netflix, asking about their Canadian content, and that the CRTC is thinking about putting "Canadian Content Laws" in place for online services such as these. That is unacceptable. Back off. There are enough sites that block my viewing because I am not located in the U.S., I don't need that to happen when I try to watch a clip on Youtube because the content does not meet "Canadian Content Laws."

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 21:12 Cliff-B
  48. The government would like to "Foster local and Canadian programming", "Maximize choice and flexibility" and provide "Quality programming for all Canadians".  To do this, they cannot allow Over The Air (OTA) transmissions to die.
    Like many previous posters, I too, would not have known that the CRTC was even thinking about killing OTA if not for the forums on 'digitalhome.ca'.
    For financial and personal reasons I decided to join the OTA movement a few years ago.  Since that time I have not regretted it one bit.  Having this option made it easier to leave the conglomerates that control broadcast television in Canada.  If OTA dies the government would be forcing me to watch American news and American shows and American commercials via OTA as there is NO way that I will line the pockets of Rogers or Bell again.
    If the CRTC really wants to ensure all Canadians have maximum choice and access to local and Canadian programming they cannot allow OTA to die.
    I plead with the CRTC to save OTA in Canada and actually force broadcasters to enhance these services for all Canadians.  CRTC, if you truly want to give Canadians a choice, PLEASE don't take away OTA as a choice for this (and all) Canadian viewer(s).
     

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 12:10 Konsumer
  49. Since the big boys[ Bell , Shaw , Rogers , etc.] have never had to compete with each other, it is not surprising that they would be so demanding of the CRTC to allow them to devise more schemes to charge more for less. Not one of these companies competes with each other . They each have an area that they monopolize and can charge what they want as well as package what they want. We the public have no say in this other than through the CRTC.We [the public] would hope that your board would enact policy that would force these companies to actively compete against exch other , maybe then they would not have enough spare time to attend these meetings and do some actual real broadcasting type work , other than draw big salaries and [keeping with the present mindset and management culture] bring forth proposals to build their obsene profits even higher.The ideas they though up over lunch with each other, if approved by CRTC ,will only mean a bigger bonus for this bunch of hypocrits and do nothing but raise the costs to the cosumers. Please do not follow the mindset of some such as thr OEB an approve this bunch of junk proposals. Lets rule in the publics favor for once.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:15 bundledup
  50. There is insufficient variety in television programming for Canadians.  It appears that most content providers in Canada are focused on serving the lowest common denominator.  Niche interests are underserved in the current system.
    For example, in sports, the majority of channels available in Canada focus almost exclusively on football, baseball, hockey and soccer.  Sportsnet One is the only sports channel that offers regular coverage of less popular sports.
    In movies, the majority of channels available in Canada present almost exclusively Hollywood films made in the last twenty years.  TCM and Silver Screen Classics are the only movie channels that regularly present older films.  TCM is not even offered by some of the major Canadian cable companies.
    I do not know which is the best possible alternative to the current system.  Whatever new policy options are pursued, I hope that efforts will be made to improve the variety of programming available to Canadians at a reasonable cost.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:37 Jack
  51. What I think of quality programming for all Canadians is that we know what we are paying for and what the T.V. service provider is doing when we have a problem with our T.V.. We know how to make a complaint if the T.V. service provider does not fix a problem that we have. Yes, a new code for T.V. service providers could help us how to register a complaint because it could allow us to know how to register a complaint when the T.V. service provider does not fix a problem that we have. Yes, there should be an ombudsman to resolve various issues that involve a T.V. because the ombudsman could make sure that T.V. service providers are providing great customer service. Next, Canadians that are living in official language minority communities are well served by the programming that is available to them in their language because they have access to a variety of programs in their language through free channels like Omni and speciality channels like Fairchild TV, TV Japan, TFC, GMA Pinoy TV and Kapatid TV 5. Also, Canadians should be able to get non-Canadian channels in a third language on a standalone basis because a lot of people could see a variety of programs in their language on Omni and they could get the non-Canadian channels in a third language that they could get. This would not change my viewing habits. Next, the amount of programming available with described video should be increased because it can allow more people to access the T.V.. Yes, T.V. broadcasters that show content with closed captioning on television have to make the same closed captioning available when they show the same when they show the same content online because it can allow a lot of people to access the T.V. through various devices. Finally, the license fee like the license fee in England could be made because it could fund CBC, it could allow CBC to make more quality shows and it could allow them to show the shows that they show commercial free.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 18:30 smartman69

Maximizing choice and flexibility

View comments
  1. I prefer the second basic service option as compared to the first. The cost should be capped at $20 and it should also include some American stations.  Television costs in this country are far to high.  People on fixed incomes such as senior struggle to pay the high premiums.   
    Canadians should only be required to pay for television stations they wish to subscribe to and bundling of packages should only be allowed if all channels are able to be individually purchased.
    If prices are lowered and only if prices are lowered and an affordable basic service is implemented then stations could be allowed to cease over the air tranmitting.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 13:59 joey67
  2. 1) I think that a very small, basic package of Canadian channels is important, and the only way that we can grow Canadian programming.  They should receive funding.  They should provide value to all Canadians though, and not be focused on a particular subset be it sports only, reality only, etc.  Those should be left for the cable packages.  I think that $20-30 is a starting point for a basic package, and I would have no problem paying this.  I have no problem with this being a starting point that you must choose, in order to do pick and pay on top of it, but the package should remain small
    2) Yes, I think a pick and pay is really important to the future of television.  I should not be forced to pay $50 extra per month for a "VIP"  package that includes 3 channels I would watch, and 40 that I would not.  Even at $5 per channel I pick I come out way ahead.  For me personally, I would pay for sports, the food network, and the discovery channel.  If I have to pay $100 a month just to get those with a basic cable package, I won't even bother.  We already downgraded and don't regret it.  That being said, I would add a few channels if I had that option.
    3) I think that this is ok.  Doing mini-packages that are genre specific that offer a discount vs picking all the same channels individually.  I have no issue with this whatsoever, as long as I can still pick individual channels as well
    4) I don't think so.  The distributors should be able to make the changes so that they can obtain ad revenue.  If a broadcaster chooses not to though, that should be permitted.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 14:16 GFlynn
    1. GFlynn
      These networks have entire departments of sales staff whose job it is to sell advertising.  They don't need to ruin my enjoyment of the U.S. channels by replacing the American signals and running commercials on the screen DURING the shows, blocking my view of the characters and on screen action in the process.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:38 GorgonTheWonderful

  3. First of all, I would like to thank the CRTC for allowing ordinary citizens to comment on such an important topic.  
    My support is for the proposal which would allow us to have basic cable service focusing on Canadian channels and the option of pay per channel. Like others who have commented I am frustrated by the fact that I have to buy a package, which is quite expensive, for stations that I won't watch, just to be able to get The channels that I do want to watch, HBO the movie network etc.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 14:45 Dianne
  4. 1. Don't mind a basic package of local stations, but only for $20. Distributors should not be able to add to this unless we are clearly advised and agree to the additions and no doubt the extra costs involved. 
    2.  Love the chance to pick my favourite channels.  Hate what is in my package now.  Barely watch TV now and am paying ridiculous price for NOTHING.  However, it would be important to CAP the price of these individual choices.  If they are, say, around $2.95, we would order more.  If higher prices, we would order less.  Don't know which way would be better for distributors?  Can they benefit from the Walmart philosophy?  Lower prices draw the crowds and you sell more.
    3. Yes, offer that flexibility, though I can't imagine why someone would choose a package unless ALL the channels in it interested them, but FLEXIBILITY is a must.
    4.  Could they be flexible on this too?  Something like the Super Bowl, known for its commercials, be nice if they'd leave those on, but other shows they could use Canadian ads.

    Also:  Could you put in some rules re multipleTVs in our houses.  I downgraded my Rogers package as I just wasn't using those extra channels, BUT they started charging me for having a second TV.  Said you only get free second TV with more expensive pkgs.  So I downgraded, and am actually paying MORE now due to the almost $9 a month they charge for having a second TV.  Enuf with this corporate greed everywhere we turn.  I really hate having only ONE cable distributor to choose from.  Have spoken to different reps on the phone and get a different story from each one.  One offers something, bill comes in, it's not there. Phone again, next rep explains something, again that's wrong...makes me want to go back to rabbit-ears days.  

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 14:57 so bored now
    1. So bored: rabbit ears actually work. Surprised me, but they do deliver an excellent picture. I picked up an antenna from Princess Auto for $20 and get three channels in full HD (actually 6 but I don't watch the Christian, Indian, and French channels since I am none of those things). If you live somewhere much closer to the US border than me in Edmonton you can get US programming too, including Super Bowl ads.

      Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:26 trevnlaura

    2. That is exactly the issue that these proposals will not solve.  Bell Fibe wants to rent you extra set tops for $7 a month each, and Rogers forces you to their VIP package for additional outlets.  I spend $80 a month for Rogers and own all of the equipment, and that is without the speciality packages and a 15% discount.  

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 08:44 William Laurin

    3. I gather you don't have to put up with sloppy signal substitutions in your area and that you don't have local networks running adverts DURING the shows with local car company logos spinning over the faces and action on the the screen disturbing your viewing enjoyment.  If not then I suggest you give a thought to those of use who have to put up with such things and Fully condemn the signal subs.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:19 GorgonTheWonderful

  5. Thank you for considering the average veiewer. PLEASE allow us to pick ONLY the channels to which we wish to subscribe. I understand that there should be a basic package for $20-$30, and it should be all Canadian. Please consider including only those necessary, such as: the local Canadian networks, from the region that the subscriber resides, also the Canadian news and weather networks, perhaps the sports networks and possibly the same network feeds from a second timezone (Atlantic and Pacific for example). Then allow us to pick single channels only; no further 'bundles'. Perhaps put a price cap of $30-$40 for up to 25-30 channel choices. This would give the average subscriber perhaps 50+ channels for less than $70 monthly, (max), and they would be channels they would actually watch. I understand that every person has different interests, and this plan would allow everyone to have an individual channel package that they would use and enjoy, save them money plus reduce the clutter they recieve now. If some specialty channels fail in the process, then that proves that they were previously being subsidized within a bundle and they now deserve to fail.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:06 pymadore
  6. Cable charges are too high. Even with the combilation of internet, phone and tv packaged together, this is too expansive for low and middle class Canadians. I would like the option of paying only for the channels I choose.  Get rid of basic cable, channel package deals, and let Canadians choose what they want to watch. The cost of the channels should be a dollar each. Should not be more than that, as its a signal directed at your home. Gone are the days of technicians visitng your home and setting up the TV and cable boxes. Should be a simple process instead of the complications that the cable companies portray.
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:06 biagio
  7. From reading the discussion document, I am disappointed with the Commission's proposal to maintain the current approach to authorizing non-Canadian programming services.  The BDU's are also programmers, so of course they are going to whine about changing the status quo.  I agree with the Commission's earlier prosal to allow non-Canadian services into Canada, if it can be demonstrated that they will not adversely affect the Canadian broadcasting system.
    At the very least, reverse your decision on the denial of USA Network.  With Mystery TV rebranding, there should be no objection anymore.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:22 dpayne
  8. I prefer option A with a small package of local stations, educational stations et al and the option of then pick and pay for the remaining products. The costs for the pick and pay channels should also be capped given that the cable companies have a geographic monopoly on their services As a retiree this will help reduce my costs and allow me to watch only those stations which I subscribe too.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:28 Canscot
  9. On air tv MUST remain, or else we will be prisoners of cable companies. I had to choose between cable tv and the internet, so I chose the internet. It's too expensive to have both, and on-air digital tv technology of today is FAR superior in terms of picture quality than any cable system. I propose that the consumer be able to choose any channel ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, so that the consumer can "build" his tv "portfolio". No basic service please, just a few extra non-local cable channels will do. Most people living in or near big cities can do without a basic cable package  and simply use a basic antenna. If the consumer's lucky, he'll have enough money left over for internet services. Removing on-air tv is an attack on lower income Canadians, and besides, it's silly. I guess I would like to see the OPPOSITE of what the CRTC wants, which sounds a lot more like what tv stations seem to want.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:35 nomoretv
  10. Perhaps I am mistaken, but these proposals seem to be letting the cable companies decide on the basic package.  Perhaps we could have the CRTC state the specific channels that are considered "local" and which "fullfill policy objectives" for each city before we decide.
    I am concerned for political reasons.  It is no secret that there are close ties between Sun TV News and the Conservative Party.  Sun TV has desparately tried to get into every Canadian home since it's inception.  It was denied Category 1 status in 2010.  The result was that it is now only in 40% of Canadian homes.  
    I have this fear that these changes will allow Sun TV News to be included in every package.  Especially considering that option A and B both state, "It would also include Canadian channels that fulfill important policy objectives under the Broadcasting Act.".

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:54 quitlam
  11. Very sneaky, CRTC. You want to shut down local stations broadcasting OTA and force people into paying $20-30 for having the same content they've been getting free? This will backfire big time. My household and many others in Canada have ditched cable because of the big three's overpriced packages. No one is going to want to pay to get local channels as basic service. I know that if this proposal goes through, in my home we will just stick with getting online content. We will never give the cable/satellite providers here one more cent of our hard-earned money after getting fleeced for so long.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:10 zucchero81
  12. If my local broadcasters shut own their OTA transmitters, there are many US transmitters that are even closer who will gladly accept me as a viewer. Frankly, I'd rather have no TV than get back into bed with the cable companies and you can bet that many OTA viewers feel the same way.
    If the CRTC mandate would be best served by catering to the stations at the cost of pushing many Canadians to become American TV viewers, then your plan is exactly the right thing to do. I'd prefer Canadian news and programming, but not at the cost of paying usurious rates to the BDUs.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:28 rpali
  13. As a current Over The Air (OTA) user I am in opposition to allowing local transmitters to be shut down.
    After suffering at the hands of Rogers for years I'm enjoying OTA, Netflix and other streaming. I can get 95% of the shows I want to watch that way without the need to pay for anything else I don't want to watch, let alone what Rogers chose to package. With their ever increasing rates, ancient PVR that reset frequently having to be replaced with the result of ALL recorded shows being lost repeatedly due to restrictive DRM, they are dinosaurs.
    While it may seem retro to put up an antenna, I get uncompressed (24 Mbps) video compared to the heavy compression Rogers uses that results in severe pixellation during rapid movement such as for hockey games, sunlight reflecting off water, flashing police lights, etc. Yes, an antenna gives a far superior viewing experience to what Rogers is offering.
    I use Windows Media Center (WMC), Plex, Apple TV, and an iPad to watch what I want, where I want, without Rogers having any say in the matter. I've already paid off the capital cost of having an HD antenna professionally installed, and purchasing tuners for WMC, and I use a repurposed laptop as the PVR. I have a far superior experience than I ever had with Rogers Cable.
    Rogers PVR's DRM prevents me from doing anything Rogers doesn't think they can get paid for. WMC allows me to do whatever I want. Rogers kept the same crappy PVR for years. I can upgrade my WMC, tuners, and streamers any time I want. With Plex or a Slingbox, I can watch my content anywhere in the world.
    The only time I will care about what packages the telecartels offer is if you force me to become hostage to Rogers once again by allowing transmitters to be shut down. That would be extremely consumer hostile. It doesn't serve me. It only serves to line the pockets of Rogers.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:28 TWSheppard
  14. Addendum: The only recurring monthly cost I have now is for the electricity to run my laptop. I don't even count Netflix because I was already subscribing to that while with Rogers. If I'm forced to become a victim of Rogers again, I will have high monthly costs for far less flexibility.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:32 TWSheppard
  15. Why has the real issue of set top boxes being forced on consumers been swept under the rug. All this talk about canadian content and close captioning is pointless in the modern internet era.
    Concentrate on the issues of allowing freedom of choice in equipment and programming if the telco's provide the best options for either of those they will be selected if not they will have to come up with better choices to get customers AKA.Free Market. 
    I don't want to have to buy another 1990's technology set top box from a telco the last one i got they advertised DLNA abilities and then never delivered after 3 years. Normally that would be concsidered false advertsiing but the CRTC allowed them to do this even after a number of people complained.
    My PC and all my TV's have the ability to handle clear QAM so i don't need a PVR/DVR/Set Top Box and neither does anyone who bought a TV in the last decade. Make the Telcos decrypt the signal on their side of the system and just send me the channels i pay for then stay out of my home as i don't want the garbage equipment they offer.
    Price caps wil be needed on any single channel pay structure as the telcos will just jack the price until you can only afford thier pre determind packages.
     
     
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:40 RSS
  16. I think ALL channel choices should be on a pick and pay method.    Pre-assembled packages just mean you get a lot of channels you don't want or watch just to recieve the one or two that you actually view.   We have many channels in our Cogeco package but only watch a handful.  Certain channels in our package I have NEVER looked at .   No one can tell me this is a cost effective model .   Pay for something you use 30% !   

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:40 KevinS
  17. OPTION 3!!!
    I live in Northern Saskatchewan, where:
    - there is no local news stations
    - there is very slow internet (hence no option to use Netflix)
    - I am at the mercy of Shaw Cable as it is the only option (Sasktel can't be bothered with our area)
    I want to build my own package - I don't necessarily want local news, when I can watch the same thing (e.g. the National) at an early time in the evening by watching an East Coast Feed.
    If this plan is truly about options and choices for the Canadian Consumer, then let us have control.
    What will end up happening is that popular Channels (HBO, TSN, etc.) will be exhorbitantly priced, in order for the Cable companies to keep their profits.
    I think it is appalling how the Cable Companies are now having specialized channels (Jets on TSN) where you are forced to pay for the primo channel, as the games are blocked on the regular TSN Channel (and I am not a sports fan!)
    I'd love it if the CRTC would force companies like Sasktel to provide the same services to ALL their Customers, rather than concentrating the fastest and best to the urban centres.
    However, I'd be happy to just be able to pay for and use the channels I want to see :)
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:45 Quadrinity
  18. Fundamentally, I'm of the opinion that Basic TV should be transmitted Over-The-Air and be available for free as is the present convention. 

    Continuing to make Basic channels available through a BDU's supbscription service is fine but it must be at a low cost. Frankly, it should be under 10 dollars a month to receive Basic TV through a BDU.  The service could be marketed for a 1 time fee of 99 dollars a year or even less. Satellite companies could include Basic service with the purchase of a (non-subsidized) receiver and simply transmit Basic TV in the clear.

    The game plan with Basic TV is to generate revenue from advertising. The greater the potential viewership, the greater the value of the advertising time. Once a subscription fee is applied to Basic TV there is a risk viewership will be lost to the subscription channels that provide preferred content or content without commercials.   

    Simultaneous Substitution has always disturbed me.  If a person is paying a subscription fee to receive a premium channel or an out of market US channel then subsitution should not be permitted. Imagine buying premium gas and having it subsituted with something else???? I don't mind watching the Canadian feed of a TV Show or a major event, but being forced to watch it, while I've paid for the US feed is nothing short of fraudulent.

    Paying for premium channels on a pick and pay basis is a good idea and this should be implemented but offering a better value for a combination package should continue to exist.

    The fact that a consumer is forced to subscribe to a Basic TV package from a BDU, before selecting any premium or out of market channels is troubling, especially in markets where there is a ton of free Over The Air TV available. This practice should be discontinued. The consumer should decide precisely what he or she wishes to subscribe to from a BDU, including whether to subscribe to a Basic TV package. Of course if Basic TV was already included with the hardware purchase this issue would become irrelevant.

    Attempting to impose archaic marketing practices in the world of broadcasting distirbution will backfire.  The consumer has way too many options nowadays and is not likely to tolerate paying large fees for what he or she can readily recieve for a low cost or for free or paying subscription fees for TV channels that he or she will never watch.
     

     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 17:07 TV-Watcher
  19. Thank you for the chance to assist in this decision and the changes that you will be making.  I would like to comment on the simulatneous substitution question.  I think there was a time years ago when this would have been made sense and was profitable for our Canadian stations like Global, CTV etc...  However, now in this day and age when we have time shifting, and DVR's it really doesn't make much sense because really not many of us even watch the commercials anyway.  I think that people that actually do want to watch something on their local television station on cable so they can see their local commercials will.  I can't speak to how many people probably are DVR'ing all of their shows every night and fast forwarding through the commercials but I would imagine that I'm not alone in saying that I would probably skip the commercials in most cases anyway.  That being said I do prefer to watch the U.S feed for most shows.  There are several instances where the U.S feed which here in Calgary is from Spokane Washington will show extra clips for the show you're watching or previews for next weeks episode.  One that will drive us crazy at my house is the Mentalist.  We watch it on CBS and it is simsubbed with CTV.  CTV will NOT show the preview for next week and their simsub of the station will just end as the credits are rolling on CBS and we just see the end of the promo.  I just don't see the advantage of Simsubbing when most people aren't watching the canadian commercials on there anyway.  Speaking for myself I think we as Canadians would benefit more from removing the simsub rule and forcing the local stations (Global, CTV, City etc) to air Canadian shows instead of piggy backing off the U.S for all of their lineups.  Just to add to this I definitely agree with removing the Simsubing for the Super Bowl.  The commercials are a big deal and many watch just for them.  Sorry for the rant and thanks again for hearing my opinion

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 17:11 chriscgy
  20. Please retain over-the-air TV! I will never pay for cable again, and will lose access to Canadian TV.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 17:55 pauljohns30
  21. I strongly disagree with option 1.    Many of the "Local" channels, including the CBC, CTV, Global and CITY TV affiliates primarily provide rebroadcasts of american based programming.   Also mandated "Cultural" channels such as APTN or Vision are of NO interest to me.
    The Cable/Transmission channel must be prohibited from adding any additional channels (likely because they are part of their media group's productions) to the mandatory channel offerings.
    Under option 2, I believe the answer is yes.   This is simply because Rogers and Bell have chosen to refuse to allow their competing provider access to some of the channels.   Secondarily, the media groups should not be able to say "I will only allow you to provide XX channel to your customers UNLESS you also take channel YY.
    I believe that I, as a subscriber, should be allowed to subscribe ONLY to the channels that I want - with no baseline package.  I realize that the carrier may be allowed a service fee for provision of the carriage -- but I DO NOT WANT to have to purchase any channels I do not want.   I also realize that this may result in a higher per channel rate than might otherwise happen IF bundling was provided.    However, I believe that my overall channel costs would be lower and I would get exactly what I was interested in (and nothing else).
    I believe that I should be able to pick exactly the channels I want - without packages -- because under the current model, I am required to purchase a number of additional tiers simply to get 1 or 2 specific channels that only occur on that tier.
    4.  I believe that the mandatory signal substitution by Canadian channels is offensive as it denies the viewer the opportunity to watch what they want to watch.  The best example of this is the US Superbowl.   Many viewers wish to watch the US signal during the Superbowl because American firms have better commercials during this period.   I realize that Canadian broadcasters pay rights fees based on the premise that their ads will be the ones that are aired -- however this might be a provision that is phased in over time.   Ultimately the Canadian broadcasters would reduce the rights fees they would be willing to pay -- which would correspond with the reduction in viewership and advertising revenues.
     
    In summary, I have contempt for the mainline Canadian broadcasters.   While I enjoy a number of Canadian specialty channels - the mandatory requirement to subsidize Canadian mainstream producers is nauseating.   Television production should be like any other business.   Provide a qualty service at a fair price or go out of business.
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 18:34 Rob K
  22. 1) Basic Package
    I believe that if OTA is done away with BDU's should be required to provide local (within lets say 100km if urban/or province wide for less populated areas) channels free and un-encrypted so consumers can find the cheapest/most appropriate hardware to watch the local channels.
    If in a situation where OTA is maintained Cable/Sat companies should be restricted to a VERY basic set and not require people to pay for more channels than absolutely necessary - ie CBC,CTV,GLB,CITY,Legislature, Fed Gover, Community - thats it..  It should be VERY VERY cheap like $5.
    Again the larger corps have been allowed to purchase ALL the content providers country wide - as they are integrated and own both the media and the distribution they should be required to contribute on an ongoing and consistant basis.
    As far as capping the price - yes it should be again I dont think the basic price should be more than $5-10 and should really only cover the costs to maintain the infrastructure.  It should always be unencrypted also.
    2) Pick and Pay options
    Yes absolutely - Canadians should be allowed to pick what they pay for at a reasonable cost. My current subscription includes something like 300 channels or more - I watch about 10 in any given month.
    Why pay for 300?  Because in order to get my 10 channels most of which are included in basic cable I need to pick up all the other crap.
    Even at $5/channel + a basic fee I would still save substantially.
    3) Packing build your own/pre-assembled

    Im fine with pre-assembled packaging as long as providers are required to allow for build your own at a reasonable cost.
    Example:
    If a pre-assembled package containing 20 channels owned by bell is $10 it isnt reasonable that a consumer should be required to pay $3.00/channel that would put the cost for 4 channels higher than the cost of the pre-assembled bundle and completely defeat the whole point of pick and pay. Therefore distributors should be allowed to make bundles (along with pick and pay) but should be restricted such that the individual channels contained in the pre-assembled bundle cannot be granted a discount more than 5-10% less than the cost to create the bundle by independantly purchasing the channels.

    4) Simsubs - the deal

    The issue with simsubs is that they encourage canadian channels to simply buy american programming for all prime time blocks while producing little to no canadian content.  By removing their ability to simsub Canadian consumers would actually obtain a number of benefits - such as:
    a) since the networks would gain nothing by matching american schedules  - the networks would either not buy american programming or make schedules that work well for Canadian viewers.
    b) because they wouldnt gain the advantage of simsubbing the channels would be encouraged to generate more local/canadian content
    c) simulcasting sports/live events is very very frustrating to canadians.  Having a game clipped for a tim hortons commercial is very frustrating, having global insert candian tire ads onto the field in the superbowl is similiarly so. By removing the option Canadian broadcasters would only purchase canadian live events due to limits on cost. This would allow canadians to watch as they want.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 19:12 adamg98
    1. I agree, that Canadian content would benefit by ending these signal subs. I think we should have more Canadian content on CTV and the other networks who do nothing but replace U.S. signals. I used to love watching shows like "Here Come The Seventies" or "Rollin'" with Bobby Curtola. And other early CTV shows.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:13 GorgonTheWonderful

  23. This is a useless conversation 1) pick and pay should be the only way. Then tax the cable providers to pay for GOOD canadian content and we are done. Why should I pay 30$ to get 1 channel that I want to watch.
    The reality though is this is an archaic conversation as I cancelled cable 3 months ago and haven't missed it. Now my in-laws who are seniors are watching online as well. If they are doing it as relatively inexperience technology people I can't see cable being relevant in 10 years. This is like the government trying to regulate record players while the population moves on to CD's and digital content.
    CRTC needs to move into the future with its regulations and not focus on old technology. Personally this feels like Stephen Harper trying to get votes by saying he is looking out for the little guy while he knows that it doesn't matter as cable tv is a dinosaur and is on its way to extinction.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 19:15 Bkm
  24. Please keep the Air to TV transmitters, A large percentage of people live a mobile lifestyle in recreational vehicles either full time or vacationing and depend on airwars for their TV. 

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 20:00 BarryCampbell
  25. Over the air broadcast of local channels needs to continue, it give people another option instead of needing to pay for cable, for some people who have limited incomes even $30 a month for cable can be an issue.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 20:22 jamchamb
  26. We should be allowed to pick our own stations at a reasonable monthly rate. Also selling off the CBC would be welcomed as well.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 20:51 dolan
  27. I agree that there needs to be "regulation" over cable and satellite providers to control the costs and give the consumer proper choices to pay for only what they desire to receive.  I agree that a "basic package" needs to be provided and at a reasonable cost - definitely no more than $30 / month.  What I don't agree with - and let me emphasize - I do not agree - with giving the option to stations to stop OTA transmission if they desire!  Only in Canada would I be facing this notion!  It was not long ago that all the stations had to meet a deadline to switch their transmission from analogue to digital - and that alone cost a huge sum of money, and now you might say - "sorry about your luck - just shut it down if you want"?  This is the most absurd proposal I could ever imagine coming out of the CRTC and it should be dropped off the list and not even thought of - ever again!  We have a right to OTA broadcasts and since my kids left home in 2008, all I have had is OTA reception and it is fine.  I will NEVER pay a cable or satellite company again.  I get plenty of material from Buffalo and Rochester etc. and I will just watch that if you allow Canadian stations to stop transmitting.  I must ask -  did anyone ever think about us OTA people not receiving "Emergency Broadcast" messages as a result of this proposal?  And did anyone ever stop to think that maybe - just maybe - us pensioners do not have the money to pay for TV?  I am appalled that this idea is on the table and ask that it be dropped.  The Government is poking in all the wrong areas - do the right thing with pay TV providers to help those who want to continue with it, and those who have no choice because they are in an apartment or condominium or retirement home.  But leave the Over-The-Air broadcasts as they are, and as they always should be.  Thank you.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:09 Gammavino
  28. I like the idea of a small basic package of local tv stations but I don't want the news networks like Sun, Cbc or ctv included. I also like the pick and pay approach. I am tired of having to buy a bundle simply to watch the one channel. If more flexibility is not introduced into the system I will abandon traditional tv. I already subscribe to Netflix and I watch a lot of tv online.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:38 jasmit
  29. I subscribe to (and pay for)  a lot of channels that are of no value to me and don't watch them, however they are part of a package and trying to get individual channels is more expensive than subscribing to complete packages.
    Can't wait to cut the cable connection and just watch online content, I just got an online survey from an independent company for Shaw cable asking about their services and one of the question was about what services I would drop iif I had a choice and cable was the one I chose- if the CRTC does not madate changes to the cable companies on choices for consumers they are going to drop the cable services as soon as there are options available and the choices are not going to be from Canada, already a few people I know are using USA  IP addresses to watch on line content.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:38 Aft
  30. I think its absolutely asinine in this day and age that Service providers force customers to take pre package channels and have the gall say to the clients that customized channels cannot be done.  I believe that  we must have a choice to select the channels we want to watch and  I am willing to pay for my choices.
    I agree with a Basic Package of all Canadian Channels starting at the lowest price possible $20,(capped for say 5 years)  then allow the customer to select their choice from 50 cents to $1 per channel , There are over 500 channels out there and easily one's invoice could  reach any where up to this value or more, but at least if the customer can afford this, it should be up to them to make the choice.
    I don't agree with the CRTC giving the choice to the TV stations of removing their transmitters, as there needs to be the option of giving Canadians to obtain OTA transmissions as some of us cannot afford the basic packages on fixed set of incomes.
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:52 AP90811
  31. I have been patiently waiting for a "pick and pay" model, although market forces would most likely steer us in that direction soon regardless of CRTC intervention. I think it is absurd that consumers have to pay for an unwanted bundle of channels to receive the channels they wish to view. In my case, I am paying for hundreds of channels to get just a few that I can't get otherwise.
    1. I have no issue with paying for a basic Canadian-content package, although it should be capped at $20. Any more and many people will opt for viewing online and using services like Netflix. I am happy to pay for and help promote Canadian content.
    2. I absolutely agree that all channels should be available individually on a pick-and-pay basis. Any other system is antiquated. Any number of retail analogies could be given so I won't bore you with one.
    3. I don't like the idea of pre-assembled packages. That will just be a smaller form of what we have now. What about this: all channels can be chosen and paid for individually, but if you choose, say 5 channels, you get a volume discount. Then maybe there could be a larger volume discount for choosing 10 channels, etc.
     
     
     
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 22:18 MD
  32. I am all for a complete pick & pay system provided the single channel prices would not turn into a gouging on pricing by the cable companies.  Shaw has completely exorbitant rates even for their basic package, so much that I had to trim down my channel subscription to basic with them and there are still many, many channels I never turn on.
    I'm not a fan of basic cable packages containing CANCON as selected by the cable companies.  Most include programming that I would never watch such as religious based or French channels, I live in BC and don't speak French so completely useless.  I would prefer to be able to select which CANCON I wanted, maybe a manditory selection that required 3 or 4 channel choices as a minimum.
    I also don't like the programming included in other packages that are created by the cable companies.  I think they design it so you want 3 or 4 channels from every package they offer so if you really, really want that channel you will pay for another 10 you don't want.  I want to have CNN and BBC but I don't want to have an entire package of news type channels.
    I feel that cable subscribers should offer pre done packages as well as offer a pick and pay option for those of us who would like to chose.  Of course keeping the cost to a reasonable rate for whichever option is chosen.  I don't want to feel that I would get a better deal chosing a package with 25 extra channels I'm not going to watch vs chosing my own and hopefully being in control of my costs. 
    As for reasonable price, well for Netlix I pay $7.99/mo which I feel is great value for my money considering the scope of programming.  With cable I would like to be able to have all the channels I actually want (not including Movie Central / Super Channel specialty channels) to watch for under $60/mo - maybe pay $1.50 per channel max.
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 22:24 cg
  33. For one thing I think it has been far too long that the providers have been able to get away with the package subscriptions process they offer today. To think that I must purchase 5 channels I don't want to get the one I want is a terrible approach and rigged. They predetermine the few good channels in various packages to get you to buy more packages of channels that you didn't want.
    For this reason I strongly believe that every channel above the default basic package should be pick n' pay. If the channel is terrible and cannot get subscribers to pay for that individual channel then it should be gone and something else made available. This is a free market approach, sink or swim. Either offer something the viewer wants to pay for or get off the air. There are far too many channles that are garbage that we subsidize. If the TV shows themselves find they reside on a channel that has bad programming then they have the right to move to another channel.
    I however agree there should be a basic package of local programming, I like my local news and events, it shows a spririt of community and fair market. I am okay with a basic set of local channels and I am willing to pay $20-$30 for that.
    I also believe that distributors should not be allowed to substitute live performances for other content. I agree someone needs to pay for those events and that is why they need to fill the seats. If the event is good enough they will fill seats no matter if the item is on TV or not. Again sink or swim.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 22:32 Randy
  34. I agree with the comment that this seems like we are trying to regulate record players when the world has moved to a new medium.  If the CRTC is trying to create a framework for watching tv 10 years from now, this seems to be quite an odd process.
    I cancelled my cable subscription years ago.  I watch over the air and pay for services online.  I enjoy watching NFL and have subscribed to NFL Game Pass, paying for an annual subscription.  I was a little shocked to see that many of the games are blacked out.  I understand that there are broadcast rights in Canada and would happy to pay a fee to the rights holder.  That isn't even an option.  The only option for watching these blacked out games is to get a cable subscription.  Why are cable companies dictating how I watch the programming that I choose to watch.  As it stands, I have subscribed to a service that gets around geo-blocking.  This framework has created an industry where my money is going to international companies, rather than staying with Canadian rights holders. 
    This is unlike the issue with grey market satellite where the programming was not available in Canada.  The issue here is watching an NFL game that is available in Canada, just I don't want to watch it how the big cable companies want me to watch it.  If you want to keep the money in Canada, there needs to be recognition of online availability of content.
    I also watch over the air channels.  When I missed a show, in the pass I would go online and watch it.  For many shows, this is no longer an option, as you need to have a cable subscription in order to watch the show online.  Again, this is the big cable companies trying to dictate how I watch content.  Again, rather than watching the show online, where I will gladly watch commercials, the content is blocked.  Again, money goes to an international company that gets around geo-blocking, and the Canadian rights holders get nothing.
    The CRTC must recognize the fact that there are now countless companies that offer their services to Canadians that allow for consumers to get around geo-blocking.  Rather than trying to regulate the cable market, lets start looking at ways to allow Canadians the choice to watch the programming they want and keep the money in Canada. 
    The easiest solution is to allow cable companies to offer a subscription service to online content and stop making me pay for a basic monthly cable package that I never watch. 

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:10 phearty
  35. I agree with any suggestions to allow Canadian cable subscribers to pick and choose the specialty channels that we want, and not the ones that our providers tell us to. For too long, I've subscribed to countless channels that  I never watch (or in some cases, don't even know that I have/exist) just to get some that I want, and waste hundreds of dollars a year on them. With more people cancelling their cable TV and going to OTA and online, surely abolishing OTA signals would be playing right into the hands of cable providers, and not allowing customers to choose the channels that they want will only continue this practice. Any 'pick your own' packages also have to be reasonably priced - what's the point of offering this if it's prohibitively priced? It would certainly prove to me that the CRTC is not truly sympathetic to cable customers.
    As for simultaneous subsitution, this has been a thorn in my side for decades, namely due to the incompetence of the cable providers to accurately and correctly substitute, but also now with US channels running programs in uneven time blocks (i.e. 9:01pm-10:02pm), and Canadian rights to US show blocks being held by different channels, watching a full night of shows without missing the end or beginning of some or all has become way too difficult because of substitutions. If I prefer the Canadian schedule to the US schedule, or vice versa, that's my right, and I should not have to endure the government telling me how to watch TV. Plus, with on demand and websites/apps available to Canadian viewers, the Canadian channels can still get their advertisers' messages to Canadians without substituting. This outdated practice needs to die.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:12 todowntowner04
  36. Canadians should be able to purchase programming on a channel by channel basis. Local programming should be part of a basic service offering that would be considered affordable to low-income families. Say 25$. Customers should be rewarded for buying more channels by lowering the cost per channel as more channels are purchased. For example any one channel at 5$/month, any 5 channels at 3$/month any 10 channels at 2$ month etc. Cable company bundling is fine so long as all channels are available for individual purchase and customers can create their own bundles.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:12 Nathan in Canada
  37. 1. I do not agree that all subscribers should have to choose a basic package, unless the basic package could be one channel (CBC would be a good choice as the national broadcaster). The market should be able to dictate which channels succeed and which fail by the popularity of the programming they offer, not because of some forced bundling process. More and more networks are spending outrageous sums on sports and other programming, at the expense of the consumer who is forced to ante up ever-increasing monthly fees. How many cooking shows do we really need, or sports channels that play an overabundance of shows featuring poker. Is that even a sport? Cable companies could offer variations on the small package through other bundling. The cost per channel should be somewhere around $1/month. I recently ended my cable service after a 6-month promotion whereby I received something like 100 channels for $5/month, which was a good value. Heck, even $10/month would have been good. By virtue of this pricing, the cable company seems to be putting a retail vale of about $0.05/month/channel, so $1/month seems like I might be being overly generous.
    2. I do agree that distributors should have to offer all channels a la carte, although I would not oppose them offering bundles as well for savings or convenience. In the digital age there seems to be no difference in cost from a distribution standpoint in delivering one, ten, or one hundred channels. Wire, routers, switches, etc are the same regardless.
    3. I do agree that subscribers should be able to choose to build their own channel lineup or use a pre-built option from the cable company. Let the market (consumer) dictate which channels are valuable or desired, not the cable company based on some internal logic or desire to promote their own channels over channels owned by another conglomerate. The whole business of owning the content and the distribution smacks of conflict-of-interest/monopoly, by the way.
    4. I assume "simultaneous substitution" refers to things like inserting Canadian commercials into US feeds such as the super bowl. I have no problem with this, the internet makes it trivial to watch any commercials you might want to watch if you just can't get enough of advertisements as it is.

    As a consumer who has finally had enough of paying for too much unwatched content, I have recently gone back to advertising-supported over-the-air programming and cancelled my cable subscription. Unlike some big cities near the US border, this means I currently get CBC, Global, and CityTV in Edmonton. The CTV signal is too weak. Allowing these companies to shut down their OTA transmissions would leave me without access to news and other national programming (not to mention Canadian content, of which there is precious little on Netflix and iTunes), as many channels can not be watched online without a cable subscription as well. This does not seem to be in the interests of Canadian consumers. Perhaps an alternative would be to allow these stations to turn off their OTA transmitters, if the same stations were made available at no charge through a cable subscription thereby forming the minimum "base" package. This would represent a status quo situation for the consumer and broadcaster, while allowing the broadcasters to reduce costs and open up radio spectrum for other uses. For the cable companies, providing a high level of quality and service for this free basic package might encourage some of us to also add paid channels; for example, I myself would be likely to add one or more of the sports channels if my basic programming was free and the channels were reasonably priced. Cable operators would also have an opening for paid content such as pay-per-view movies or sports events, since their box would already be in my home. The cable companies would also have access to another possible revenue stream by renting PVR boxes instead of non-PVR digital terminals. Add in the other services they offer and the cable companies could wind up turning a free package into monthly revenue from specialty channels, movie rentals, equipment rentals, phone, and internet service from a person from whom they might have previously received no revenue at all. Win/win as the consumer gets exactly what they want and the cable company gets revenue they might otherwise have missed.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:17 trevnlaura
    1. They don't insert Canadian commercials.  They broadcast their own signal in place of the U.S. one.  This is pertinent because in the case of the local channels who do it where I live, they ALSO run COMMERCIALS DURING THE SHOWS as well. Up in the top left hand corner of the screen a big red rectangle appears on-screen during the show you are watching between 3 and 4 times or more with a longer program or special, in the red rectangle a rotating logo for a local car company spins for about 3 to 5 minutes at a time.  Often on top of the faces and action taking place on screen.  It ruins a person's ability to enjoy the show.  Complaints to the network and car company got no results.  They couldn't care less that viewers don't like this.  They CAN do this so they WILL do it.  Screw the tv viewer and the people paying all those big bucks to the cable company. I now get a friend to download the shows I watch and I watch them a week later rather than put up with this nonsense.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:08 GorgonTheWonderful

  38. I recently cut the cable and quite paying for basic cable here in WInnipeg. I found that the stations offered were simply not worth the monthly subscription fees. I currently use Netflix and other streaming services inconjunction with OTA for 3 local Canadian stations. If your aim by allowing incumbents to shutdown their transmitters is to loose even more viewers go right ahead. There is no way in heck that I will ever subscribe to cable TV again. 

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:32 Fedup
  39. I would love the choice of picking 15 to 20 channels that i would actually watch for $20-$25. Thank you for giving Canadians a chance to talk about this subject.  It is long overdue. Please keep the OTA station transmitters as well. CITY TV Toronto has stopped broadcasting OTA down to London ON and that was my favourite channel.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 00:18 Alan Harper
  40. - Basic Channels local and Canadian content (20-30) and not including radio stations.  Should cost no more than $20.
    I also would support 
    - PICK and Pay option for BYOP or by single channel.  HD and standard should be grouped. $1.50 max per channel per month with rates decreasing as you add more channels.
     
    Broadcasting Revenues 10....   Online licensees should count towards the CPE.  But with a limit of 25%  
    Programming requiremens 12...   A good way to encourage Canadian programming is with a longer commitment and better incentives.    Reducing repeats is always good as long as time shifting is available in the service.
     
    Over the Air programming should stay and not be removed.   Maybe there should be a set minimum power requirement  for the stations.   I live away from the city center and I barely have any OTA reception
     
    Described Video.     More channels and more variety.  It should be implemented like CC with an option to turn on and off at will.
    Closed Captioning.   IS A MUST  online and broadcast.
     
    Analog distribution 26.   Option A  only
     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 01:55 450macant
  41. All this talk about picking a few stations and saving money will be offset by Rogers charging $100 plus for installation and $15 plus to rent the converter box .... they will find loopholes .... they always do..

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 04:27 Alan Harper
  42. I disagree with any package method of marketing TV. Like any retail store, you should be able to purchase what you want, not what the store wants you to buy.
    There should be a fixed monthly fee for the basic service with no channels.  Perhaps $15 a month to have the cable hooked up to your house.  Then pay on a per channel basis after this.
    Also, please do not allow broadcasters to discontinue broadcasting.  I have a TV aerial, like my parents had 50 years ago, and it works fine.  It is free.  I pay by enduing all of the commercials on TV.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 07:42 wildron@cogeco.ca
  43. I fully agree that a honed down "Basic Package" is needed and would much fairer for consumers. I also concur with the process of allowing customers to pick and pay for separate channels as they like, above and beyond the Basic Package.
    A set fee, based on those currently charged in Quebec, and other jurisdictions should be used as a reference point to ensure that the fees for the "chosen" channels are not exorbitant (as is likely to be the case).
    I currently use an antenna for my T.V. and have not subscribed to cable for many years. I would probably subscribe if such a system, as discussed above, were implemented in a reasonable way.
    Adam
     
     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 08:08 Adam
  44. I completely agree that cable provider prices and options they offer are unfair to consumers. They have created a "trap" that ensures our bills are high yet none of use fully the services we pay for.

    I agree with capping the basic cable and fully support building your own package and pick and choose. I feel that is the cable providers would currently offer that, I would only pay for what I want and use.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 08:31 sdashnay
  45. 1.  All subscribers must purchase at least a basic package.  I disagree -  I should not pay for channels I do not want to watch!  I should not pay for a service (channel(s)) that I don't want.    There should be no basic package but all channels should be pick and pay.   However, If there is a basic package, it should be optional for the customer to purchase.  For example, I only watch couple channels from Rogers Basic package, a waste of money.  
    2.  Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?  I fully agree.  Customers have been asking for over 20 years, pick and pay all channels.  As I mentioned above, there should be NO basic service, should be all pick and pay channels.  For example, if I want only 10 channels, I should be paying solely for those 10 channels and not basic service on top of those 10 channels.  There should be a price associated with each channel and we the customer choose the ones we want.
    3.  Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why?  I agree as long customers can pick and pay for any channels.  (why) it is obvious, customers know what they want to watch not the distributors.  Currently, to receive only the channels I want to watch, I would have to pick  several "pre'assembled ones" packages of which include many channel I don't want. 
    4.  Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?  My only comment is it is very frustrating and annoying when distributors do that.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 08:55 apothier
  46. I think an affordable basic package is a must, with add on specialty channels that you can pick and choose. As it is, between the big 3 companies, Rogers, Cogeco and Bell, their packages vary greatly and you don't always get the same thing. For bell to get the same package as Cogeco we would be paying 30% more for the additional channels, many of which we don't even watch. A 20-30 dollar  basic package over the current $55 dollar package would be much better since we already get very few add on channels and this is the basic for bell. There needs to be standard for the basic package no matter who the provider is as you aren't able to pick who your cable provider is. We are stuck with Cogeco in our area and our only other option is Bell. We tied OTA but we get very few channels that way as we are away from this city.

        Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?
        
    Yes, a pick and pay option would be better. While the full package deal should be available there are only about 3 to four channels that I would really like to get. If I subscribe for an extra $30 dollars I get a lot of channels that I don't want or would never watch. The way things are currently packaged I end up getting some I want and some I don't but miss out on other channels I want.
       
     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:09 mrh7448
  47. I would support option A which allows for a small package of local stations only.  In addition, all other stations need to be stand-alone pick and pay.  I have never seen a package offering by the providers that only included stations I wanted.  People have different tastes so it is impossible to create a package all will wish to have.  One size fits all is what we are trying to get away from. 

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:11 David
  48. Those that want a basic package should have them. Others should be allowed to have pick and pay only or combine it with a package.
    Companies should not dictate what a consumer must pay for! Why should I pay for what I don't want? There should also not be a large dfferential price for the two choices.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:35 dlepine
  49. This is the first time I have experienced this format with Goverment.  Its great that I can do this.  The CRTC I believe is reaching out to engage Canadians to participate which is great. Over the years we get this packages which we cannot breakdown to elimante the ones we don't use and keep the ones we do use.  Flexibility is key, affordabliity is importnat and keeping current as changes happen so fast.
    Being able to cut the cable so to speak is happening so fast.  I would also like the system to deal with this.  Choice at affordable rates is so important.  When I want to watch a sports event, documentary or whatever event that is not a regular event and I am not able to view this due to the package I picked, it is very frustrating not to be able to watch this event or series because of the packages/cost.  However with the new avenues availabe you can stream this but for me its hard figure out this approach and hopefully the CRTC will figure this out for all Canadians.
    Thanks for this opportunity to express my thoughts.  

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:51 little person
    1. With regard to the CRTC reaching out, the proof will be in the pudding. While I and many are participating in it, I am not convinced that our voices will be listened to as much as the cable industries voice. Therefore, we really have to make a lot of noise in order to be heard and so I heartly encourage people to air their views loudly in order to counter the industries control of these issues. As my mother use to say, the baby that cries the loudest is the one that gets the breast.

      At worst, this is just window dressing for a big industry give-away. Don't forget, the Federal government stands to make a couple of Billion dollars if they can auction away valuable OTA spectrum which they will sell at below value which just occured with the VHF spectrum auctions that occured recently. The dominant mobile companies just got fire-sale prices and the average Canadian got ripped off. Eliminating OTA will again rip us off both in forcing people to pay for cable and selling the OTA spectrum to mobile industries for below their real value.

      OTA has nothing to do with cable. #16 is burried in this "make cable cheaper" proposal so that the OTA spectrum can be sold. That's how I see this proposal from the CRTC which, under the current government, does not suprise me. I am thankful to see so many OTA viewers writing comments.

      Dear all OTA viewers, please take action on this and at least make your voices heard. This is an assault on OTA.

      Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 13:39 OTA - Toronto

      1. I agree as many have shown here OTA is a better option that threatens cable etc. You are right the selling of the spectrum could be revenue for the government but we loose in the end be cause OTA would be lost. This proposal could be a test run by the goverment to see reaction to a potential revenue source by elimination OTA. It is interesting that the CRTC has said nothing about allowing transmitters to be shut down but then those same airwaves be available to others. I doubt the shutdown would be to create dead space in the spectrum. Once that spectrum is shut down there is no chance to regain OTA. This truly is a win win for government, cable companies and everyone but the OTA viewer. 
        Don't just contribute to this forum write your MP about your objection to shutting down OTA. 

        Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 10:00 bradOTA

  50. While I agree with being able to pick and choose our channels I think it is important that caps be placed on what can be charged by the cable companies for each channel. Otherwise we will be able to pick and choose but cable companies will price individual prices to high and we will end up spending more.
    Also I do not agree with allowing local stations to shut down their broadcast antenna's. This move is made to force current OTA users to move to a basic package in order to get what we currently get OTA (over the air) for free. If the broadcasters are allowed to shut down antenna's then we should be able to get all stations that were previously available OTA on cable at no cost.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:09 gunboat willie
  51. I live in Calgary and subscribe to Shaw .I can only get shaw because our apartment building has a Shaw cable feed.That already limits my choices.On top of that Shaw charges $39.90 just for basic TV cable with 100 channels out 200 available.I have 3 HD televisions and would have to pay a minimum $35.00 just to get an addtional basic HD package , not to mention at least another $40,00 plus to aquire additional basic and HD channels.This is outrageous.Iam retired and live on a fixed income and TV is one of my largest avenues of entertainment and info sources.What makes it all the more unaceptable is that CNN ,an American news network, is available in HD and CBC newsworld,which I mutch prefer is not.So much for encouraging Canadian content.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:10 mokum
  52. My family is currently enjoying the great canadian programming available over the air like CBC and TVO and I think it would be really disappointing to see this go away as it will allow the local tv station to shutdown the transmitters. Why force people to even pay $20-$30 monthly when you dont watch all other basic tv channels and you get what you watch for free.
     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:14 John Trivedi
  53. All subscribers must purchase at least a basic package.  I totally DISAGREE with this.  The channels in the basic package would be garbage and it is a waste of my money. We should not be restricted like this. get rid of the idera of a mandatory package before you can buy any other channels or packages.  I have never need in a store that requires me to buy one thing before I can buy another.
    Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis?  All channels should be offered on a pick and pay or build your own channels from any channels offered.  The prices for this should be equal or less than what the companies would charge for their "packages".  I want the ability to choose what I want to watch, not what some cable company says that I must watch.  Most of the channels offered in "packages" are garbage and not be watched.  I do not want to have to pay for something that I will NEVER watch.  I want to build my own list of channels that I WILL watch.  I would never go to a store and buy something that I would NEVER use so why is this the case with TV "packages"?
        
    Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones?  Yes!!!!  This is the only way that TV channels subscriptions should be offered.  Then we can CHOOSE what we want.  BUT the choosing of individual channels should NOT require that any package be purchased first and that the total price of choosing individual channels should be equal or less than purchasing them as packages by the provider.  Also there should be NO restrictions on what channels we can choose individually.....any channel offered by the provider should be available in the building of our own packages

    Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether?  YES!!!!  This practice is essentially censorship.  I thought Canada was a free country where citizens can decide for themselves what is right for them within the confines of our society.  This rule is archaic and does nothing to enhance our respect for the decisions made by governmental agencies like the CRTC.  Do you want to be known as the censorship police?

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:23 Roughneck Fan
  54. Broadcasters should not be allowed to turn off OTA transmitters as part of this new proposal.  I am sure this was brought into the proposal to ensure the providers can now capture more market share by forcing those current receiving free programming to now pay between $20-$30 a month plus purchase or rent PVR/DVR systems from those providers at further costs.
    OTA broadcasts have enough programming for my family, removing this would mean no more local programming for us as we would just go without.  Spending another $30-$50 a month is not an option.
    If the CRTC goes ahead with that proposal they should ensure that providers provide DVR and decoder boxes free of charge and allow multiple TVs as well as with OTA you can have as many TVs as you wish while Rogers et all charge extra per outlet.
    Also the CRTC should mandate that providers use an open / unencrypted service for these channels so that any DVR machine can be purchased and you are not forced onto their custom infrastructure.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:31 jamesbe
  55. I have some significant concerns with item 16 Licensing regime for over-the-air stations.  My plan was to drop cable and use a combination of OTA and Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon Instant Video for my viewing needs.  Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon Instant video combined cost less than $30 compared to my Rogers bill of $87 a month.  The only gap is news and sports which could be met with OTA.
    With streaming services, I do not need to pay a monthly fee for extra outlets or purchase expensive (>$100) hardware.  This is the one reason my Cabloe bill is high even though I own all of the settop boxes.
    Since most Canadians live near the US border, most Canadians can receive US programming with a decent quality Antenna costing under $200.  
    I favor a free market approach to the marketplace, and do not believe that the Government should set policy/legislation to overcome the complacency of Canadians.  
    Allowing stations to close local transmitters effectively removes the one choice Canadians have to avoid having to pay Cable/Satellite providers.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:53 William Laurin
    1. I just bought and put up a digital antenna, and now the CRTC is telling me I won't be able to get any channels with it?  Ridiculous.  Maybe the CRTC can refund me?  Seriously, if this was in the works, they should have given us some forewarning.

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:22 WhydoIneedanaccounttocomment

      1. No kidding. Something is wrong if this is even being considered.

        Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:08 DarylK

  56. Only paying $20-30 for a basic package sounds OK to me. I have "basic" satellite and that package costs $56 per month. Most of the channels in the package are of no interest to me. The pick and pay feature would be most welcome. Cable and satellite companies need income in order to stay afloat, so the basic package idea should be kept.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:56 Tatlockgal
  57. I would agree to pay for the basic package along with being able to pick the channels that I want. Right now I have so many that I dont watch as I have had to pick a package for just 1 channel that I want. I would hope that the charge for picking individual channels would be resonable.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:27 Tami
    1. #4 Simultaneous Substitution......OPTION A.......YES.......If I am paying to watch an American station, then I should not be subject to        
      bait and switch.   
      OPTION B.....NO

      #5 Preponderance...........Don't like it, but if necessary then OPTION B

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:35 aginou

  58. We currently are Bell subscribers and are now paying just over $100 a month for our package grouping. I consider this to be ridiculously expensive and would certainly like to be able to pick and choose the channels we want. However, a friend who subscribes to another provider was recently sent a sample survey of what a basic package and his selections would cost and it turned out to be even more costly than what he was already paying.  Bottom line - the individual channel prices where far to high!  If this is going to work in the interest of consumers, the individual channel costs will have to be affordable. Our expectation is that we would be able to get the programming we want for about half the price we are paying now.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 12:42 dotcalm
  59. Its a very basic decision. I only want to pay for what I want. Why do I need to purchase a basic package that lets say is mainly Canadian content and I only watch the local news. Why do I need the other channels in that package. Give us the freedom to choose what we want. I'm really tired of paying for 200 channels and I'm only watching 10. Give us the freedom to choose...This is Canada right...and one more thing make the price affordable. Thank you. 

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 12:49 rbeaudoin
  60. RE: LOCAL PROGRAMMING  “A viable local presence”
    Broadcasters should not be allowed to turn off OTA transmitters as part of this new proposal. I do not agree that the CRTC should allow OTA to be removed. Shaw/Corris | Bell | Rogers own almost all the English TV stations in Canada. They are also the dominate players in the TV Cable business (wires provider).
    These wire providers have a finaical incentive in excess of the cost to remove OTA as OTA is the only real competition for local programing.  They would see dropping OTA as a way to increase their wires subscription revenue by removing the only other alternate in the local area.
    I belive that OTA is gaining popularty as there is not enough content to support the 200+ changes in the Canadian market and you will soon see a natual consolidation of channels. All of my local OTA changes (Edmonton) have 80% of the programing that I am interested in (CBC, local news, and the sindications of  most US popular programing). I do not have to pay a cable co to have five channels simultaniously coving the same episode of the simpson, big bang theory etc.
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 12:52 Aaron
  61. In response to your request for comments, I have no issue, with a mandatory basic package for a very low cost, and even like the idea of a pick and choose ability for remaining channels, if I choose to even use a cable/satellite  provider, I do not agree with the idea of allowing local broadcasters from being able to turn off OTA transmitters, unless all of their content is available for free via another medium (i.e. internet). The cost of cable/satellite services plus internet is extremely high in Canada, and many families can not afford both and in some cases either.
     Yet, I actually believe that the CRTC is asking the wrong question with this review, or at least you are not asking all the right questions.
    In my own personal case, I travel a great deal for work, and just can not see spending close to $100 a month for phone+ internet sevices (cellular sevices are poor at best in this area)  plus another $100 a month for satellite service (I do not have the option of cable) when I am only home a couple of days each week. Thus I make use of OTA services to get local news and maybe the odd show (usually US based (i.e. PBS)), and my internet service to watch the majority of the TV shows and/or movies I prefer when I wish (i.e. on demand).
    This being said, this past year saw, many broadcasters, change their format of shows being broadcast over the internet to a format that requires you to have both a cable/satellite contract, and an internet connection to be able to watch their content on demand. This is unacceptable in the extreme.
    While I do agree that the content (shows) that they broadcast cost money, there should be an option that allows you to pay a small fee to watch a specialty channel over the the internet  in real time and/or on demand similar to cable/satellite services, without having to pay for services, especially in the light that many shows and sporting events are now only avaiable on a specialty channel, such a s TSN or SportsNet .
    Please ask yourselves the question, why should I have to pay twice for the ablity to watch the same show/event just because I wish to make use of a different transmission media.
    Once you (the CRTC) can answer that question, you might be able to answer the question(s) you have asked us to answer on the future of broadcasting in Canada.
    How  a Canadian receives a broadcast (Cable, Satellite, or Internet, OTA) should not matter, what should matter is that a Canadian should be able to be able to get the content they wish at a reasonable price or no cost at all, in the case of a local existing OTA service, without having to pay for a service they do not wish to have.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the future of broadcasting in Canada.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:16 stevensonb
  62. My understanding is that all stations/cable feeds earn income based on the number of subscribers to their feed. With that in mind, it is clear to me that less popular channels currently benefit from being packaged with those that have a substantial subscriber base. There are a number of feeds which may have been relevant at one time, but with widespread availability and use of the Internet, now fail that test. (The Weather Channel)
    Basic Package? NO! Like a previous poster suggested, I think a basic charge ($15?) for the connection (no channels) would be appropriate, with each channel subsequent to that individually priced. Let ME choose what I want to watch - or not. And if I own te digital converter(s) in my home, I shoukd not be charged for any additional feeds beyond one.
    Of the gazillion channels available to me, I watch perhaps 10% of them, yet I am forced to pay for them all. With a discrete selection process, each channel would succeed or fail based on its popularity/relevance to the market. They could even negotiate with the cable companies the price at which they go to market. The herd would be thinned and overall quality would improve. And see that they ALL gain their income from the individual subscriber fee. And that would INCLUDE the CBC.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:20 Eric Hindson
  63. An emerging situation I do not see being addressed directly by these planned changes is when channel is offering streaming service of their programming over the Internet. Current practice has providers with multiple platforms (ie channel owner, cable company, ISP, cell provider) that those streaming offerings are being heavily restricted to only customers of their whole stack of services.
     
    I would like to see it regualted that if an approved channel makes a streaming service available they need to endevaour to provider it to all subcribers regradless of their choice of BDU. It feels now is the time to act as we are falling behind the offerings in the USA as services like Movie Central GO (similar to HBO GO) and TSN GO (streaming sports) are not being made available to subscribers currently. In the near future it is possible that content will increasingly move to being only available on a streaming service instead of continuing to expand the number of traditional channel offerings.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:24 CoryB
  64. I am happy with the "theme packs" offered by my TV provider. I understand that the TV provider is required by the supplier of certain channels to also offer other channels from the same supplier in order to be able to to offer a channel to its subscribers. The "pick and pay" option witll not only cost subscribers more in the long run but could also limit the availability of channels that a TV provider can offer. I don't want to see channels that I want and enjoy eliminated.
    As to Canadian content, I feel that it is being forced on me. I want the USA networks available to me in the basic package as they are now.
    Placing a ceiling on what TV providers can charge for a basic package forces them to raise prices on options offered. TV providers have costs to cover and they need profits to continue and improve service.
    Consumers who want price ceilings and "pick and pay" don't seem to understand that TV provision is a business in a competitive market.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:44 pentaktin
  65. I am old enough to select the channels I want to see. I want complete freedom of selection. No  base package.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:01 leol
  66. • What do you agree or disagree with? I am OK with having to buy a basic package for $20-$30, but think it should be less than that.  I am happy that we are having a conversation about allowing Canadian viewers have the ability to view American networks and not the re-aired shows.
    • Do you have any concerns? My concern is being charged through the nose for the channels that I do want.  I don’t have all of the extra channels now because the different companies are using them to gouge us financially now.  So if we have the ability to select our own channels, which I hope we get, I don’t want to have to pay an arm and a leg to get them.  Especially in a world today where our money doesn’t carry as far as it used to.
    How would you address your concerns if you have any? This is the only forum that has given me this opportunity.
    1. All subscribers must purchase at least a basic package. Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel, if offered, and certain Canadian channels?  Or do you think that the cable and satellite companies should be able to add to this small basic service any additional service they want, so long as the price is affordable? Why? What would you consider an affordable price for this service? Should the CRTC cap the price of this service? Why?  I am on board with being charged a small fee for basic programing depending on what that programing is. If channels that a limited audience views is the programing package, then the fee should only be $10-$15.  When you start adding other Canadian specialty programs, the fee should increase, but only be to a max of $30.  Reason being, there is a higher probability that people are going to add other channels and that will increase spending.  I also think that any pre built package, or build-your-own package should have a cap on it.

    2. Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why? Yes. There are a lot of channels that I want that only come in a package, and those packages are outside of my budget.  I would probably spend more if I could pick specific channels and keep those choices within my budget.

    3. Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why? Yes.  I believe that viewers want variety, but can’t afford it.  Being able to select your own programming would allow people to get that variety on their budget.

    4. Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why? Eliminate it altogether.  There are too many people that I know who look forward to the commercials during special programs and events.  And it is frustrating that it is blocked when trying to view it on the internet as well.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:10 nesmith
  67. ON Over-The-Air (OTA)
    Acronyms:
    High Definition (HD)

    Image Quality (IQ)
    Programming variety (PV)
    Local Content (LC)

    TV Broadcasting started a long time ago with analog OTA, for free. IQ and PV were low, but LC was very good and Cost was (I say again for emphasis) FREE.
    Cable Broadcasters came along to alleviate IQ and PV but were charging for this service.  They charged people to bring otherwise free LC by convincing viewers that they needed all these additional channels.  It worked, especially for our family with "snowy" pictures.  (It also help me since I was, sometimes, the antenna!)
    Then came Digital HD OTA, still as FREE as it was decades ago, but this time surpassing cable feeds in quality (for the limited channels, understood, but still it's fantastic)
    Digital OTA has plenty of room to grow in popularity, is free and accommodates 90% of my family's needs.  I have a cable VIP subscription that I watch rarely now, as OTA is of better quality and it never goes down.  (My Cable box as a tendency to power down!)
    OTA is a necessity.  It is the basic service that the CRTC should embrace and enforce.  The OTA service does not discriminate between rich and poor. It is available anywhere in the broadcast area, whether you are at home, camping, on a boat or, sadly, homeless.  OTA is a basic service that our society must preserve.  Thus all major Canadian broadcasters must continue to broadcast using OTA.
    Until the Internet is available for free to all Canadians, which may never come, our country cannot rely on the Internet to bring what OTA offers.
    CRTC, do not allow medium and big broadcasters to close any OTA.
    On the contrary, all big broadcasters should have OTA all over the place.  Medium-sized broadcasters should have OTA in populous areas, while maybe leaving smaller broadcasters free to decide.
    Long live OTA.
    Thank you.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:12 The ordinary family guy
    1. Free OTA TV is the best means of ensuring that consumers have choice, and exercise their discretion in how to spend their dollars.
      Given the great HD quality that OTA offers, cutting off OTA is a big mistake. Don't allow the cable companies and the telcos to solidify their oligopolies and drive up rates yet more.
      OTA is by far the best means of keeping TV affordable for families.

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 15:53 akbogora

      1. OTA may be great for Toronto and other large citys, but for rural Canada, cable or satellite is the only choice.

        Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:44 steamtrain

    2. I totally agree with this poster. I have been using OTA now for the last 4 years and couild be happier. Please do not let broadcasters to close transmitters, and also encourage broadcasters to create more channels over the air. The space is there they could have another revenue stream.
      We pay for television by watching commericals, why should we pay for TV and watch the commericals also. What happend to true Pay TV, where they had to commericals. Then I can see me paying for it. But showing comericals and paying for it, it's double dipping by the broadcaster.
      It our right to receive TV of the air, it has been happening for years.
      We should be to able to choose other menthods. Radio and TV live in the air and are free, they should not be collected of the air and then rebroacsted through a coax cable and charged for it. If I want to use antenna I should be able to get what is on cable. One form of trasmission is not as special as the other. Choice and this is the true choice.
      Also basic cable should be free! Us in the OTA world have it for free. Why should cable and sat customers get suckered into paying. That is not fair and NOT Canadian.


      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 16:23 John

  68. RE: LOCAL PROGRAMMING  “A viable local presence”
    Broadcasters should not be allowed to turn off OTA transmitters as part of this new proposal. I do not agree that the CRTC should allow OTA to be removed, this is a choice that you would be taking away.
    As a low use TV viewer, I get my local news/weather and almost all TV programs I would want to watch. 
    Also sports channels should be required to broadcast OTA, TSN and my local Sportsnet West channel, that would ensure local access to Canadian Content.  
    It is a shame that CBC is losing all of its sports coverage, what a wonderful channel to bring OTA coverage of local Canadian content.
    Allowing broadcasters to turn off transmitters is just another way to remove competition from the cable companies that are a monopoly in each area, this woould be great for them, but terrible for the casual TV viewer that has always been able to receive TV after purchasing the required Antenna.
    Thank you for your time.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:18 daveb
  69. Question 1: No i should not have to buy a basic package. That does not mean i should not have to pay a fee to the provider for using the service. It just doesn't have to be tied to buying certain channels. Just an access to their service set-up fee.
    Question 2  Yes  . I only want to pay for what i want to buy. Furthermore i don't want to support a lot of channels based on their politics, their content, their quality or any other reason i find unacceptable. Conversely i want to support certain channels that i find progressive or innovative and don't reall mind paying more for those. I really find it offensive that currently i have to support channels that are IMO are very negative in a variety of ways. Why should i be forced to give them money?
    Question 3  Yes. That way i can get a discount for adding more channels  i wish to support in my custom package. And the providers have the technology, obviously, the only reason they don't want to do it is marketing economics. I heard that straight from my provider's mouthpeice.
    Question4  I don't really care, just don't force me to pay for the channels i don't want to watch. I avoid all ads if possible anyway.
    Addenda: The CRTC says they would bring in changes dec 2015. Why would it take so long? This discussion has been going on for well over a year, including other topics that reflect directly on these questions? I am sure startups willl leave the CRTC's changes irrelevant within a year anyway. Crtc seems to be IMO a dinosaur holding onto whatever chance it has to squueze out more public dollars into it's antiquated paternalistic role it trys to play with the good , but unable to think for themselves, Canadian watching and listening public.
    One last thing i recommend that everyone quit all their subscriptions now to all TV. Then changes will happen fast. I've done it before and it's a lot like losing a bad drug addiction anyway

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:19 tweedle dee dee
  70. CRTC
    Two primary concerns:
    Increasingly, cable operators and/or broadcasters are forcing consumers to have a cable subscription to watch online programming.  For the public broadcasters, this should not be allowed.  We try to watch many of our shows online and this is becoming a real deterrent.  The new NHL broadcast rights are a big concern in this regard - both in terms of accessing content and with the much greater control around regional blackouts. Paying for internet access for IP access, which is dominated by the large cable providers, should in and of itself allow access to the broadcasts and content they also provide.

    Licensing regime for over-the-air stations:
    After a big push just a few years ago to force consumers and broadcasters to move to digital TV, it seems ludicrous to now allow bradcasters to stop OTA transmissions.  This will further isolate a large percentage of the Canadian population who, either because of location, fiscal limitations or personal choice, rely on on OTA transmissions.  Access to the Canadian market should require broadcasters to make their programming available to Canadians, not just those than can afford to pay for cable TV. 
    Instead of greater choice and flexibility, these two issues are or have the potential to greatly limit what we are able to watch.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:30 kwmeier
  71. Hi
    I strongly believe anyone living in Canada should be able to:
    reach at least one designated local station and one designated national station free of charge and
    should be able to purchase any additional channels as they choose without any bundling or limits for a maximum fee such as $4/mnth per each chosen local station and $8 per non-local station.
    I don't believe bundling should be permissable, nor should there be any mandatory stations or packages above & beyond that mentioned earlier in this post.
    The competition should be open to reduce station charges according to the quantity of stations one subscribes to.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 15:25 hbeer444
  72. With the waves of new technology available to consumers, it is almost unbelievable that we are unable to select our own programming and pay per channel, at a reasonable price. As a dedicated hockey fan, being unable to watch certain games because they are offered on different channels, or having to pay 55$ base price and add another 10-15$ to get the sports channel is not only infuriating, it ensures my disinterest in paying for cable. Having a lower base price is a great start, but why can a consumer simply not pay just for a channel without having to pay for basic cable, which they don't watch? I understand the CRTC is trying to offer more choices and I think a lot of the ideas suggested in the discussion paper are good steps forward, but they simply cannot compete with other choices like netlfix. Maximizing choice should mean the consumer chooses what they want to pay for, not paying for a pre-selected package and then paying extra for one channel. 

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 15:43 LindseSnow
    1. I agree with the philosophy, but I don't agree with the need to see all the hockey games. They are all the same.

      Compare this sport with US football, where every play provides multiple opportunities and different outcomes.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 18:29 steamtrain

  73. Pick and pay is the only way to get programing at a reasonable price.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 16:15 Bruce
  74. Dear CRTC - No! No! No! to #16 - OTA is IMPORTANT
    This proposal regards the eight percent of viewers who are OTA viewers as unimportant and a resource to capture by the cable companies to make more money. I only watch TVO and occassionaly watch other channels for the World Cup and the Olympics. Why should I pay $25 to $30 per month?! I pay nothing now except for donations. Fortunately, I can also get US channels from Buffalo which I will be watching INSTEAD of Canadian content if Canadian OTA channels are eliminated.
    In addition, the best quality is only obtained on OTA. Most cable companies compress the channels resulting in an often far lower quality TV image. Durring the World Cup, I went to someones house and they had Primus and the CBC channel came in so bad that I could not see how many minutes were played on the clock. Pathetic! On my TV using OTA I could clearly see the time. I could see everything as it was ment to be seen on HDTV. You do not require cable companies to transmit at the highest quality so they will give Basic customers highly compressed, low quality TV service. There is no real competition in the cable industry to avoid this outcome.
    Dear CRTC, if you want to have the eight percent of OTA viewers only watch American content then just ignore us. Many of us are fiercly anti-cable/pay-satellite and we won't pay $25 for content that is barely worth $5 per month. I'll be getting my content fromn the US, NetFlix, Hulu+, and Amazon. For $5 per month I get a tunnuling service that lets me watch the American versions and not the lame versions in Canada.
    #16 DOES NOT SERVE CANADIANS. It serves to try and force people to pay for lame Canadian cable company service or to forgo Canadian content altogether. Is that your mission CRTC with #16?! If you truely are on the side of the average Canadian, then continue to require OTA transmission. More Canadians are turning to OTA because they are fed up with the lousy value and quality of cable service.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 16:29 OTA - Toronto
    1. Your comment is very out-of -date.  The world of tv is international, even though us Canadians receive only a small selection of what is available via satellite.  
      Where are the UK, Australia, NZ (and other programs requiring translation) programs?
      It seems to me that if we had more programs from other countries, we would have a better perspective of global issues.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 18:26 steamtrain

  75. My TV is on all the time when I'm home, even when I'm sleeping!  Therefore, as a woman of 43 years who can't possibly live without her cable and TV, I find it essential to provide feedback.  Although long overdue, I appreciate CRTC's initiative in moving things forward and providing a forum for viewers.  My TV repertoire generally consists of world news/affairs, old sitcoms (70's to 90's), educational (PBS, NOVA, Discovery, etc.) with a tiny dash of modern shows (Breaking Bad, Dancing with the Stars). 
    #1 Small Basic:  It should be offered and capped at a low price.  Again, “offered”, not mandatory.  If it impacts the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, then amend the Act…move with the times!  It’s difficult for Canadian produced shows to compete with their American counterparts.  The one and only Canadian show I enjoyed watching was Little Mosque on the Prairie (LMOP).  Since then, I haven’t watched any other Canadian show.  IMO they're simply not on par with what LMOP offered in quality and entertainment. 
    #2 Pick and Pay: As echoed by many here, I should be able to select the channels I want to watch at fair and reasonable prices.
    #3 Build-your-own-package: Absolutely! If this means that I can get a combo at a greater value, then I should be given the option.  Why is it that the fast foods joints jumped on this concept decades ago?  It’s about time CRTC consider forcing the cable/satellite providers to do it AND stop the gouging of hard working Canadians.  This would impact the world of programming and shows.  If you can’t give viewers what they want, you won’t survive.
    #4 Simultaneous Substitution: It makes no difference to me, but if I had to vote I would give my support to the Super Bowlers and say “NO”.
    #5 Preponderance:  I prefer to be given a choice and Option B does that. 
    #16 Licensing regime for over-the-air stations:  If it’s currently free and people are using it, leave it alone.  With our ever changing technology, it will die a natural death.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 16:40 My Two Cents...
  76. Substitution of American commercials for Canadian commercials is a minor nuisance. What is a much greater nuisance is the substition of complete programs by TV shopping programs. For example on Bell Satellite the American ABC station is WCVB chanel 5 Boston. At 10:00 AM the Steve Harvey  show is replaced by a full hour of TV shopping. I complained to the CRTC about this last year and they had someone from Bell phone me only to be tell me that they could not do anything about since it was replaced at the source by the original broadcaster who provides the feed to Bell. This would mean that WCVB provides their Boston audience with the Steve Harvey show and provides a substitution for the feed to Bell Satellite (there are plenty of other examples of substituted programs from this feed).  So in fact Bell is not providing us with a full american ABC chanel and as a consumer I am getting shortchanged. Bell should either insist that the Broadcaster not substitute American programs for TV Shopping programs targetted at canadians or look for another feed (for example the detroit ABC chanel used by Videotron does not substitute its programming).
    Bottom line is that if we pay for an American network chanel it should provide us with the full programming and it should not be a venue for TV shopping programs .
    The following is a link to WCVB TV Listings followed by a screen shot of the Bell TV listing of the same chanel (chanel 281).
    http://affiliate.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?aid=wcvb

    http://affiliate.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCSGrid.do?aid=wcvb
    lo

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 16:52 donlou
    1. For some of us it is more than a minor nuisance. It is a major one which destroys our ability to enjoy the programs we pay good money to view. Where I live 2 local channels block out all of the top U.S. network shows all day and night long. They do a sloppy job of the substitutions and they run commercials DURING THE PROGRAMS as well. The top left corner of the tv screen has a rectangular box and in it a car company logo spins over top of blocked out character's faces and the like for 2 to 5 minutes at a time about 3 to 4 times per show. I can't stand to watch anything they do. I now have a friend download all the shows I like and I watch them a week later rather than watch the local SLIME-U-CASTS. Or signal subs as some call them.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:56 GorgonTheWonderful

  77. Basic Canadian package for $15-$20 - YES
    Everything else - pick and pay (more volume = less cost per chanel; capped  -YES
    Close down OTA - NO, NO, & NO
    Blocking transmission and interfering - NO.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 17:08 graces
    1. Graces.  Are you saying NO to tv networks blocking transmissions and interfering, or NO to the c.r.t.c. ending the practise of these networks doing so.  It sounds like you are making the case for the later, but it's hard to tell.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:51 GorgonTheWonderful

  78. It is perfect timing for this conversation - I am glad we finally have a forum on which to voice our valuable opinions!
    After paying my tv and internet bill this week, I decided that enough is enough and called my provider. We currently pay more than $100 (!!) for tv. We get 259 channels, but we only watch FIVE (yes I've counted); however, if we decide to go down a package, we would lose the only 5 channels that we actually watch - USELESS! I think it is unfair for me to lose all the channels that we watch just to save money; in fact, it would be completely pointless and we would just cancel it altogether, which would not make me happy either. The agent I spoke with suggested that we add a home phone to our plan - that we would NEVER use, nor do we need - so that we can save more on a bundle. After explaining all the options to me, it would only save us $5 in the end. UNBELIEVABLE and completely infuriating.
    I absolutely agree that the CRTC should require distributors to OFFER a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel, if offered, and certain Canadian channels, but it should not be mandatory for consumers - I, for one, would not make use of the "basic" channels. I believe we should have the freedom and opportunity to choose, i.e., PICK AND PAY, only the channels that we want. I currently pay $8/month for Netflix where I can watch unlimited (or so it would seem) movies and tv shows. I think it would only make sense that we have the same kind of choices when it comes to tv for only a couple of bucks (say, $2) per channel. 
    If distributers elected to OFFER pre-chosen packages for a low fee, then sure, I imagine that would satisfy some consumers who watch a lot of tv and many different channels.
    I still find it hard to believe that in this day and age of advanced technology and innovation, there is still no way to pick and pay for the tv channels that we want to watch. How has this not happened yet? I hope that all of these comments being posted by concerned, honest consumers will make a difference!

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 18:31 JCL
  79. The basic package should be eliminated. In it;s place customer should be permitted to chose a basic package of channels they would watch to ensure the carrier and the customer are satisfied. Many of the basic channels as presently set up are seldom watched, yet the customer is forced to buy  them. 
    As an example, were I to go into a local meat store to buy 2 steaks, would I be forced to also buy pork chops that I would never eat? Or go to a clothing store to buy a shirt only to be told I must but underwear as well?
    There is no sense to the present system and discriminates against all users, with charges for products they do not want or will ever use. 
    The technology and hardware is in place to permit the customer to pick and pay for what they want and when they want it.
    Cable cutting is a well known fact in the industry and will continue until such time whenthe Carrier and the CRTC realise the customer will no longer accept rulings that are archaic and out of touch with Canadians 
    I applaud the CRTC for revisiting this and expect to see changes more in keeping with 2014 and not 1954
    No channel and I mean No should hold a higher preference than another. Pakcaging news, sporst etc 
    is a good thing and is encouraged by this writer. 
     
    R G carmichael

    Victoria B C 

     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 18:37 R.G.Carmichael
  80. OVER THE AIR BROADCASTING
    Why would you want to reduce Over The Air -- antenna TV --Canadian broadcasting?  Broadcast TV is a major component of what the CRTC is legally mandated to run.  New technologies mean that over the air TV may outlive Cable.
    Digital TV has made it possible to receive many channels with a high quality HD picture.  The picture I get is often better than fibre optic TV and much, much better than cable.  A $100  antenna makes it possible for people within 100 miles of the US border to receive a host of TV stations.  Here in Toronto, I can get 40 stations, many of them in HD.  My favourites dial has 23 channels: 11 are Canadian and 12 are American.   So....the CRTC is saying they want Canadians with antennas to only receive AMERICAN CHANNELS?  You want to change things so that I can only get American channels?

    Are you nuts?

    I'm not making this up. This is what you propose:  "Local stations would be permitted to shut down transmitters". (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2014/2014-190-3.htm#a1, Item #16)   Canadians have to buy cable to watch Canadian TV?
    Cable peaked a few years ago.  Rogers is laying people off by the hundreds. 
    Many are using the internet for TV and Apple TV and other technologies are making it easier and easier.  Almost all of the people I know who bought an antenna did so because Rogers really beaned them off with poor service or poor quality HD TV.  Those who wanted one special station had to buy packages filled with dozens of channels they never watched.  I got rid of cable, phone and high speed internet when Rogers started charging me for a free PVR.  In those 11 years, I have saved thousands by using an antenna and a Canadian internet company.  There are antenna PVRs too.
    Why don't you help Canadian broadcasters to improve measurment of their REAL audiences -- including the internet TV and Over-the Air broadcasting fans.  There are thousands of Canadians with antennas.  Nobody knows what they watch.  More accurate ratings, or 'eyeballs', for Canadian programs on internet AND antenna TV would help broadcasters earn revenue from ads.
    Please ensure that I can continue to watch Canadian TV.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 18:41 Susan Lyndon
    1. Excellent comments!  Just one correction: unless you are including installation, a good antenna needn't cost anything like $100.  In fact, a simple wire loop may work almost as well as a four-bay type antenna (and those can be had for $20), depending.  If OTA is not killed by U.S. and Canadian regulators (yes, it's under attack down south, too) I'd expect to see decent antennas bundled with TV sets, or even just built into them.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 11:59 DarylK

  81. Allow OTA stations to discontinue service?  RED FLAG on so many levels. 
    !) I thought we were in Canada and private enterprise was free to operate or not to operate, but it appears the CRTC Gestapo will decide if a station can close its doors or not.  Why not let viewership and advertising revenue decide who lives and who dies.  With the constant flow of applications for broadcasting, I'm sure there would be someone to step in and take over a broadcasting licence should the operater fail.
    2) I fully support OTA as an alternative to Cable TV monopolies.  Since the CRTC grants licenses to Cable operators based on a geographical area, we are stuck with no competition (satellite excepted).  Sure I like the free OTA but I would understand if there just was not a market and stations decided to leave on thier own.
    Bundling channels or pick as you go.
    Recently Rogers bought Shaw in Hamilton, and whoa, TSN2 disappeared just like Speed.  I had to bitterly complain to get TSN2 back which was part of my original package. They asked me what else is missing, gee how do I know?  I only ever watch certain channels.  So they did me a huge favour and gave it back FOR a YEAR.  After that I have to pay another $40 bucks for the additional "package" that contains TSN2 plus assorted trash.  Give me pick and pay and I would be down to about 10 total channels.  I would not mind paying a base fee, but after that a buck or two per channel.  Dream on, this is never going to happen because they are so used to the revenue gouging, they will make sure they get you back up to $140 before you are done.  Tick me off enough and its OTA for me!  Oh wait, CRTC has a plan to dismember OTA. 
    PS How is the ordinary Canadian supposed to digest the dicussion document with all the content rules and other stuff I don't understand? WAY too complicated!!

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 20:09 Mr. Radio
  82. I agree with so many people here.I echo the sentiments that OTA should be left alone, the way it is. Again this is Canada where there is freedom and choice for all. Some people simply can not afford any kind of pay t.v. even if it is repackaged ( with capped prices and choosing channels)  so that means they can not enjoy television at all if OTA is eliminated altogether this is a kind discrimination. Here in Ontario employment can be a challenge, OTA for some is the only way to the outside world besides internet if you can afford it. So if OTA is taken away there goes another choice for me and you as  Canadians,  I am forced to buy cable or satelite ( or go without ) pay taxes and  what other fees and what happens when the cap expires at the end of the term? I discarded satellite awhile ago paying absorbiant fees which seem  like it went up every other month and with nothing on (same for cable). I have been with OTA for awhile  now and with the channels I get which are all Canadian I am satisfied. With Netflix and internet  the dozen  channels I recieve is just fine. Do not watch much during the summer. Back to the point growing up analog OTA was the only way to see t.v. in the rual areas and now with the impliment of digital t.v. the bandwith is much reduced so channels are carried much more easily and there could be more added. I think in concept having basic channel packages and then pick and choose the individual stations you want is a good idea especially with the technology available to perform this feat now unlike just a few years ago. Have a certian percent Canadian and then let the provider determine the rest and in turn the public will determine what they will purchase. If they like what is offered they will purchase that  channel or channels. Having OTA in our future is in our best interest  for emergency purposes as well, if ever satellite was ever knocked out  government could still broadcast  OTA to Canadians. In closing I think there is room for all t.v. forms of broacasting, why meddle with something that has been around and improved (digital) and proven the test of time. Let us have our choice.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 21:42 suntec
  83. Basic packages, okay. Simultanous substitutions, fine. In fact I agree with the spirit in which the CRTC is considering these new line ups. Principly because I'd want to order exactly what I want and not pay for channels I and my family don't need. NONE of us watch sports for instance. No matter what we do, currently we have to except a whole lot of sports channels. I'd throw all away (what, it seems like 20 to 30 of them) just to be able to afford 3 extra channels that we like.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 23:42 Alain Archambault
  84. The format should be similar to Hydro or Gas utilities.  Let's face it, television is a utility.  In that sense it is a necessity for Canadians to stay informed.  OTA service should be continued for those who are not able to have easily accessible cable.  In the same sense it does cost to provide a cable or satellite service.  The service should have a base fee - a connection fee - call it what you will, and it should be no more than $15 a month for cable and $20 a month for satellite.  Television does not have the issues of Hydro or Gas utilities and so can be connected cheaper.   Given the base connection, subscribers can choose whatever they wish in the way of channels.  If the provider wants to package the channels to offer them a 'reduced package rate' then that is the provider's right.  However, all channels should be available on an individual price basis.  Canadian channels are important to Canadians and should be offered more attractively.   Canadian channels should be priced at $1 per channel per month.  Other channels should be priced at $2 per channel per month.  The problem with cable television today is that the provider sells the consumer 30 channels in a package and 19 of the 30 all have the same programming so the consumer only really has 11 different programs to view.  Additionally there are people with vision impairments that only listen to television.  The remote control is not designed for such people.  The provider displays every channel available even though the consumer only subscribes to a small subset of the channels.  Make the provider display only the subscribed channels; it is a waste of consumer time to scan through an entire range of channels and pay per view options that are not subscribed to and not desired.  Lastly, since this is the way television should have been introduced in the first place, do it in the next four months, not four years from now.  There are some Seniors who don't have four years to spare.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 00:47 Turren
  85. If a basic package of local channels is provided, the cost should be capped at $10 as I’m sure providers will want to charge a premium for pick and pay channels.
    Yes, all channels should be available for pick-and-pay. It’s frustrating to have to pay $9 for a package of channels when you only watch 2 of them. It’s equally frustrating when you contact your provider, Telus, and they tell you that if you remove a package, your price will actually go up, not down. It annoys me that I have to pay for over 100 channels when I only watch 20. Individual channels should be about $2 each. I’m fine with premium channels that do not air commercials to cost slightly more.
    Yes, subscribers should be able to build their own packages and have access to all the channels to do so. The pre-assembled packages normally include channels that I have absolutely no interest in watching. Customers should also have the option of removing channels from a pre-assembled package and receive a discount if that happens.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 02:18 ecyvr
  86. Number1: Yes if the basic package consists of channels that we want to watch and the cost is kept low.
    Number2: Yes but with more American content especially the return of the Speeed channel which Shaw is still carrting in Moncton NB. Canadian coneten I know has to be a certain amount but as consumers we should have the right to watch and pay for what we want not be told what we can and can't have, it's still a free country. There was no reason to remove the Speed channel, no notification or anything.
    Number3:Yes for sure, then we would only pay for the channels that we watch nd the cable companiew would not be able to put channels in packages that that are low rated just to get them on cable. It is hoped that if this happens the CRTC will not allow the cable companies to overcharge on the single channels chosen.
    Number 4: Yes, cutting off sports programs because another program is scheduled or already in play as well as running a scheduled sports program late due to another sports program running late resulting in missing part of the program you want to see. There at this time is no channel other than TSN to watch Nascar.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 06:11 marolyn dawson
  87. BASIC / SMALL BASIC - interesting new term. My vision: Cable should have a set-in-stone basic price that is based on the cost of operations in delivering channels to your home. For that basic price, you would receive - as we did when cable started - all OTA channels (including any US channels that are available). That's it. If there are other channels (community channel, house of commons, education, etc) that can be added at no additional cost, then go ahead. If the cable company wants to add other channels at no extra cost, then they can. This is the most basic of basics, and it goes hand in hand with the pick and pay model I also support.
    I don't know what 9(1)(h) channels are and can't find any information about them. (Hint: A link would really help!) But I doubt they are necessary for basic cable.
    The set-in-stone pricing I would like to see on Basic should be based on each individual BDU's operating costs, but should be enforced by the CRTC and would require CRTC approval for any rate hike.
    PICK AND PAY - All other channels should be available in a pick and pay option, though BDUs should still be allowed to package them as they see fit. The consumer would be able to choose certain channels, or purchase a package - or mix packages with pick and pay.
    With pick and pay, BDUs will likely give discounts for bulk orders, which I suppose is what is meant by being able to build your own package. Get 10 channels for the price of 9, or some such deal. Or take the BDU's package, which would cost a little bit less. And BDUs should be allowed to try to sell the customer more channels. "If you choose just two more channels, you can get them all for a lower price." "If you like this channel, you may also like this channel."
    The BDUs claim they can't do pick and pay because the CRTC and/or the broadcasters won't let them. This initiative is clearly an effort by the CRTC to eliminate their own interference in this, but they will have to implement rules against broadcasters forcing BDUs to package their channels. That's not fair market, and that's all consumers are asking for: fairness.
    I understand the CRTC currently has rules in place to force BDUs to provide more Canadian than non-Canadian channels. With pick and pay there is a danger the balance could shift. I would propose that consumers be required to "pick" a preponderance of Canadian channels. In combination with that, I believe that Canadian channels similar to non-Canadian channels should get a fair shake. For instance, if someone wants to "pick" CNN, they would also be required to take one of the Canadian all-news channels, to balance it out.
    The example I like to use, in defence of pick and pay, is McDonald's. If you want a Big Mac, they don't force you to take fries and a drink. But they do offer a Value Meal which includes a Big Mac, fries and a drink for a cheaper price than if you bought each one separately. So why can't BDUs do this?
    These are really my only concerns about cable these days.
    ANALOGUE - "The vast majority of Canadians do not receive their television services through this older technology." Then get rid of it! Why are we forcing BDUs to continue shelling out money and bandwidth to carry something hardly anybody uses? If BDUs choose to continue serving analogue to their customers, that's up to them. But they shouldn't be required to do so.
    SIMULTANEOUS SUBSTITUTION - I didn't even realize this was on the table. If your business can't survive the market, then it should not be propped up by artificial means. Packaging unwanted channels with popular channels does this. So does the CRTC forcing us to take channels we don't want simply because they protect the Canadian heritage. (Is that what 9(1)(h) is?) Let channels succeed or fail on their own merit. But when it comes to competing against American channels, that's something different. I understand why people want to watch the Super Bowl with the American commercials intact. But that seems to be the only reason for eliminating this rule. I do feel like the Canadian broadcast needs to be protected. If Canadian advertisers know that the American feed will be available, what is their incentive to advertise on the Canadian broadcast of the Super Bowl? None. You will then see Canadian broadcasters shy away from buying big sports events like this. On the other hand, I have seen often times TSN airing the same sporting event as a US broadcaster, but there is no simultaneous substitution, and it makes me wonder why. Why do OTA broadcasters get to take advantage of this rule but cable channels cannot? Both are on Basic, at least in my market. So if TSN can survive in direct competition with an American network, why can't CTV? As you can see, I am torn! But I think I would like to keep this rule and extend it to everyone, not just OTA channels. I <em>would</em> like to see better implementation though. Too many times programs are cut off or overlapped due to what I assume is automatic switching. I don't know how to fix that, since you can't have people manually switching the channels. But it's really annoying!
    NON-CANADIAN CHANNELS - I don't know why there is a list of allowed channels. Why not just allow the BDUs to choose what channels they carry? They would have to work out the licencing and details with the channel, but as long as they maintain more Canadian channels than non-Canadian, I don't see the problem.
    UNAVAILABLE CHANNELS - I'm really tired of hearing about new channels being launched, only to find out my cable company doesn't carry them. BDUs should offer <em>all</em> channels available in Canada, at least in the majority language of the coverage area. I can see no reason why they don't.
    MANDATORY HD - Why not? Why isn't every channel in HD anyway? If a service is available in HD, the BDU should make that HD feed available to its customers. There is no reason this should not happen. Nevermind analogue, it's 2014 - bring me HD!
    Thank you.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 07:36 saladgoat
  88. There should be no "packages" as put forth by CRTC whether they be a basic package or other stupid, bizarre and insulting packages, that providers now offer to add on.
    Why are we allowing these providers to select what they feel is good for us? Cable TV is already bad with repetive and redundant channels. Why are we paying for up to 3 channels of the same programming, and why are we paying for Channels that offer very little in new programming, they just replay the same old redundant, old episodes? And I agree with some others about the cost.  They try to make it appear we are getting all these channels of TV and music, and it is such a great deal. What a bunch of crap. And if it is such a great deal and we do the math, then we should be paying 5-10 cents a channel. Let me choose a mininimum of 10 stations of  "MY Bundle".And then maybe offer me MY CHOICES in additional bundles of 5 after that. Just a suggestion.... and make the cost reflective of what it should be ( maybe a dollar a channel, ie $10 dollars a bundle of 10). Because right now the Canadian Cable industry is basically an oligopoly of 3 providers that can charge whatever they want in unison. And please  stop the nauseating repetive advertizing that happens when watching Canadian channels of US programming.As much as we Canadian consumers need more choice, I fear the intense lobbying that will now happen by these service providers will probably result in much of the same old thing just "repackaged" and fed to what they believe are naive consummers. In summary, the current state is "insuling to the intelligence of all of us" and need to be opened up. Someone once told me this was a "global economy". Not apparently in Canada, at least for this industry.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 11:03 Berniem
  89. #1. When cable tv was first introduced, all available channels were free to all who paid the monthly fee, and there was no advertising. That was the big selling point for cable companies. Now, we are paying to watch hundreds of stations of extremely poor content loaded with advertising. In other words, extremely poor value for money.
    I don't feel we should be forced to pay for a basic package (pic-n-pay only). I work hard for my money and resent being told I have to spend it on TV channels I do not want. I want the freedom to choose exactly what I want to watch. I have no objection to paying for TV or paying slightly more for pic-n-pay. If there is a basic package, it should be all Canadian content to support Canadians, and it should be at the lowest cost possible, capped at $20. This price would allow people who are struggling to at least have the basic service. Providers should not be allowed to add to this basic package as this would prevent them from requesting permission to increase the price in the future by using the excuse that they provide a better service and therefore need to increase the cost. Providers should make their profits by providing value for money via pic-n-pay channels. Offer a great channel for a little more money and people who can afford it will buy.
    #2. Yes, all channels should be pic-n-pay. This is called freedom of choice. It is my money and I should have the right to say how it is spent.
    #3. Yes, subscribers should be able to build their own packages, as well as have a selection of pre-built, if the provider wishes to make them available. Again, it is a matter of value for money, freedom of choice and the prevention of the public to manipulate my personal viewing preferences.
    #4. Not sure.
    Note: I am currently not a cable subscriber and would also like to add my voice to those requesting that free to air TV remain available to all. 

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 12:16 Bren
  90. 1. Keep the requirement for OTA
    2. Allow pick or pay for any channel, without the requirement to purchase a basic package.
     
    If you get rid of OTA it will negatively impact rural areas where cable isn't available and Satellite is expensive.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 15:03 djenning
  91. Here are my thoughts.  Allowing over the air transmitters to be shutdown should not be allowed.  Being forced to purchase a skinny basic package also should not happen.
    although pick and pay would be great improvement over the current situation, where I have to purchase 100 channels to watch the content that interests me., this still way behind the technology curve.  I am still being forced to pay for content that I do not want.....when I go the store to buy milk, I am not forced to take a pound of liver.  We should be able to purchase only the content we want.  I purchase my content mostly through iTunes, And DVDs....if there was a way to purchase the sports I want to watch over the internet I would get rid cable completely.
    i get my local news, via the internet.  I live in Winnipeg, we have 4 local stations.....really I can only watch 1, why must I pay for 4.
    hydro provides hydro, cable companies are nothing more than providers of the internet pipe...the content should be purchases from the content providers.  Cable is a utility and should be treated as such.
    The concern that a number of jobs will be lost, we'll that is what happens with technological change.....typing pools and the typewriter have disappeared, drafting departments with hundreds of drafts people longer exist....the PC revolution made these jobs obsolete, as well as main frame programmers.  Broadcast TV is a technology that is no obsolete.
    we now live in a global economy, all content should be available globally.   The content that is good and sells survives, content that does not, does not continue....it is no different than now, do not get the ratings and it is cancelled.
    commercials were originally to  compensate for free over the air....it was not meant for cable...OTA should have commercial, cable delivered should be without.
    as for simulcast...commercial substitution, since it is not likely that new regulation will not stop commercials on cable, should also be stopped.  I should be able to choose what I want to watch, which includes commercials....last time I checked we live in a free country.
    the CRTC should step in now and stop the practice from what iam reading of Bell and Rogers from buying content to prevent it from being played on Netflix...so now if I am not one of their customers it would not be available to me being I am on MTS.  Again this illustrates why content should come from content developers.  Everything is digital now, meaning it resides on a sever somewhere in the world....the internet is the delivery mechanism.  All content should be available to those who want it, it should not be controlled by cable companies.
    again....you are making a improvement, but are way behind the technology curve.  You should be producing regulations for today and the future.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 16:25 Shotbinski
  92. I absolutely agree with CRTC'S hopefully succesful decsion to stop Canadian broadcasters from simulcasting their own commercials over the American feed , the best example of this is of course the Super Bowl , where is the free enterprise or my right as viewer or subscriber to watch either the Canadian feed with local commercials or the American feed with the US commercials . And another peeve of mine as we allow them to do this , they simulcast a ball game that goes into extra innings , watching it on the US station and because they are simulacasting a Canadian feed they cut off the ball game so now you are watching CTV's airing of the BIG BANG THEORY or some other show . If anything comes from this I hope this ends quickly enough already !!And yes consumers should be able to pick an dchoice what they want on their TV why am I paying for something I have nop interest in ever watching !!    

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 17:23 jster
  93. As a Canadian I feel we need Fairness when it comes to TV.In this day and age we are not getting it from our service providers.Anyone can see the packaged channels are not fair especially when you consider you are paying extra for the same station.For example I purchase TSN but since I prefer to watch it in HD I am paying twice for the same station.I prefer to pay for it once and it would be in HD.I dont mind paying a little bit more for the HD channel.What are they going to charge for pick and pay as well is my question.At 2.50  for a single channel that they charge currently, the cost is going to rise alot quicker than now.The only fair way is to pick and choose your stations. unless they offer all sports in a package. Right now they have Tsn in one 5.00 package and Sportsnet in the other 5.00 package.if you are paying for a sports bundle they should all be in one.I also believe if during the superbowl you want to watch Canadian commercials you watch the Canadian stations if you want American commercials you watch the American channels.we should never ever be dictated what we should watch it is OUR choice, that is why we are called a free country.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 19:08 jdavid235
  94. Technology:
    I want to be able to use the tuner within my TV, not have a cumbersome "box" and other remote controls for every TV in my house. The provider should deliver a signal to my home which will provide me the ability to do that. This could be a "provider box" which converts whatever signaI they use to a standard signal which would connect to my TV. Other devices, such as a PVR, "multiplier" to provide the ability to connect multiple devices to the standard signal, home audio/video wifi, etc,  should be available to me through any electronics reseller in the same way I purchased my TV.  A standard signal provided to subscribers could create a booming electronics industry. Rather than being limited to proprietary devices the provider thinks I want. 
    Raising the audio volume during commercials, should be absolutely not permitted.
    Content:
    I do agree with the concept of a "basic" package. Basic packages should include any local OTA broadcasters and broadcasters mainly supported by taxes (such as CBC and TVO). Other channels providers, which are now available only on cable/satelite, could opt with the cable provider to include their signal in basic packages. "Cable channel provders" who broacast commercial content, equivilent  in time  to OTA broadcast commercials  should be mandated to "basic service". I should not have to pay to be sold to.
    Subscribers should be able to pick and choose, one by one, which additional channels they may want to purchase. Providers can be permitted to provide "packages" as an alternative. or as a method to provide "grouped" pricing for like channels.
    Providers should be permitted to have a library of channels avalable from any sources or country without restriction as to origin. Subsribers should be free , beyond the basic package, to subscribe to whatever they want without any regulations as to Canadian content. When I purchase books, I am not forced to buy a book by a Canadian author for every book I buy by a foriegn author. 
    Many channels, from all over the world, are now available on the internet. If change does not happen, and very soon, cable and satilite providers will become a thing of the past as people begin to "watch and listen" to what they want online.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 21:33 DAK
  95. I agree with these changes as being a fair option to subscribers.  I've long stopped using traditional cable as most of the time the content no longer appeals to me.  In order to stay in the market long term, I think that we should have complete control over all channels we choose.  Hoefully this will lead to better content selection.  
    I believe Apple and Google will just step in and offer full control over channels using their devices, hard to see that as very far off.  
    I think that a basic package should comprise of a set number of pick-your-own channels, $10-15 max.  It is not reasonable to have to pay the current rates as all other living expenses piled on top eat away at my ability to save and pay down debt.  If I get a good month, hey why not pick up HBO or something as a treat.  

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 21:37 ddjp
  96. I will answer question 1 only: yes, I think it is a good idea to force cable companies to provide an inexpensive basic package but only AS LONG AS BASIC CABLE CONTAINS ONLY THE CHANNELS AS ARE CURRENTLY BROADCASTED over the air in that locality. 
    I also find that the prices quoted in the document ($20 to $30) for this basic cable service is too high. Many currently get local channels for free over the air. I think WE SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO PAY ANYTHING FOR WHAT WE CURRENTLY GET FREE. Cable distributors and networks can adjust the price of specialty channels to cover the cost of a free basic cable.
    Then, and only then, can the CRTC stop over-the-air TV with a clear conscience.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 22:14 LaptopManny
    1. Now this makes perfect sense!

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 19:30 andyhardy

    2. Interesting wording "only then can the CRTC stop over-the-air TV".  What I find interesting is the understanding that in fact the CRTC is in control of this, not the companies that own the antennas.  The CRTC itself created the conditions that have given the cable companies (BDUs) so much market share that they can claim to define broadcast TV.  In fact even the use of the term "broadcast" is incorrect with reference to what the CRTC terms "BDU", since closed channel private wires to homes is in fact "narrowcasting" not broadcasting. Even the language we use to discuss this is manipulated in a certain direction, and a direction not necessarily to the benefit of Canadians or Canada.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 11:47 DarylK

  97. In this day and age of technology I should be able to watch what I want when I want it.  To have to purchase channels I don't want to get one channel I do is ridiculous.  I know what I want to watch and there are many channels I could care less about.  Telus is constantly putting up the price and removing channels.   If google or apple gave me better choices I would not subscribe to any bundle.  Times have changed and we want better options for TV.   

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 22:33 Lyndean
  98. Why the dely in implementing pick and pay? Bell has had channel choices in Quebec for some time now. They don't need more than a year to comply. 

    Also, there are now some 2,000 channels available to consumers in the US. Why are our choices so limited in Canada? Many people now watch TV over the internet because of the absurd number of commercials on broadcast TV; however, much of this content, specifically video is "not available in your country". Why not? This is very frustrating! Networks send out promos on Facebook to watch clips or shows, only to get the dreaded "not available in your viewing area". Many of these same videos are available on YouTube, so why not dirctly? Makes no sense.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 09:23 ChecMark
    1. You are right. Geo blocking is a plague on the Internet and it doesn't even achieve its purpose because it's possible to bypass it. It, quite frankly, should be banned the same way throttling is. It's just a pain in the neck.

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 12:52 JF Bérubé

  99.   Due to a change in packaging, I opted for the "Better" level of TV channels in order to get channels  I had in previous individual bundles.  I get something like 242 channels of which at least 100 of I do not want.  This includes some 50 French channels, a large number of sports channels, kids channels, FM radio channels, university channels and local community channels.  I have no problem including major French channels is the basic programming, but object to having to pay extra for additional French channels (or any others) I don't want. The remaining 142 channels have a large number of infrequently watched channels that could be easily sacrificed as well.  I think as a minimum, I should be able to create my own bundles as an adjunct to a basic package.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 12:54 jamesb744@gmail.com
  100. Basic packages are tied directly to OTA, if OTA continue to be an option (and it should) then no charge for basic packages is fair. Should OTA be eliminated then basic packages should also fall by the wayside and those channels can be part of pick and pay.
    Pick and pay is the way to proceed; bundling is a great source of aggravation as viewers are forced to accept many channels that are not wanted, I subscribe to the adage that "if you can't make it on your own then maybe you don't have sufficient audience of private funding to exist. PBS is a great example to getting it done correctly. The issue will of course be "how much". Providers must be regulated and a cap or maximum must be imposed. $100/month is extreme. Bills should max out at no more than $50-75/month all-in. 
    Provider packages and/or viewer pick and pay are both acceptable  with the provision that the maximum bill can not exceed a certain value. Perhaps a process similar to Public Utility Boards could be adopted to monitor and cap rates based on financials provided by the cable companies. 
    I detest simulcating, under any circumstances! If I choose to watch an American channel then let me watch it in its entirety with US commercials. If I wanted to view the Cdn channel with its 4 commercials run over and over and over, then I would have selected it. Plus let's loose the superimposed station logo, I know what channel I selected and don't need to be reminded.
    It boils down to what many have said, tv is a utility so let the consumer decide what they want to watch. Eliminate geo-blocking, open up selection to the hundreds of channels currently restricted due to deals Cdn providers have cut with US providers to restrict access and let consumers choose what they want!
     

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 16:41 GRZ
  101. 1 - This is a tricky one. Is it fair to charge a fee for channels that are available free OTA? I think either way cable companies will find a way to charge you so free is likely out of the question. But I do believe that a small package of channels at a low rate would be best. Cable companies will tell you that most of the money from the basic package charge is used to pay for customer service but I think most people would agree that having channels like TSN, Much, YTV, Sportsnet, and others in the basic package is going to cost a fair bit of money. If it was just a skinny basic then it would certainly cost little or nothing in subscription fees for basic and costs could be reduced for consumers. I think that the basic package should offer the least amount of channels possible to allow consumers to choose what they pay for and that channels like TSN should NOT be on basic in any way nor should American channels. However I do believe that PBS should be in the basic package since many people do contribute financial to this service as it is.
    2 - I do agree, offer them ALL on a pick and pay basis. BDUs should also be required (especially Shaw, Rogers, & Bell) to offer all channels that are available. It is ridiculous that many channels are still not available on certain providers because of their petty grivances with one another. Not only should Canadians have the choice to pay for what they want but they should have the ability to subscribe to the channels they want regardless of who owns them and who their provider is! I hope this part makes sense.
    3 - Yes I agree absolutely. And I recall Shaw used to offer some build your own package years ago but with a limited amount of channels. I wonder if with more choice and BYOB if people will still subscribe to the current bundles. Then again I think offering the choice is good. I don't mind paying my monthly fees if I am not forced to pay for a bunch of channels I don't watch and can get others that I do want to watch instead.
    4 - Yes! I can't think of anyone that wants to watch CTV's commercials during the Super Bowl for one. If people want to choose to pay for the American channels, like CBS or NBC or NFL Network or whatever then they should have the right to watch the commercials on that channel, not the commercials on the Canadian equivalent. Especially if those main US networks are removed from basic, then there shouldn't be any of this substitution at all. Also the Canadian broadcasters have shown for as long as the substitution has been around that they are too inept to actual time commercials appropriately and make it work. If they can't make it work then it should be scrapped.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 20:38 vjose32
  102. I want to continue to be able to receive "over the air" HD television.
    The proposal to have a basic package and then choose individual channels doesn't have my support until I see the price of these individual channels.  I can just see it now: we pay $30 and get the basic package and then we're charged $30 per channel per month.
    The CBC is an important broadcaster - no other service provider is going to show Canada to Canadians.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 20:46 e96
  103. The over-the-air (OTA) MUST continue.  Not everyone subscribes to cable.  Not everyone wants cable (or to pay for OTA stations that are now free).  Not everyone can comment on this forum (not everyone has internet access) or is really aware that this OTA option is being discussed for REMOVAL.  Even if only 10% of the population uses OTA (and it could be much much more cause how would you know???) - it's free and an option that is becoming more and more popular and the alternative is buying cable or going without or tapping into the US OTA stations.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 21:58 landco
  104. Simultaneous substitution should continue as-is, but consumers should have the option of paying extra (i.e. pay per view) to watch foreign ads during live events. The extra payment would go to Canadian broadcaster with the rights to do the simultaneous substition.
    The CRTC should create a framework that allows and promotes specialty channels, to live stream over the internet, thereby bypassing the cable companies.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 23:21 otafan
    1. Otafan, how much does Bell pay you to post this propaganda here?

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 14:38 JF Bérubé

    2. We ALREADY pay to watch those U.S. signals. We should be allowed to do so. You people who want to watch Canadian signals in place of American ones should get a special service and pay more for it. Not the rest of us.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:40 GorgonTheWonderful

  105. Simultaneous substitution is in place for a reason. A Canadian broadcaster has purchased the rights to show a particular program in Canada and  - as part of that -  sell the advertisting on that program. By allowing, say NBC, to broadcast the same program in Canada at the same time without substituting the ads from the Canadian broadcaster they essentially steal that revenue. The only alternative is to "Blackout" the American network during the Canadian showtime, or work out a payment from the American to the Canadian broadcaster to compensate for the lost revenue. Unfortunatley, the business of TV is that rights to programs are sold territorially, so any change by Canada requires a wholesale change in the way every broadcaster buys programs. 
    And besides, if you're that into watching commercials, they are all available on-line. Are we really thinking of changing the whole system so once a year over four hours people can watch superbowl ads?

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 10:56 mcf
    1. it's not just superbowl although that's the most aggregious time. it's pretty much all sports events, where CDN ads tend to be boring and way, way more repetitive. i for one would be happy to see US sports products not licensed to CDN broadcasters. Then this would be a non issue and CDN sports broadcasts would focus on CDN sports. let us watch directly from the US providers. let our cable and satelitte systems carry ESPN, Fox sports, CBS sports and all other networks directly with no CDN duplication or middle man.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 15:58 dfischeryeg

    2. If I want to watch American content I'll watch an American channel. I don't need a canadian broadcaster to screw it up.

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:53 JF Bérubé

    3. They buy the right to air the show in Canada. They don't buy the right to block out the American network which ALSO both owns the show AND has the right to broadcast it here as well. The right of the network that owns the show should not be trumped by some self-serving regulations that only benefits the owners of stations which choose to run those U.S. shows instead of MAKING CANADIAN shows.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:24 GorgonTheWonderful

      1. I also forgot to mention.  It's not so much about which commercials we watch or ignore.  But whose signals we watch and the differences between them.  Often times the signal substituations are messed up.  Where I live one person owns both stations and they mess up the substitutions routinely.  We can't watch any top U.S. network show on any U.S. network.  Those 2 channels block out all others. The local channels even run commercials DURING the tv shows.  They put a spinning car company logo on the screen several times per hour or half hour in the top left corner of the screen for 3 to 5 minutes time 2 or 4 times per show.  It infterferes with basic enjoyment of the shows.  Mr. Spock can you help me out here... Wait Captain - I have to get this car logo off my face so I can see what I'm doing... The shows are altered and really should not be substituted in this state.  I'd rather watch the U.S. versions where they at least respect their viewers enough to not put logos on the screen in the middle of these shows through the shows like this.

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:37 GorgonTheWonderful

  106. I support a small basic package (#1) of Canadian stations (including Sport stations), and the banning of "simultaneous substitution" from Canadian feeds. Perhaps consideration could be given to including CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX in this basic package.
    I also support "pick and pay" for other channels (Option 3), with CRTC oversight so that fees are "reasonable".
    I support Option 5.B instead of 5.A. Let consumers decide what they wish to watch!

    These changes would, in my view, retrun a greater measure of choice to the Canadian consumer - eliminate the 100+ irritating channels we never watch from our TV packages - and remove the frustrating "commercial switching" that currently goes on when US programs are being presented.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 12:52 philm
  107. Allowing broadcasters to turn off OTA (over-the-air) transmission is clearly not in Canadians' interest! It serves broadcasters, and perhaps even more, cable companies. Bell and Rogers already have a strong enough chokehold on our media and our networks.
    In many rural parts of Canada, OTA signals are the only way to receive television, and microwave Internet connections cannot come close to matching the bandwidth and picture quality of over-the-air signals.
    Furthermore, OTA transmissions are a way for people on lower incomes to receive television programming that otherwise they may not be able to receive.
    This is a non-starter no-brainer! Keep OTA.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 13:01 Brandon
  108. Regarding small basic service:
    $20-30 is still too much for many students and seniors considering what is offered.   Add another 5% to 15% for taxes this becomes anywhere from $250 - 400 for a year.   Providers need something for admin fees/infrastructure support, so $10 a month would be more appropriate.   Cost could be waived if subscribing to phone or internet with that provider. 
     
    Environment Canada and/or the Weather Network should be part of this package.   This is in the interest of public safety in the event of weather watches and warnings.   
     
     

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 14:58 kcbrk32
  109. I think having a min Canadian package is OK as we do need to share our content that is uniquely Canadian.  One thing that must be in this basic package are the sports channels such as TSN or SportsNet.  Most of our sports, e.g. CFL, were shown on CBC or other local broadcaster.  The sports have now been pushed to these specialty channels so that you need to purchase an additional tier to watch these sports.  These sports channels must ALSO be available for viewing Over The Air.  Right now people using OTA can no longer watch most sports as they have been removed from CBC, CTV, etc. and moved to specialty cable channels.  Not very Canadian! 
    Shutting down OTA transmitters should also NOT be allowed.  Some people with fixed income, such as seniors, and some rural people, have OTA as their only viable choice.  Keep choice; don't remove choice.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 15:05 clipper
    1. Good Points!   As an over-the-air viewer near the US border, I find it ironic that I had to watch events like the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix from Montreal on WGRZ NBC Buffalo, game 7 of the Nets-Raptors NBA Series on WKBW ABC Buffalo, and several Blue Jays vs Yankees games on WNYO Buffalo.  I also had to watch some of the RBC Canadian Open golf tournament on Buffalo's CBS station as my local Global transmitter just happened to have problems that weekend.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 17:24 MikeToronto

  110. Regarding pick and pay/build your own package
    Distributors must carry all channels.  This does not mean we have to subscribe to them.   Case in point:   FXX Canada is only available on Rogers because negotiations with Shaw, Bell, and others are still ongoing.  Rogers needs to pick a price, consumers can decide whether or not the channel is worth adding to their lineup.  

    To discourage gouging (which we know all cable companies like doing), the CRTC must set a maximum allowable price for a service.

    We will likley end up with a hybrid of pick and pay and bundled/pre-assembled channels.    Why?   Shaw owns Global, HGTV, History/H2, Showcase, National Geographic (and a few others) so it makes sense that you get these as a preassembled package if you subscribe to Shaw.   Bell and Rogers customers would pick and choose these as they are a cost to the providers.   
    TSN1 to TSN5 would be considered a bundle.   These would likely be included with Bell as they own them.   Shaw and Rogers customers would have the option of subscribing the them.   Same with Space.

    News channels should be a la carte. 

    Prices?
    - TSN will be pricey because of overpayment for rights, but I will not pay any more than $15 a month.
    - Pick and pays could be $1 each, 5/$4


    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 15:38 kcbrk32
  111. Regarding question 4 simultaneous substitution, just eliminate it altogether.    I made some of these comments in my formal submission to 2014-190, however I will put an abridged version here so others may review and comment.  Maintained original paragraph numbers, >>> are additional comments by author

    18. So what the broadcasters pay a lot of money to acquire the rights to US programming?   Canadians pay a lot of money for their cable or DTH subscriptions, plus proprietary equipment, so the policies must be changed to preferably abolish simultaneous substitution outright, or at least give other options.    If CTV, Global and CITY do not like this policy change, just don’t buy the rights to US programming and spend the money on developing quality Canadian programming instead of buying every program on the US nets they can to stuff their broadcast and specialty channels.    Simultaneous substitution would be considered fraud in any other business, as it is essentially bait-and-switch.

    19. The small basic service proposed mentions local stations only.    This implies the US networks would be an optional package.   The Choicebook data indicates 54% of public participants would prefer simultaneous substitution as opposed to paying extra, however it appears consumers will be paying extra anyway for US networks.   So the best bet and fairest option is to set up the fee structure to pay for carriage rights if applicable to the US stations, give some limited compensation to Canadian rights holder  for immediate existing rights and to change over to domestically developed programming.  
    >>> No way will I pay for anything that is not the original programs!

    20. With regards to paragraph 54, 42 years of simultaneous substitution and we still do not have a strong Canadian television industry.   The programs with the greatest success in are co-productions with US networks (Flashpoint, Motive).  The success of Flashpoint is more the result of the writer’s strike a few years back.   I cannot recall any scripted program on private broadcasters that lasted longer than is required for syndication.  Eliminating simultaneous substitution and increasing the CanCon requirements for Canadian broadcast networks would develop a strong Canadian production economy with export potential.   

    21. Also with paragraph 54, the policy of simultaneous substitution is detrimental to Canadian culture.  Just to illustrate how addicted Canadian broadcasters are to simultaneous substitution:  CTV aired the Junos but also found it more important to break from the red carpet ceremonies to broadcast The Amazing Race prior to the main broadcast.   Surely The Amazing Race could have been broadcast on another day to allow more Juno coverage.

    >>> Reference to Paragraphs refer to the original CRTC document for the hearing.

    22. With regards to Paragraph 59 and question 18, the value of advertising isn’t what it used to be.    Viewers are scattered over multiple channels, PVR’s let us watch programs when we want and skip annoying commercials.   If I were advertising, I wouldn’t want my product or service to be the one remembered when the ending of a program is cut short because of a botched substitution.   A few years ago, there was some talk on one of the forums about boycotting certain advertisers who advertised during the Superbowl.    It didn’t amount to much, but this was before Twitter and FaceBook were popular.   If there was a movement like that now that caught on, advertisers would think twice about advertising (extremely negative for revenue!). 

    23. Also on the subject of the Superbowl:  Many people will watch the American commercials on YouTube even if they don’t watch the Superbowl.  If I have to watch the Canadian version, I just skip the boring Canadian ads and watch the US ones as they get posted on YouTube.   To me (and a lot of Canadian viewers), the US commercials are an integral part of the experience.   So CTV might as well forget about ruining the Superbowl, and foster some goodwill for a change, or at least offer a $10 pay per view if they are that worried about their profit margin.

    26. Regarding paragraph 57, if simultaneous substitution is to continue and in order to reduce complaints, there needs to be a lot more rules strictly enforced to protect consumers and make the substitutions truly transparent:

    a. Programs must be the same length.   It is unfortunate the US networks no longer end and start their programs on the hour or half hour.   This is the new reality; however this is no excuse to cut off the beginning or ending of a program.
    b. The Canadian source must be the same or higher resolution as the target program.   A 720p broadcast cannot replace a 1080i broadcast, but a 1080i broadcast could replace a 720p or 1080i broadcast.
    c. The sound quality must be the same or better.   A program with 2.1 sound cannot replace one with 5.1 sound.
    d. If there is a Presidential address on a particular evening, no substitutions can be done that evening done as this puts the Canadian and US schedules out of sync.
    e. No substitutions following a live sports event, as these frequently go into overtime.
    f. The preview for the next episode, if available on the US broadcast must not be cut off to air more commercials or self promotions.
    g. No covering the screen with advertising or promoting other programs while program is on.   It bad enough when it is done on the Canadian channel, but don’t mess up the US channel too,
    h. There must be a significant penalty for violating any of the above rules.   Fines cannot be passed along to consumers, so levy the fines against the CEO (or equivalent) of both the requesting broadcaster and the BDU that botched the substitution.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:14 kcbrk32
    1. This commenter has obviously done per homework!! Paragraph citations and all! I really dislike the Superbowl ad replacements - these ads are part of the Superbowl experience.

      I totally agree with these comments.

      (PS: 'per' covers both 'he' and 'her')

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:54 steamtrain

    2. I especially love your comment about signal substitution being bait and switch.  It really hits the nail on the head.  We pay for one thing and then we get something else.  Pure bait and switch 101.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:21 GorgonTheWonderful

  112. I agree with the idea of a basic 'set' of channels that would include the standard public channels, which would NOT include french channels, for say $30/mo. ($1 per day).
    Current 'packages' offer 4 or 5 channels for $5/mo.;  I would like to be able to select a single channel for $1/mo.  With this structure, I could view the channels that I am interested in for less than half of what I am currently paying.  I agree that the less popular channels will disappear, but this would be true democracy.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:40 steamtrain
  113. 1. Small Basic - i'm fine with either option. it won't be relevant to me. however CRTC shouldn't use internal code in their discussion paper. what's a 9 (1) (h) service?  

    2. PICK AND PAY - YES!!!!!!!!!!!!  True a la carte is what we've needed for eons. i do think there shoud be some kind of volume discount. that is, if i buy 30 Channels, i get this price, if 50 something less than the full per channel price and so on...

    3. Related to this - why are there still Standard Definition Channnels at all? Since you forced HD on us to begin with, why have you only gone part way?

    4. Packages - i guess this is what i was talking about in "pick n pay" re volume discounting.

    5. Ad subbing - get rid of it! Don't see any difference between live and pre-recorded programs. it's just plain annoying...

    6. Preponderance - don't care about (largely phoney) CDN content outside of supporting the CBC as providing at least one viable CDN voice. most so called Can con is anything but. it's canada masquerading as the US. Even in sports, outside of the CFL and local amatuer sports, is there truly any CDN content? CDN production companies can stand on their own or go away.

    7. Affiliation Agreements - YES to this proposal. a must if we are to get to true pick and pay.

    8. Vertical Access - see 6

    9. insider gobblydeegook. can't comment on what i don't understand. USE YOUR WORDS - NOT INDUSTRY JARGON!

    10. Foreign services - NO TO YOUR PROPOSAL.  open the market right up. i want ESPN, Foxsports 1; CBSsportsnet; NBCSpiortsnet; B1Gnet; etc.... unfettered by by approval processes and exclusive rights deals in Canada. if you wanna do something meaningful here - ban purchases by CDN services!

    11. Revenues - proposal makes sense

    12. PNI - If the examples you have given meet PNI definitions then outside of public affairs programming throw this horrible concept out entirely. There is nothing truly CDN about Lost Girl or Orphan Black. occassional mentions of TO or other CDN cities don't cut it. Even Continuum  - which is much more overt about being set in Vancouver, with references to CDN legal standards, CSIS etc isn't truly offering anything relating to CDN culture (whatever that is).

    13. ? jargon alert! what's 'CPE'? a funding pool continues to make some limited sense if i can make sense of your "what this means" comments but see #11 re the BS that goes on re the whole concept of CDN content. But is CDN production so weak that it can't stand on its own without subsidies?  

    14. Genre protection - agree with getting rid of it  

    15. News - your language is so vague i have no clue what you mean here. But news orgs should have to meet a criteria of broadcasting based on fairness and truthfulness. So long story short, SUNnews should lose their licence and Fox should not be allowed in Canada. Global, CTV, and City should be on watch as they spout corporate propaganda over and over....  

    16. Automated measuring - this isn't happening already? YES  

    17. No Comment  

    18. no comment  

    19. no comment  

    20. no Comment  

    21. no comment  

    22. no comment  

    23. no comment  

    24. not enough specifics to comment aside from I endorse the stated intentions  

    25. ombudsmen a great idea  

    26. no comment  

    27. no comment  

    28. no comment  

    29. no comment  

    30. no comment outside of the sooner the better for the changes i'm endorsing

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:40 dfischeryeg
  114. PVRs or DVRs are now fairly common devices.   Cable subscribers are forced to get one from their provider.   CRTC, please open this up so that people can buy their own devices (example: TiVo) and have the providers issue a "cable card".  The FCC in the United States makes this a requirement for cable comapnies.   I hope this requirement comes to Canada too.
    I have 2 TiVos I use for Canadian over-the-air broadcasts (which don't require a cable card) and I'm sure Canadians will be amazed how much better the user interface is with a TiVo versus what they've been exposed to.
     

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 17:11 MikeToronto
  115. With regards to the proposal to give the TV stations the choice to shut down their over the air trarnmission towers is a bad move.  CABLE is becoming a large cost for retired canadians. We have st up our over the air TV system at a considerable cost to avoid the cable costs on a fixed income.
    By closing the reception choice the CRTC will close a large industry in CANADA. and subject retired Canadians to increased costs for TV viewing

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 17:20 F Cross
  116. Your last statement said 'quantity'.
     
    I think 'quality' will define the price of a channel; some subscribers will pay more for better quality, and will be happy to pay more for this - witness HBO.
     
     

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 18:17 steamtrain
  117. i would like to see a pick and pay, as a senior I find television to be a relaxing luxury that I cannot afford.  I purchased high definition boxes years ago but have to drop the high depth stations as I can no longer afford entertainment because the cable company forces me to pay for basic cable and duplicates them in the high definition which I must pay.  then there are packages which I may want.   if I want a paticular station.  It adds up and up and up.  I enjoy Hockey like most Canadians but alas I am not a leaf/Habs fan so to watch my team I must get the NHL package which takes my bill up and up and up.  The cable provider I'm with continues to offer special deals to new customers but again loyalty does not come into play.  Growing up in the 50's we only got two stations and I survied with an old aerial and it was FREE.  To bad that option is gone too.  If I have to pay a bill at least make it a bill of my choice.  Thank you and please make a decision to undue such a monopoly.
          

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 20:35 ron hamilton
  118. If cable companies start to charge too much allow American suppliers to operate in Canada. What is wrong with competition?

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:30 bmoen
  119. Receiving TV signals from the air is efficient, simple, wireless, affordable and obtainable by the vast majority.  Cable is archaic, complex, expensive.  Satellite is cool, can be improved but is expensive.  Then there's commercials.  Do you watch em?  Sure you do.  Do you buy the products/services that are promoted?  Sure you do.  Then why pay to watch them.  I receive TV from the air free of charge.  I watch the programs and of course the commercials and there's lots of em.  We buy the products.  So, why should I pay to watch commercials.  Receiving TV from the air is high tech, kinda like WIFI.  

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 22:04 Aire77
  120. Regarding   Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming

    Go back to Jan. 19 2014, NFC Championship game SAn Francisco at Seattle on CTV with FOX the originating US broadcaster.   After a 3rd down play late in the game, FOX thinks it is the 2 minute warning and starts to go into commercial break so CTV does too.   But the referee resets the clock to 2:01 and immediately the game goes to a crucial 4th down play.  FOX quickly breaks back to the game.  CTV continues with a commercial break.   FOX returns a second before the snap and shows the crucial play.   CTV misses the 4th down play and returns with teams setting up for the ensuing 1st down play.   Canadian cable viewers wondering what happened.

    That's a big reason simultaneous substitution is loathed by sports fans.   This isn't the only time something like this has happened.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 23:59 OTA ATSC
    1. Grand theft media!

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:35 JF Bérubé

  121. 1. I agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel. This package should be restricted to under $30/month to make it affordable, and contain only local stations and Canadian channels, such as CTV, CBC, Global and City. The cable and satellite companies should allow you, as the consumer, to add individual Pick-and-Pay channels to this service. The CRTC should cap the price at the $30 mark to ensure that the cable and satellite companies do not continuously increase the cost every few months to increase their profit margins.

    2. I agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a Pick-and-Pay basis. Right now, specialty channels such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon are separated into different theme bundles, forcing you to subscribe to multiple theme bundles, even if you only want 1 or 2 channels in each of those bundles. This substantially increases the monthly cost of your television service, as each bundle ranges from $5 to $10, and you are forced to pay the extra cash even if you only want to watch 1 or 2 channels in a bundle.

    3. Subscribers should be able to build their own package and NOT choose from pre-assembled ones. Aside from the small basic service comprised of only local stations, ALL cable and satellite companies should be forced to offer all other channels on a Pick-and-Pay basis. This will ensure the consumer is only paying for the channels he/she wants to watch. Offering pre-assembled packages in addition to Pick-and-Pay channels will only confuse the consumer into believing the pre-assembled packages are offering a better deal for a cheaper price, whereas they are not, as the cable and satellite companies will continue to package channels in such as structure as they are now, forcing you to purchase multiple pre-assembled packages and theme packs to get all of the channels you want.

    4. The CRTC MUST STOP DISTRIBUTORS from performing simultaneous substitution ALTOGETHER. It is very frustrating when you are watching a program on an American channel, and you miss the first minute or two, or you miss the next episode's preview at the end, because the distributor is simultaneously substituting a Canadian channel's feed over the American one (the main channel culprits here are CTV, Global and City, whose feeds are constantly replacing the ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CW feeds). If a Canadian channel such as CTV wants to air the same program as a U.S. channel at the exact same time, then that's perfectly fine, but DO NOT substitute the Canadian feed over the American one. Give the consumer the choice of whether to tune into the American channel and the American feed, or the Canadian channel and the Canadian feed. It may even encourage Canadian networks to produce more original Canadian content and unique commercials and promos, which will encourage more Canadians to watch the Canadian channel, over the American one.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 01:07 DialgaChampion
    1. Very well put! How do you feel about putting the US networks in a separate, relatively inexpensive package separate from the basic package? (eg: around $5) That seems like the best compromise to give the minority who want pure US broadcasts what they want and help ensure that the Canadian networks get the majority of eyeballs. Could be seen as a good way of reducing the cost of the basic package, as well.

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 17:03 jbetteridge

  122. I disagree with forcing a mandatory basic Canadian package on subscribers. The CBC is cost inefficient, they do what the private sector does better and they have the worst programs. At least half of the proposed $30 cost will be for his behemoth. They have a very low viewership, yet they are forced on us. There is no need for a basic package at all. List and price - transparency!

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 07:39 mp
  123. It's not rocket science. With pick-and-pay, I'll be able to pay for the chanels I want to watch, instead of 200 channels of stuff I don't care about. This model should have been expanded upon years ago.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 08:29 KidKira
  124. Just for context, I am 64 years old and live in Ontario. I have recently downgraded my cable service to basic only.
    I don't think there is any rationale from a viewer's point of view for bundling channel packages or even a basic service. I get all my news via the Internet - the prgramming that I would normally watch is available via streaming and I can watch it/re-watch it at my leisure. I wouldn't mind a bit more live sports programming but 'my' cable company has spread that across 3 or 4 bundles and a requirement to also upgrade from the basic package which I am not going to do.
    I would ideally like to pick and choose the actual channels I wish to have - if that were the case right now, I would subscribe to about 20 channels - the bulk of them which I do not have at the moment. Personally, I don't want a package of any kind - I simply want what I want - period.
    Simultaneous substitution might .. and I say might ... have been a good idea years back but I think we re beyond the need for this in 21st Century. It should be scrapped in my opinion.
    Thank you,
     
    Phil

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 10:30 pyrsconr
  125. Please do not make changes to Over The Air transmission. Leave it as it currently is.  Personally I made the choice to go with OTA over the past year in order to save money.  I'm sure that there are others who have made a similar choice so my suggestion is not to take away this option from people. 
    With regards to pick and pay I think there is an assumption being made, by some, that this will cost the consumer less money.  I think the issue of choice (which is important) is clouding the real issue which is - cost.  I think most people are frustrated with the money that they are paying to telecoms and end up saying things like "I'm paying for channels I don't watch" - which technically is true, but masks the real issue.  Most consumers sense that the pricing is out of proportion and that they are being ripped off.  In the same way all gas stations seem to charge the same amount for gas - telecoms charge the same for their products.  It never really feels like there is any true competition in the telecom market and that as consumers we are destined to pay whatever the telecoms set the prices at.  It feels like the prices are fixed and this pick and pay model won't change that.
    Will pick and pay lead to lower prices for the consumer?  I doubt it! Perhaps I'm a little cynical after my own experiences with the telecoms but I really don't think this will lead to a better experience for consumers.  If  these changes are implemented I think the complaint will quickly become " I am paying more for less" - in other words I'm paying more for fewer channels.  Just as a guess, the average family might add 10-15 channels on top of the suggested basic package (which already costs 30$).  It's not unreasonable to think that those extra 10-15 channels will cost between $25-30/mt.  Add PVR rentals (which most certainly won't be free under this new arrangement) and other miscellaneous costs and you are easily paying the same amount of money as you currently pay.  On top of this most cable companies already have a basic package and the last time I checked this was around $35-40/month - under this new plan it seems like the basic package will have reduced choice for close to the same amount of money (which begs the question will people have to pay the pick and pay fee for channels they currently get in their basic package).  While it may seem nice I really don't think any of this sounds as good as people might think. Unless the CRTC is willing to price fix the individual channels and thus unsure lower prices for the consumer.  Something tells me this won't happen and that all of this is just leading to the same cost for consumers.  Pick and pay is a nice idea if their was a truely competive telecom market but there isn't.  What the CRTC needs to focus on is bringing in true competition to the telecom market - this is what will eventually lead to a better experience for the consumer.
    Which brings me back to OTA - if you take that away from those who use an antenna you will likely force them back into cable or satelite tv - which for a variety of reasons they have chosen not to use.  Personally after making a break from the telecoms it would be very frustrating to return to them because the CRTC says local stations can shut down their transmitters.   I fear that if you shut down the transmitters I will just end up returning to the telecoms only to pay exactly the same amount of money I was paying before.  

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 11:22 BSid
  126. Addendum to previous post:
    The latest announcement by Rogers / Shaw marketing a Netflix type subscription service for their "exclusive" content is just another reason the CRTC needs to open up the  availability of networks/channels to everyone. The agreements that Rogers / Shaw have in place a good for business but not for the viewer!  What about viewers who do not have Rogers / Shaw as providers, are they simply left out or do they have to switch to a provider they may not want?
     
    Put an end to these monopolies, stop geo-location restrictions, end simulcasting (stealing US signals and pretending they are the originator), allow OTA to continue and expand, and ensure viewrs can select what they want to watch at a reasonable price.
    Agree with Turren's comments from August 22!
     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 14:05 GRZ
  127. I disagree with having to purchase a basic package.  This negates the choice part of the pick and pay.  I liked the idea of literally paying for only a few channels if thats all I wanted.  Mandating a 20 or 30 dollar package is essentially setting a minimum on peoples cable bills. 
     
    If you're going to force some Canadian channels on people, why not let them choose a couple for a few dollars each instead of a large package?  Most people are going to choose a Canadian news channel and local sports channel on their own anyways.
     
    If I only watch a little tv (say one or two channels), then I don't want to pay 20 dollars a month or more.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 14:26 wf12
  128. I currently pay $20 a month for basic service with Videotron. If the basic service was scaled down as per CRTC suggestion, I'm sure I would still have to pay $20 a month. Likely the same for the other providers throughout the country. Doesn't appear to be any benefit to consumers.                                                                                            I think the basic should include the four american networks without any additional cost for this package because everyone watches those channels. Videotron has had pick and pay for some time now and that works well. Unfortunately on the downside they do not have as many channels available, especially in HD that the other providers do. One thing that drives me crazy is that Videotron charges a digital network fee 2.99, HD network Fee 2.99 and Terminal access fee of 5.99 (for the 3 terminals I have in my home) Thats $12.00 dollars a month for none programming and that's an example of gauging. I've already bought the terminals and pay videotron for the channels I want so I shouldn't have to pay these fees in addition.  Simultaneous sub should be stopped and local tv station should continue to operate their transmitters as it's the only option for some Canadians and does provide some competition to cable/Sat providers
     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:19 whitehouse
  129. There are numerous issues that I don't agree with regarding the current state of and the proposed revisions to the TV regulations. They are listed below;
    Living in the Greater Montreal area, my choice of BDUs are Bell, whose service is so bad I ended up writing a letter to CEO George Cope, to which I never recieved a reply.  I then transferred my business to Videotron, whose owner is now a PQ Minister dedicated to taking Quebec out of Canada... I wonder how enthusiastic Pierre Karl Peladeau is about Canadian content legislation.  Clearly we have no good choice when it comes to BDUs and the CRTC and Canadian Government block any American providers from offering their far superior and less expensive services in Canada.  It kinda sounds like Cuba to me.
    Why are Canadians obliged to purchase basic Canadian content channels before we can purchase the channels we want to watch? When I go into the grocery store, I'm not obliged to purchase a basic Canadian product before I can buy the products I really want. Why should TV be any different? Most of the channels in the current lineup of basic channels I am forced to purchase I never watch, however I have to pay for them month after month in order to purchase the channels I really want.  
    I am in favour of the pick and pay proposal instead of having to buy bundled packages, however I don't believe this will save me any money on my monthly TV bill.
    I strongly disagree with allowing TV stations to discontinue broadcasting over air.  This will just force people to have to purchase these channels from the BDUs and increase their already very large bottom line. 
    Finally, I believe that with technology developing rapidly, forcing Canadians to pay for TV they don't necessarily want to purchase and disallowing American providers to access Canadian markets will only backfire and push Canadians to find alternative ways to obtain better service and at a better cost.
     
     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 18:04 Paul4
  130. all tv stations should be optional

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 20:51 barb d
    1. The responsibility of the regulator of the public "commons" (the broadcast/cablecast airwaves) must be to first pay attention to Canada as a nation, and ensure that this regulated space reflects the four key aspects of Canadian culture (English, French, Aboriginal, Multicultural).
      As a life-long supporter of the CBC, I agree with some here that CBC ought not be doing what the private sector can do, and through the marketplace, profits from.  The CBC ought to focus on regional and national news, culture, events, and regionally based arts and entertainment that the private broadcasters won't touch because the audience it too small to make the kind of profit their business model requires.  We still need a place where what goes on in all parts of Canada is reflected back to us without regard to the profit motive.
      I agree with some here that subscribers need not be required to accept a predetermined "basic" package, but perhaps there is room for the designation of some mandatory channels for the sake of national interests.  Subscribers would be required only to pay a minimum monthly fee for viewing a basic package of channels, most of which we could pick and choose ourselves.
      I have been commenting to cable companies in many provinces over the years that what I really want is to be able to pick and choose only those channels I want to watch in any given month, with the option to drop and add without penalty.  So, in this regard I'm pretty much in agreement with a majority of comment posts here.
      Perhaps some day we will be only required to pay for how much television we watch, without reference to the source station.  As it stands now, there are perhaps 15-20 channels that are of interest at our household, but they don't hold our interest all day long, everyday.  Our viewing habits are program specific.  However, I can see the downside of that much flexibility for the cable providers, as a universal "pay per view" approach might be a challenging business model for the station originators who still have to operate the other 23 hrs that we're not watching them on any particular day.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 00:07 LeslieBrantford

  131. We already pay a high price to watch television shows now ..... 22 minutes of commericials per hour ... why must we have to pay so much to Rogers etc  ( that have installed their cables everywhere by now)  to pipe these shows into our homes. 

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 00:48 Alan Harper
  132. 1. I disagree that a basic package should be required. A key principle behind the government's announcement in the budget was to allow subscription to individual channels without having to purchase other channels. So, to impose a basic package would mean that if someone wants to purchase, for example, only TSN, one must purchase $30 of other channels first. That goes against the government's thinking on this matter, and against mine. To impose the basic package first is comparable to me going grocery shopping for a loaf of bread, and the store requires that I first buy milk, cereal, and ground beef. That makes no sense. If I only want bread, I should be able to purchase only bread. If I only want TSN, I should be able to purchse only TSN.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 08:51 Gerry1
  133. Unlike apparently everyone else on this forum, my personal feeling is that cable TV is a good value.  More to the point, only a small number of consumers will end up saving money under pick and pay, and they will have far less to show for it.  Based on the comments I've read here, I doubt the average person realizes the much higher pricing per network that will be required under a pick and pay solution.  The law of unintended consequences will be dramatic.  People who clamored for pick and pay because they only watch 10 channels will express shock and disbelief when they see many of their treasured niche networks go away. 
    There is a gigantic blind spot among pick and pay proponents who only consider that they are paying for content they don't consume while ignoring that many others are subsidizing content they do consume.  I read the Interventions of many of the BDUs and other interested parties.  This example provided by Bell, which describes why bundling works, actually made sense to me:
    Assume there were five services and each had an annual budget of $10 million, for a total of $50 million.  If one million Canadian BDU subscribers each subscribed to all five services, each subscriber would need to pay $50 annually to cover the total budget (one million subscribers x $50 per subscriber = $50 million).  In exchange, all BDU subscribers would have access to the programming from all five services.  Alternatively, each Canadian BDU subscriber could subscribe to only one service, with the result that each service had 200,000 subscribers.  In that case, each Canadian BDU subscriber would still need to pay $50 annually to cover the budget of the service to which they subscribed (200,000 subscribers per service x $50 per subscriber = $10 million per service) but would have access to programming from only that service, not all five. 
    One more point: The only thing causing cable bills to go up are the sports networks.  If you review the CRTC Financial Summaries it's obvious that the wholesale pricing for other big networks (Discovery, HGTV, History, Showcase, Weather Network, YTV etc.) are rising less than 2% per year, and in some cases are declining in price.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 09:30 bosshog
  134. (16) Over-the-air (aka OTA or antenna television) must continue.  In fact, the CRTC, which did much to promote the switch to digital television, causing a lot of Canadians to spend money upgrading, must have a duty to support and promote the new digital OTA television medium, which in most markets and for most people's purposes, is a viable and free alternative to paying a monthly fee for "basic" cable.
    Canadians were not well-informed by the advertising blitz leading up to the analogue-to-digital switchover.  They were not told how many stations they might receive and how clearly, in high-definition too.  It's as if the regulator became too cozy with the regulated and deliberately sought to maintain the status-quo for the large cable, wire and satellite TV distributors by omission of an obviously beneficial piece of information. Such good news for Canadians should have been shouted from the rooftops: "Canadians, you no longer have to pay for basic local TV; you can receive it in crystal clear high definition without ever having a contract or business relationship of any kind with a TV distributor."
    Instead of this, the switchover advertising campaign sounded like a dire warning, and with the addition of communications to the effect that we didn't have to worry if we already had cable, became a subtle pressure to subscribe to cable and abandon antennas.
    (1) This solves the "basic cable" question: no, cable and satellite providers should not have to provide a basic package of any kind, because the very idea is based on the presumption that since most Canadians currently get their TV from a large distributor they must continue to do so.  The CRTC is our servant and must act in the interest of Canadians, not seek to maintain an old status quo for the convenience of the familiar regulatory environment and corporate profits.  (see how many of the discussion questions reference "BDU" and how few reference "OTA" -- the very discussion is heavily biased)
    Digital OTA is a game changer that, properly guided, can give Canadians both the benefit of free-market competition and the benefit of national media strategies (Canadian content etc.).  Cable fees will be forced to drop if Canadians understand that they have a real option. Local antenna broadcasters by their very nature serve their local markets.
    From a ninth floor balcony in Northwest Toronto, one can receive in excess of 36 digital channels, most in high definition, with a cheap antenna not much bigger than a hand.  Many of those are American local stations, which do not seem to be "struggling" to exist.  If CTV stops broadcasting from its antennas, we who receive TV by antenna will simply watch the same programs from stations in western New York State (an area with a population so small it only has one area code yet curiously seems to be able to support more antenna broadcasters than the entire GTA and Hamilton-Niagara region).
    In an ideal world, the Faustian bargain that allowed Canada's big cable providers to gobble up their competition on the very eve of entering the digital era, would be reversed.  We must not continue further down that anti-competitive, market-manipulation path, lest like the monkey with his hand caught in the jar, we lose far more than we thought we would gain.  We must trust Canadians to consume Canadian TV, encouraged a bit by regulation of OTA broadcasters and the advantage of stronger signals from local broadcast stations. 

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 11:26 DarylK
  135. I must retract something from my comments on August 21st.  there should NOT be a requirement for a  basic package.  the more I think about it, this concept would be very detrimental to those who have no choice because they live in an apartment, condominium, retirement home or anything of that sort.  These people who may be of lower income or seniors (although that fact does not really make a difference) should be allowed to just pick and pay for exactly what they want to watch and what they can afford.  how can it possibly be thought to be fair, any other way?
    As for dropping OTA - please - I have to reiterate once again, drop this idea and let's forget it was even mentioned.  Canada needs broadcast television, and to think of allowing any station to shut down their transmitters is absurd and will make this Country appear less relevant than it already is.  Besides, isn't the conrol of broadcast transmissions the fundamental responsibility and the main reason we required the CRTC to begin with?  If you shut down OTA transmission, it would only be reasonable to shut down the CRTC as well and let the cable and satellite people battle it out any way they want.  Do the right thing!  Thanks once again for this opportunity.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 15:17 Gammavino
  136. I used to subscribe to bell satellite for television. the bills were around $100/month. all I was using it for was to watch TSNJets (to watch Winnipeg jets hockey games). it seemed like this was too much money to be paying for one channel (especially since the tv was unused from april-oct each year). so I cancelled the subscription.
    I wanted to purchase NHLgamecenterLIVE which would allow me to stream NHL games. this is my only other option for watching hockey. however, they have blackout restrictions in place so that I cannot watch jets games. this is to ensure that I have to purchase a package from one of the providers.
    I understand that the NHL has lucrative contracts with these television providers. but to me it is insane that I have to purchase a television package of $50-$100 just to watch one channel. it seems like I should be able to have a very basic package with the tsn add on for a reasonable price. Or better yet, I should be able to pay to just get TSN or some basic sports package containing TSN.
    I am a season ticket holder for the jets and spend a lot of money on tickets. it seems unfair that the television providers and the NHL should be able to team up to ensure that I spend the maximum amount of money to be able to see my team.
     

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 08:23 gojetsgo
  137. Maximizing choice and flexibility
    Giving Canadians the choice and flexibility to decide their telecommunication needs is way past due. CRTC must not only focus its attention on the Mega Telecommunication Corporations such as Bell, Rogers, Telus and Videotron but also on such companies as ACN. ACN's telecommunication products and services in not at all competitive and charges consumers cancellation fees if they decide to go with another provider.
    ACN concept is based on Independent Business Owners (IBO) investing approximately $600 to join and subscribing to ACN's products and services will very little or no tools to compete against the Mega Telecommunication Companies. 
    ACN "warm market" policy puts IBOs at a severe disadvantage and severely restricts their ability to realize a return on their investment.
    On average ACN customers pay up to $50 more per month for the same products and services offered by other competitiors and both the IBO and the customer do not have the choice or flexibility to alter the cost of the product or services. This also hinders the IBO's "retention" efforts  and the ability to retain the customer's business.
    ACN's online store needs to be designed more  like an eStore in order to enhance the customers' shopping experience and not confuse or frustrate them causing them to abandon their purchase and run to another competitor.
    ACN has to engage in more promotional activities in order to support or compliment the efforts of its IBOs.
    ACN must allow its IBO to offer their products and services to consumers who are interested in its products and services and not restrict is products and services to a so called "warm market".

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 11:06 itsabouttime
  138. While we are on the topic of 'maximizing choice and flexibility", another factor to consider is ACN's billing practices. Unlike other service providers who issue a statement and allows a due date by which to pay that bill, ACN issues a statement and charges customers automatically on the same day the statement is issued. This policy has to change.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 11:12 itsabouttime
  139. The "Pick and Pay" option is really killing the TV Production Industry. Working in a small television production company, we are finding that the big Broadcasters are really getting scared about this option and are genuinely afraid to "Green Light" any new programming.  They are sticking with the "tried and true" big television shows and are very hesitant to try anything new.  In turn, this means that television companies in Canada are having a really tough time bringing new ideas to the table, as they almost immediatley get rejected due to the rumours of "Pick-And-Pay".  
    Keep in mind that there are many people behind these television shows that NEED work in order to survive.  Not all of us are rich and thriving off of your cable dollars...so consider that if this happens, thousands upon thousands of Canadians could lose their jobs due to the fact that you don't want to click through as many channels.  Not just that...but because Broadcasters won't green light new content it could also mean that you'll be seeing the same shows over and over without any new content or ideas.  

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 14:24 LilTVgal
    1. If you make content the people want, they will pay for it.   The era of subsidizing subpar quality content needs to end.  

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:05 mpa

      1. Right On.  Well put.  My sentiments exactly.

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:09 GorgonTheWonderful

    2. Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and Netflix are all creating original content which is actually quite good.  The best the major networks can come up with these days is reality TV garbage which costs practically nothing to produce.  I would rather pay the content creaters than the content distributors.  HBO is one of the content creaters I would gladly pay for if they would only uncouple their content from the distributors.  I refuse to pay Rogers for HBO and have no problems waiting 12 months for it to appear on Amazon Instant Video. 

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - 15:46 William Laurin

      1. I agree totally. There are some good options but some people expect to us to pay for them to create "reality" tv and other crap and watch paid advertisements and endless reruns of the same 6 or 7 shows and not complain. Somehow doing THAT is in their warped view showing support for Canadian culture - even though the shows are American.

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:12 GorgonTheWonderful

    3. Big broadcasters are getting scared... GOOD! 
      Maybe they learn a simple principle called 'integrity'.  Integrity is to present to the public the true unbiased facts, well researched, in an objective manner, not designed to manipulate public opinion through omission of facts or distortion of facts.  You know who I'm talking about...

      Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 14:09 Susan K

      1. You put it brilliantly Susan.  Right on.

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:15 GorgonTheWonderful

    4. Make better shows and they will give you the green light. There are plenty of office and trade jobs if you don't feel you should have to EARN your keep in the tv industry. The public won't miss you or supporting your creative efforts.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:07 GorgonTheWonderful

  140. Basic service should be offered and capped at $20 - $30.  It can include a certain amount of Canadian channels, a provincial/territorial legislative channel and community channel.
    Definite YES to pick & pay.  Consumers should ONLY pay for the channels that they want.  If someone doesn't want a certain channel, they should NOT have to pay for it.
    Simultaneous signal substitution should be eliminated 100%.  Along that line, CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC & PBS channels should be offered in a separate package for say $5 a month with ZERO simsubs.
    Popular American channels such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, TNT, TBS & the new SEC (Southeastern Conference) Network should be APPROVED and made available by all Canadian cable, satellite & telco providers.  It would reduce grey market satellite signal subscriptions and when Canadian consumers have more choice as well as money remaining here in this country, those are both positive developments.
    Another thing that I wanted to add regarding college football:  Sportsnet has the rights to show NCAA Football games from Fox Sports 1.  Last year, they showed only two games from FS1.  Either they were pre-empted or Sportsnet showed games from Fox OTA (which is available in the Toronto area on basic cable).  What's the point of obtaining the rights to sports programming if a broadcaster is NOT going to air the events?  Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this is a form of anti competitive behaviour?  Hopefully this is something that the CRTC will continue to work on.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 16:45 613_matt
  141. In very few other consumer transcactions is the buyer forced to purchase things he or she doesn't want. The advent of subscription-based streaming services has proven that consumers allowed to vote with their device and credit card will pick a model allowing a wide range of programming options. The traditional broadcasting industry has failed to fully accept this fact, believing that what worked in the past suits most folks. It doesn't. I would vote unequivocally for a model where I can pick the channels or programs that I want to view: nothing more and nothing less.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 16:56 Queen Bee
  142. Shaw Cable is blocking any reference to the CRTC and this discussion from their website forums.  They are actively discouraging any discussion on the topic. 

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:01 mpa
    1. I wonder why - LOL. They are one of the worst offenders. They don't want people to give the c.r.t.c. their input. They want to keep ripping us off as usual.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:05 GorgonTheWonderful

  143. We should be  able to choose our content directly from the content producers.   Cable companies can have a fee on top of what the channel charges, but must offer us everything.  Today, cable companies decide what content to offer us, this is wrong.  They deliver a service and should be paid, bt should not have the ability to censor what we receive.     CBC and local stations should be free and paid by advertising, with Cables distribution levy on top.  All other stations are pick and pay at the price decided by the channel with distributions charge on top.    This will invite competition and prce wars from channels trying to attract viewers, and competition from cable providers with what fee is added on top (in theory if there wasnt Monopolies).  
    Also Internet should be spun off and seperated from cable to stop anti-competitive practices.

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:14 mpa
  144. It has probably been mentioned before but the idea of not being able to select most (as in at least 80%) of the channels we want to have is absurd, especially with the advent of Netflix, Hulu Plus and other streaming services.  I understand that it would cost the same if not more for less channels.  But if I am paying for a skinny basic (30-40 channels) and then anywhere from $1-$5 a month per channel I wanted, at least I know I am getting everything I am paying for.  I also believe that we should have access to channels like the ESPN family of networks, FOX Sports 1, CBS Sports Network (which was recently taken off the Bell listings), and channels like that.  I don't know how it would work and how it would affect Canadian "equivalents" (and I use that term very loosely).  It's not like I wouldn't order TSN and Sportsnet because I totally would.  I would just like to be able to expand my sports on TV choices.
    In the end, to stay competitive and not act too restrictive, the CRTC, along with the cable companies, have to change the way they do business.  If not, by five years from now, there will be less cable subscribers than ever.  And if I ever find a way to truly stream live sports and record what I want to watch later (kind of like WatchESPN/ESPN3 which is not available to Canadians as far as I know), then my cable package will be gone in a flash.

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:58 Bossman
  145. Does the CRTC have any jurisdiction over what companies like Bell, Rogers and Shaw are trying to implement as "Netflix like" platforms? They should sell such platforms to every Canadian regardless of wether they subscribe to a specific BDU or no BDU at all. They should be made to understand that those attemps are failures as long as they are solely meant to force Canadians to subscribe to a BDU. Exclusivity is an addictive drug that will kill them in the long run. Canadians want to cut the cord. That is what the industry has to adapt to. Make those platforms available to every Canadian or do not implement them at all. BDUs are wasting money trying to show us that they don't get it. ADAPT OR DIE!

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 12:00 JF Bérubé
    1. http://fairerplatform.com/2014/07/cord-cutter-broadband-vs-pay-tv-invers...

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - 21:56 JF Bérubé

  146. I have 2 comments that are related:
    1. In the Working Document Theme 1, I agree with the requirement that BDU's offer a basic package of local stations, community channel and provincial legislature.  Pricing this between $20 and $30 would seem reasonable, but I wonder how long it would take to see this rate jump to $40 to $50. At the rate BDU's are raising prices now, I would suspect it would only take about 4 or 5 years.
    It is my understanding - correct me if I am wrong - that cable and satellite providers do not pay a fee to local stations for their broadcast. It that is true, then the suggested $20-$30 price tag seems reasonable reimbursement for the BDU's fixed operating costs i.e. cabling, satellite bandwidth, customer service, collections, etc.
    2. Theme 16 suggests that local stations would be allowed to remove their transmitters. This is a terrible idea for a number of reasons:
    a. For many families even $20 to $30 per month ($240 - $360 plus tax per year) is a significant sum of money. For those in urban areas, one month fees could purchase an antenna to receive local broadcasts.
    b. Free local Over The Air service offers competition to the BDU's who will want to continuously raise the cost of the Small Basic service. At any time a customer should be able to make this choice.

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 18:43 deaglesham
  147. I completely cut the cord with cable 2 years ago and will not be returning. Any news I need, I get from Twitter and Facebook. If I would like to watch my local stations then I use my digital antenna, which has no monthly charge.
    The current rules around subscription to individual specialty channels (e.g. HBO) is a real pain but I have decided to wait until the current season of my favourite shows are released on DVD or on iTunes. I will then either buy it or take it out from the local library. However, I don't understand why the CRTC will not allow me to subscribe directly to these specialty channels without going through a cable company first - and having a basic cable package. The marketing tactics of cable companies are extremely manipulative and predatory.
    Not being able to independently subscribe to international channels (non-English, non-French) except through a cable service is discriminatory. CRTC needs to get out of the way of those types of online subscriptions. If not, consumers will use technology to get around those regulations.
    In order to promote increased Canadian programming, CRTC should be looking at policies to increase CanCon on content-delivery systems such as original programming on Netflix, CanCon on iTunes, and promoting smaller, independent Canadian film makers. This area requires a whole new policy rethink and review of what the CRTC's mandate should be in this area.

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 08:04 NS
    1. This is one big reason cable is a turn-off for me. Unless you only want Canadian or American content cable is not even an option at all. It's too expensive and not made available unless you buy crap you don't need or want. Internet rocks!

      Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 15:30 JF Bérubé

  148. 1. ALL SUBSCRIBERS MUST PURCHASE AT LEAST A BASIC PACKAGE.
    Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel, if offered, and certain Canadian channels?
    All distributors should offer a Basic Service.
    Stations 01 to 40 would be nice.
    This could include the U.S. Stations that also come under those station series (i.e. CNN)
    or
    Just the Canadian Channels (i.e. TVO, Global, CBC, CityTV, CTV, CP24, CTV News Net, CBC News, Bravo, Showcase etc.)
    *Personally I’d like to see Analogue TV free for all those who cannot afford to purchase a Basic Package.
    I miss the “Rabbit Ear” times.

    Or do you think that the cable and satellite companies should be able to add to this small basic service any additional service they want, so long as the price is affordable?
    Yes, this can be done too.
    The affordable price should be according to people’s income.
    (i.e. Seniors Pensions, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability, Contract and Part-time Workers get paid low wages).
    *Again I prefer they get the Analogue Stations free as many cannot afford even a Basic Package.

    Should the CRTC cap the price of this service? Why?
    Yes the CRTC should be the one to cap the price of this service as most low income people cannot afford the price to go up.
    *I truly believe that all Canadians have the right to watch tv.
    TV is a lot of Canadians main entertainment especially those on low income (i.e. seniors, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability, Contract & Part-time workers) who either do not have access in their homes to a computer or cannot afford to pay for the Internet to watch tv on it.
    ________________________________________
    2. Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?
    Yes, because many people don’t watch all the channels that are provided now by the distributors.
    It would be nice if they could watch what channels they want and if they pay for Digital they should only be paying for the channels they watch.
    ________________________________________
    3. Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why?
    Yes, subscribers should be able to “Build their own Package” & given the option to “Choose from Pre-assembled Ones” that way they will get what they paid for.
    ________________________________________
    4. Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?
    I’m not sure about this one. If it means that distributors can substitute a program when the U.S. President comes on an American channel then maybe so but some Canadians want to hear what he has to say too. I’m not sure about substituting the Prime Minister if he is on a Canadian station as that rarely happens.
    I’m sorry but I don’t know much about “Performing Simultaneous Substitution”.
    ________________________________________

    Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 12:30 Linda Makarchuk
  149. 1. The requirement that all subscribers must purchase a basic package comprised of local stations, a community channel, and the provincial legislature channel is unacceptable. These channels are included in the basic package I now am forced to purchase. I never watch them. Consequently, I feel that I am subsidizing those who do watch them and this is unacceptable to me. We should not be forced to purchase things we don’t want or use simply because someone else wants them. If these types of channels are desirable to other people let them pay for them at the market rate. Adding channels to the basic package would merely result in the status quo.
    2. All channels should be available on a pick and pay basis. Market forces should dictate what channels survive and flourish under this regime. This includes those channels proposed under the basic service regime.
    3. Choosing between pre-assembled packages and building one’s own package (pick and pay) is a reasonable option. More freedom of choice is always a good thing in the marketplace.
    4. The simultaneous substitution issue is irrelevant to me. I don’t watch award or sports shows. I think the CRTC should regulate this issue based on what the majority of Canadians want.

    Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 15:04 paul2d
  150. I would be happy to pay a basic minimum charge for cable such as $20 a month and then pay a change for each individula channel that I wanted. We now have about 60 channels and we watch 5. We pay for all 60, though, because we were forced to take them. I would watch more TV if I knew the only channels on my TV were the ones I had chosen to be there.

    Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 15:24 pipes
  151. 1) Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel, if offered, and certain Canadian channels?
    Absolutely. Perhaps Basic Service does not need to be a prerequisite for getting “premium” channels, however for those of us who don't want to put an antenna on the roof, Basic Service described in Broadcasting Distribution Regulations, SOR/97-555, Part 2, 17.1 a – g, dated 2014-02-28, seems like a good definition.
    Basic Service should also include local education channels, e.g. B.C. Knowledge Network that is not available over-the-air.
    Basic Service should include any over-the-air channels, Canadian or US, that are reasonably receivable in the local area, as was the spirit of Community Access/Antenna Television.
    By the way, what has happen to redistribution of local radio stations in the FM band by BDUs? In my area this service is no longer available.
    Do you think that the cable and satellite companies should be able to add to this small basic service any additional service they want, so long as the price is affordable? Why?
    Possibly. It depends if the price is reasonable. This is still a better solution than every house having to manage a roof antenna/tower with a rotator to get local channels.
    What would you consider an affordable price for this service?
    I'm currently able to receive many local over-the-air channels with a simple indoor TV antenna. It's hard to compete with free, but $25/month + taxes sounds fair. If the total invoice for Basic Service exceeds $1/day, the total cost of ownership for a decent over-the-air receiving solution becomes much more attractive.
    Should the CRTC cap the price of this service? Why?
    I have just cancelled my Telus IPTV service due to a recent rate increase. I recently contacted Delta Cable (Eastlink) in B.C. to enquire about the cost of Basic Service, as I am unable to receive KCTS (Seattle, WA) over-the-air, due to topographic constraints preventing adequate signal reception. I was informed that “Basic Service” has $38.50/month, a receiver was required for $2/month and if I wanted HD, this was an additional $6.95/month. Considering what I can receive over-the-air in HD at no cost,  $47/month is ridiculous.
    Secondarily, the incumbent BDU owns Inside Wire, that cannot be re-purpose to say, connect to an exterior TV antenna. If there is not a reasonable capped rate for Basic Service then the BDU should no longer own the Inside Wire. Put another way, as a home owner, I cannot use the existing coax to distribute signals inside my home, I have to run additional coax to do this. This seems like the BDU is wasting resources (coax, wall space for outlets) on my property. Coax should be like telephone wire, where the external demarcation point is the hand-over from BDU to customer. Inside Wire should belong to the property owner.
    If there is consideration that over-the-air broadcasting for local channels becomes optional, Basic Service will absolutely need to be capped, possible at a very low rate. Even at $20/month, an indoor TV antenna pays for itself in a month or two.
    2) Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?
    Yes, but the situation is already a mess. Basic Service should be available with a HDTV plugged into the wall, with no set-top-box required. Consumers should be able to choose their own time-shifting equipment solution, including using a personal computer for the task.
    Currently BDUs encrypt everything they can to require a set-top-box to decrypt and possibly time-shift content, as the cable industry is reluctant to permit the consumer electronics industry/customers direct access to content. For example, you cannot use a TiVo in Canada due to poor regulations and the anti-consumer attitude of the Canadian cable industry.
    My local BDU does not apparently offer local digital (HD) over-the-air stations in clear QAM with Basic Service. Regrading Broadcasting Distribution Regulations, SOR/97-555, Part 2, 17.5, dated 2014-02-28: "(5) The licensee’s obligation to distribute the programming services of a local television station or a regional television station under subsection (1) also includes the obligation to distribute the digital programming service of that television station that is received by direct feed if the programming service of the local television station or regional television station is also received over the air by the licensee in its licensed area."
    By encrypting locally available over-the-air digital programming, isn't Delta Cable/Eastlink failing to meet their obligation to distribute the direct local television station (unencrypted) digital feed?
    As TV distribution has gone digital, there is no longer a need for analog filter traps to manage analog channel packages. There is no technical reason why channels cannot be provided on a pick-and-pay basis.
    Pick-and-pay should provide customers a more cost effective option to receive just the channels they want. Pick-and-pay may also foster competition and  hopefully better quality programming, as channels will have to deliver a desirable product to attract subscribers.

    3) Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why?
    Yes. There is no technical reason this shouldn't be possible. Cable companies don't have to come to your house to install/remove analog filter traps to manage channel ranges any more.

    4) Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?
    Don't watch enough TV to really know if this is an issue. I suppose if a customer is watching a non-Canadian network channel, why should there be substitution? If a the customer wants to watch the program on a Canadian network, are they not free to do so? I have noticed that 720p source programming often becomes 1080i, which is undesirable.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 03:51 jmrickerby
    1. Where I live, 2 local stations each owned by the same millionaire block out various American channels all day and night long. There is not one original Canadian program on either network and all they do is block out the U.S. channels we pay for. It's not so much about the commercials as about the signal substitution. The local channels not only run their adverts in place of the American ones but they also put on-screen adverts on at various times DURING the shows - right over top of the faces of the characters on the shows. I don't suppose you've ever been subjected to this - having a Car Company (who shall go nameless as I refuse to give them the publicity) logo spinning over the top of Big Jim's head while you try to watch Under The Dome (or whatever). They often do a sloppy job of these substitutions. They sometimes end late, start early, block the wrong channels and shows and people are denied the ability to watch shows that are different shows and should not be blocked.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:57 GorgonTheWonderful

  152. I am deeply concerned about the continued assault on OTA broadcasting. To say that you want to provide consumers with flexibility and choice while continuing to engage in the assault on OTA with the big telecoms is hypocritical and re-enforces the notion that the CRTC does not truly represent the public interest. Is it fair to force people in rural communities to subscribe by eliminating their OTA television? Remember that there also are people who cannot afford to pay for their programming.
    There is also a group of people who refuse to be held hostage by the big telecoms and pay outrageous fees for limited value and poor service. OTA knows no borders. Given how concentrated the Canadian population is along the US border, there is plenty of OTA programming available from the States. So please explain how eroding OTA is going to promote flexibility, choice, and protect Canadian programming? It will do nothing more than fatten the big telecoms profits by forcing people to subscribe while concentrating more power in their hands.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 09:52 Support OTA
  153. 1) All subscribers must purchase at least a basic package. Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel, if offered, and certain Canadian channels?  Or do you think that the cable and satellite companies should be able to add to this small basic service any additional service they want, so long as the price is affordable? Why? What would you consider an affordable price for this service? Should the CRTC cap the price of this service? Why?
    Why is the OTA choice not an option in this section?  Has CRTC already made a decision...?
    Subscribers should be offered a basic package of local stations for $10/mo and notified that they have an alternative of OTA that would cover all or most of the basic option.  Subscribers could do the calculation and realize it is cheaper to buy rabbit ears if they only want the local stations. Cable subscriptions should be reserved for non-local shows.
    ======================
    2) Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?
    Yes, citizens should be able to pick-n-pay just the channels they want and not the rest of the clutter.  However it won't take the cable companies very long to jack the individual channel prices up to the point it will be cheaper to buy the 'packaged' groupings.  Don't try to control the market packaging - the companies will always find a 'work-around'.
    ======================
    3) Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why?
    No.  If you can pick-n-pay you are essentially building a customizable package.  Companies will develop 'packages' that they hope will undercut the pick-n-pay options and thus allow them revenues from the obsure production programs.
    ======================
    4) Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?
    Let them substitute Canadian advertising for American if it means more revenue for them.  Regardless, we won't be poisoned by American ads (since most Canadian consumer packaged goods companies are US owned anyway...).

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:24 Tom
  154. My comments are about points 2 3 and 4.
    2. Please find a way to unbundle tv packages. It is silly that I have to buy 15 channels I don’t want to get the two or three I do. No other industry would be allowed to do this. When I go to a furniture store and want to buy a sofa the store doesn’t force me to buy a loveseat, recliner, endtables etc I can just buy the one piece of furniture.
    3. Building my own bundle would be a fine compromise. As long as the new bundles don’t have a minimum number of channels and thus are made effectively the same as the old bundles.
    4. Absolutely this should stop. Not just on big events but on all programming. I’ll give you an example why. I was watching the new show Welcome to Sweden, which was being substituted by the comedy channel. For a couple of weeks in a row the comedy channel abruptly cut to a full length commercial in the middle of the show at the wrong time, literally in the middle of a sentence one of the characters was speaking. I missed about 3 minutes of the show, ruining my enjoyment of it. This ineptitude and lack of accountability for screw-ups is why it should be stopped entirely.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 13:10 jmrd
  155. 1.  All subscribers must purchase at least a basic package. Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer a small basic service comprised of only local stations, a community channel and a provincial legislature channel,......
    I belive the CRTC should require distributors to keep the basic service package to an absolute minimum for the lowest possible basic fee.  This will ensure access to those on very limited budgets.  The package should include the parliamentary channel, provincial legislature, community channels and the CBC.   As tax payers we pay  a huge amount for the CBC and it has a mandate to serve Canadians and promote Canada to Canadians.  The CBC should be required to provide unbiased Canadian news and information to keep Canadian voters informed and able to meet their obligations in our democratic system.  The other basic channels should be in the same vain, offering unbiased information for Canadians and local communities.  The other networks can provide services that win or lose in the marketplace.
    I also believe that only the CBC should be required to broadcast their signal for free antenna access as we already pay for the service as taxpayers and not all Canadians can afford cable or sat TV but all Canadians can vote and need unbiased informatioin to do that.  As well, with the rapid shrinking of investement in quality, non-biased news coverage in Canada, the CBC should be required to fill that void with unbiased news that is freely  accessible by all Canadians, rich or poor. (This does not say the CBC is doing a good job, just that the principle of a public broadcaster is good and an important part of our democratic system).

    2.  Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?
    Yes.  Beyond the basics I want to select and pay for content that suits my own interests.  To be relevant in todays internet enviroment the broadcast industry must allow people to customize content in the same way todays generation accesses in formation online.  Failing to do this will push users away and from the established cable and broadcast services outlets.  We are already seeing this in success stories like Netflix.  The CRTC must also ensure that cable and broadcast outlets offer these channels outside of bundles and do not use the new rules in a way that picks our pockets with new imaginative pricing models.

    3. Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why?
    Sure.  if the broadcasters want to bundle channels at a discounted rate, great, provided they are not allowed to price individual channels out of reach in an effort to force us to take a bundle. The bottom line is there is only so much money in Canadian pockets and constantly trying to find new ways to extract more to keep their shareholders happy is not a viable goal and must be managed by the CTRC.

    4. Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?
    This has not been a concern for me.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 09:18 Poling
  156. OPTIONS 2 or 3 ARE FINE WITH ME. 
    I rarely watch T.V. and when I do, it's always the same channels.  Those channels are NOT the CBC which is banned from my home, although I must pay for it.  So many channels that I've never watched but am forced to pay, about 70%. 
    I'm actually debating whether I should simply cancel my T.V. subscription since the channels I watch are in other paid packages.  So, I end up paying for basic content (I never look at), and five or six additional packages of which 70% I don't watch.
    I call this LEGALIZED HIGHWAY ROBBERY.
    I don't care about the other points.  All I want is to choose and pay for what I need.  Nothing more.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 13:58 Susan K
  157. I am sick to death with the Canadian TV provider industry.  It is time for some major changes.  Regarding simulcasting, we have had it now for 40 years, and it has not done what it was meant to do - provide more and better Cdn. TV.  In fact, it has probably gotten worse.  It is time for the BIG THREE to get off the public teat, and make it on their.  I know jobs may be lost, but that has happened in a lot of industries in Canada in the last few decades.  TV writers  or TV executives are no more important the fisherman or miners.  Let them provide a unique and interesting product, and Canadians will buy it, just like in the music industry. 
    At this point the Canadian networks/ channels care very little about their viewers.  They throw any old crap on their multitudinous channels, and we get to pay for them, whether we want to or not.  It is time for pick and pay!  A small basic package is OK, but everything else should be pick and pay.  Some channels won't make it, but that's OK.  Most of them are junk anyway, and they show stuff they shouldn't be because you, the CRTC, have not been regulating and fining them enough.  And it is also time to allow more channels from around the world in.   We live in a global world, and although Canadian programs are nice, I would like to see more from around the world.
    If after this whole process is over and these, and other, changes are made, then I think I, and probably many others, will finally really cut the cord.  It may finally be time to join the many others in the bit torrent world to get real choice and diversity in our TV watching.
    Dan

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 19:02 drwirzba
  158. Going through the questions one by one.
    1. Any basic package that is offered by cable or satellite providers, whether standard or “skinny,” should consist ONLY of Canadian services – no US channels, or even channels with US branding. American network broadcasters need to be placed on a separate tier entirely. While I do support reducing the number of Canadian services in the current basic package in order to reduce cost (services like CMT and MTV Canada have no place in the basic package), I object to the proposed idea of a “skinny” basic package that contains only local broadcasters, provincial educational channel and provincial legislature channel. All of these are services that are supposed to be free to Canadians to begin with. I see this move as nothing more than a ploy to eliminate OTA as a free alternative. Any basic service offered to Canadians needs to at least include a commercial-free children’s channel (such as Treehouse TV), and regular youth networks (YTV, Much). I would even go as far as to say that broadcasters that partially broadcast for youth such as Teletoon should be considered for basic. Canadian news networks and APTN should also be mandatory, without question. The Commission needs to clearly outline that specific services like these have to be offered in a basic package and allow cable and satellite providers NO flexibility on this. Channels in the basic package should all be offered in HD and grouped together low on the dial.
    A reasonable cost for a slightly reduced basic package free of US networks should be no more than $10. US networks (with original ads) should cost an additional $5 for those who want them. If the CRTC does go through with allowing cable and satellite providers to offer a “skinny” basic service, the cost to customers should be $0, which is all that anybody should be expected to pay for the services that it includes.
    2. Pick and Pay for services outside of the basic package absolutely has to happen. If cable and satellite providers want to win over media savvy customers, specifically younger ones, this is the only way that they’re going to succeed. This is a necessary step forward for the medium of television as a whole.
    3. The option to create packages should stay the same. While pick-and-pay is going to be appealing to many customers and, in all likelihood, draw people to television who would have never bothered paying before, packages will still be more practical for those who primarily watch television as a part of their current routine.
    4. It is pertinent that simultaneous substitution be COMPLETELY eliminated. The entire system is designed for Canadian networks to effortlessly gain ad revenue as compensation for the availability of US networks in basic cable packages. This only raises the question: why are those US networks included in basic packages to begin with? ABC, NBC, FOX and the like all need to be placed in an optional tier separate from the basic package (cost around $5) with all of their original ads intact. There is a very large audience in Canada demanding unfettered US network broadcasts, and with this setup those who want them can pay a marginal fee for access. The results of this survey indicate that a significant number of people are either uninformed or indifferent to simultaneous substitution. That makes it very likely that the majority of Canadians won’t bother with the extra package and just watch US programming on Canadian networks. Without a significant risk of the US networks taking eyes away from their broadcasts with their ads, CTV, Global and the like will no longer be forced to abide by US scheduling, and be able to establish a more unique identity, and possibly even work more Canadian productions into their prime time lineups. Simultaneous substitution is a complete failure of a policy and has only stagnated our broadcasting sector. Placing unfettered US networks in a separate tier may not be a perfect solution, but we are in desperate need of a new system, and that would be a big step in the right direction.
    To put everything more simply, here is my ideal layout for an English-language cable or satellite package system:
    Basic ($10): All local Canadian broadcasters (CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV, Global, etc.), Provincial educational channel, APTN, public access channel, CPAC, provincial legislature, CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, ICI RDI, Treehouse TV, YTV, Much, Teletoon, W Network, The Weather Network, TSN, Sportsnet, one movie channel (Movietime? Encore Avenue?)
    Optional US Network Package ($5, unfettered advertising with no simultaneous substitution): Nearest local feeds for ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, PBS and any other applicable terrestrial US networks
    Other non-premium networks: Pick-and-pay for maximum $5 each OR divided into packages
    Premium networks: Maximum $10 each, available to even those with only a basic package

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 04:51 jbetteridge
    1. One addendum: I realize that simultaneous substitution promises are the current stipulation keeping many local broadcasters from shutting down their OTA transmitters. I am STRONGLY against eliminating OTA television, so a new compensation would have to be found. Perhaps giving them a cut of money generated from a US-only tier package?

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 05:01 jbetteridge

      1. You don't compensate greedy! Cut the fat!

        Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 17:56 JF Bérubé

    2. After some listening to the suggestions from various parties, I've made some reconsiderations about my stance on the basic package. I do support having a skinny basic package with a strict mandated line-up that BDUs are not able to change. However, I would like to emphasize that this skinny basic package must not be implemented as an alternative to OTA television and must contain essential services (youth and documentary programming should definitely be considered for this) that are not available to Canadians OTA in order to justify a price being placed on them. That said, even $20 is far too much money for these essential services, and a price range under $20 needs to be considered.
      Here is an updated list of what I think would be ideal for an English-language basic package: 
      All local Canadian broadcasters (CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV, Global, etc.), Provincial educational channel, APTN, public access channel, multicultural channel, CPAC, provincial legislature, CBC News Network, ICI RDI, Treehouse TV, YTV, Documentary, The Weather Network
      If the CRTC decides not to deem youth programming as "essential" then they should consider an alternative "extended" basic package specifically for parents and youth that contains all Canadian-branded youth broadcasters (YTV, Treehouse, Much, Teletoon, Family).
      As emphasized before, all of the services on basic must be Canadian and Canadian-branded. US 4+1 services need to be moved into their own separate (but low-priced) package. Ideally this will be without any simultaneous substitution in place, but this approach needs to be considered even if simsubbing is retained or partially retained.
      I'd like to add that all of these services should be available OTA to Canadians for free, and in the future the CRTC needs to consider allowing multiplexing on digital transmitters and setting up a system in which the entire mandated basic package is made available to citizens across the country.

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 00:20 jbetteridge

  159. I had cancelled my cable nearly four years ago because there was no way I, as a single person, could afford paying such a huge amount of money on dwindling income. Even now, working at a job that is basically minimum wage, there is no way I could afford to pay for any of the providers' least expensive plans. There are more and more of us who are finding ourselves re-hired into positions that pay far less than our previous job. Also, those with decent wages are seeing the writing on the wall and considering cutting out tv for something like Netflix (which I have and enjoy) or web-based entertainment.
    I have worked in the telecommunications industry for the better part of 20 years and my most recent position, billing agent for one of these companies, has made me intimately aware that customers are fed up with the costs of television services which provide a couple of hundred channels they never watch. They do not accept the costs are so high because of the massive investment the two main providers are doing to put in new fibre optic cables as they see it as just another way to profit from too high monthly charges. This investment does benefit them but they are also very aware that their bills were high before the conversion started. Many customers think "pick-and-pay" is already here and they want this service now. From a direct agent to customer viewpoint Canadians want change and they want to pay less.

    1. All subscribers must purchase at least a basic package.
    Yes, I think that everyone should have access to CBC, CBC Newsworld, TVO, Global, local stations, Weatherchannel, one each of the nearest American tv channel, community channel, and any either English or French equivalent of these channels if available.
    Consumers should be able to choose from either digital or OTA as well. When the CRTC gave the go ahead for digital tv transmission the telecommunications providers rubbed their hands together and their eyes glinted with avarice seeing the profits from having a captive audience who had the company's receivers, monthly plans, and no way to view tv otherwise. Choice is a thorn in the side of any company looking for high profit. Canadians need choice.

    2. Do you agree that the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels, other than the ones that come with the basic service, on a pick-and-pay basis? Why?
    and
    3. Do you agree that subscribers should be able to build their own package as well as choose from pre-assembled ones? Why?
    Yes. This would weed out the tendency for Canadian channels to be fleshing out their offerings by showing the same shows from different channel. Example - I used to watch a number of shows on HGTV which I enjoyed. The pay-per-view Oprah channel was showing similar - and often old - episodes. I am aware that this still goes on by moving a popular channel lineup to a pay-per-use bundle. There were also huge numbers of sports, porn, movie, etc channels that I did not want to even appear on my channel lineup which I couldn't prevent. There were a couple of HD channels I really did enjoy, Turner Classic Movies, some of the radio stations, and the like which I would pay a nominal amount to receive. A basic channel plus a few other channels of my choice would make it affordable and enjoyable for me. It might also smarten up the providers of channels to improve their offerings.

    4.Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?
    This was put in place, in my opinion, to protect the profits of sports franchises and Canadian network owners. I can see the advantage for them. This would be more to the consumers' advantage if we simultaneously substituted minute-for-minute advertising so we don't end up with tv shows being cut for more commercials than our American counterparts. Not convinced about the sports franchises because I could easily see that many fans would stay home and watch on tv instead of buying tickets and spending on concessions and the like.

    I really do miss having standard tv but I have adjusted. Endless news available online as well as entertainment. I have a nifty little tv/internet streaming box called a Roku that not only provides me with Netflix but other internet channels, games, sports, etc. The internet has made it possible to keep in touch with the world. TV is sort of optional now.
    When there is a change ordered by the CRTC, I urge the CRTC to make sure that the telecommunications companies cannot lock basic channels and pay-per-view channels into contracts with high cancellation fees or extra charges like receivers. I would like to see them contract free which would force competition.
    Thank you for our opportunity to have input on this subject. I can assure you that you would make many consumers very happy based on my experience talking to them. People need more money in their pockets.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 08:56 jllz
  160. In the case of Small basic, I would have to align myself more in the option B with a very minimal option of local channels at 15-20$ and a basic plus that included more i.e. american channels and channels from every region, at 25-35$.

    When it comes to Pick and Pay: All channels should be devided in price groups, and if i want one extra channel i should be able to get that extra channel.  Possibly 2$, 3$, 5$, 10$.
    Building your own package is the one I agree the most with:  Like with pick and Pay the channesl should be divided in price groups.  and the more you bundle together the better the deal should be e.g. if I wanted 10 x 5$ channels, it would be 35$, 5 x 5$ channels would be 20$.   Prices may very but idea is the same and if  cable companies want to make there own bundles and give better deals thats up to them, but it allow the customer to nagotiate a little and not end up with a bunch of channels ill never watch.
    SImultaneous Substition does not bother me one bit.  They can put what ever advertising they want on tv as long as they dont put to many.
    Preponderance option B is probably what i would go with.  Id rather have a choice either way
    I would have to agree with the Affiliation agreement issues
    100% behind the Access for non VI Programming Services
    I agree with the Dispute Resolution and the VI Code
    In the case of the distribution of non Canadian Programming  as long as we are just talking about TV im ok with.  Now if the distributor wants to sell me the program online,  It should be different situation.
    Redefining broadcasting revenues, I agree with this proposal.
    PNI Proposal is fine.
    Programming requirements  I have no opinion on this
    Genre protection  I agree with the proposal.
    Licensing criteria for Category C national news services , in this case im happy with the status Quo. One of the problems with canadian tv is that there are to many regulations.
    Audience Measurements  I am fine with it as long as this does not end up costing us one penny more.
    Licensing regime for over-the-air stations  The only way this should pass is if all the content that is available over the air, is now pushed through the internet instead, at no extra cost to the consumer, with no requirment to have a subscrition to a cable or satelite company.  Exceptions must be made for rural areas that don't have proper internet.
    Community programming: i agree with the proposal.
    Official language minority communities: no opinion on this as long as it does not cost us extra money to implement
    Third-language services: no opinion on this as long as it does not cost us extra money to implement
    Availability of Described Video (DV): no opinion on this as long as it does not cost us extra money to implement
    Accessibility of hardware: no opinion on this as long as it does not cost us extra money to implement
    Closed Captioning (CC) online: no opinion on this as long as it does not cost us extra money to implement
    BDU Code: I agree with the proposal
    Ombudsman: I agree with the proposal
    Expanding the BDU exemption order: I agree with the proposal
    Eliminating rules with respect to analog distribution:  Its time to eliminate the analog distribution.
    Discretionary programming services exemption orders: I agree with the proposal.
    Consolidation of programming services licences: I agree with the proposal.
    Implementation:  Dec 15 is the latest it should be implemented,  I think September would be a better start point.  This gives them the summer of lazy TV programming to implement the rules but not so much time as for them to wiggle there way around the laws.



    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 12:01 franky62
    1. the pick and pay channels should only be up to $1 each ... paying $5 each for 10 or 20 channels we might as well keep paying today's cable prices...

      Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 23:04 Alan Harper

      1. EXACTLY!  The cable companies are counting on that.  They talk of selling the channels one by one at such a high price that people would pay more money for less channels and stop asking for a pick and pay system.  This is precisely why the c.r.t.c. needs to bring in some pricing regulations with a pick and pay system..

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:47 GorgonTheWonderful

  161. Frankly I understand the need to have Canadian content, but that you be very limited and the cost should not exceed $10 a month. As for Pick and Pay, love it, the best option for Canadians as the big service providers like Bell make millions of dollars off us by making us take stations that no one has any interest in, and alot of these stations are owned by Bell, Rogers, etc.... Pick and pay is the way to go, but the CRTC has to have some strict rules on pricing so we do not end up paying ridiculous prices to watch a hockey game, if that is your preference. Pick and pay should be in lots of 5 to 10 stations and should be priced in the $.50 to 0.75 per station, something like $3 for 5 stations, and say $5 for 10, and the more you buy the better the pricing should be. In other words, if I only want the basic plan at $10 and say 5 pick and pay, my bill should be $15 plus taxes, that's it, but is I want the basic at $10 and say 35 pick and pay stations, then if you follow the idea laid ouy above, you would pay around $15 for the 35 stations. Also, you should not have to take the standard definition broadcast if you have HD receivers. you should only be required to take a standard definition broadcast when there is no HD broadcast of that network or station. I'm sick of paying for networks that I NEVER watch. Service Providers will not lose money, people will just fine tune their content and pick stations that they don't have today becuase it would cost too much to have those stations due to all the other stations that come in the "Package". To the people at the CRTC, what took you so long? Never mind, you are on the right track now, don't be conservative, do it right, give Canadians the right to decide what channels they want to pay for, and make sure that Bell and the others don't take advantage by overpricing channels.

    Well done! maybe a bit premature, but I can't wait!

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 16:40 Daver
  162. Re: Canadian TV Providers
    Dear Sirs:
    I am writing today to express my ongoing frustration with the state of the TV industry in Canada and to provide comments for consideration during your upcoming hearings which begin on September 8, 2014.
    Like the cell phone business in Canada Canadians pay a lot more for their TV content then our counterparts in the U.S. and get a lot less, at some point this should be unacceptable to Canadians and also unacceptable to our Government officials.
    It is not so easy to change TV providers for two reasons; the first being completely different hardware between providers and the second reason is that to “re-wire” for a different provider is difficult if not impossible in existing homes. At least with the cell phone industry it is easier to change providers since we can port our cell phone number to another provider.
    Like a lot of Canadians Sports, News and Business information are three important factors in our daily lives, while sports provides a welcomed break from life’s realities News and access to Business information helps us all to lead our lives and contributes to daily schedules and to assist in planning for our financial decisions.
    The more information we have the greater the opportunity to make better and more informed decisions in our lives.
    There are two main issues with any Canadian TV provider:
    (a) Price of service
    (b) Range of content.

    PRICE OF SERVICE
    It is difficult in this letter to go into details about the vast difference in pricing between the Canadian and U.S. markets.
    All one knows is from looking at U.S. websites such as Direct TV, Dish Network or Comcast the difference is significant.
    If we had a larger range of content then the higher prices we pay would at the least be slightly more tolerable.
    RANGE OF CONTENT
    The range of content is actually a more contentious issue in my opinion then price, partially because I have unfortunately accepted the fact that we will always pay more in Canada for our TV services and Cell phone services then our counterparts in the U.S.
    In a world today where Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV is now being introduced into the market worldwide, in Canada we are still supplied with highly rated channels in Standard Definition (SD) which is totally unacceptable in my opinion.
    Shaw is probably in last place in Canada in providing High Definition (HD) for highly rated channels some example of these would be:
    NFL Network is only in SD from Shaw. Bell, Telus and others in HD
    NFL Red Zone not available from Shaw in SD or HD. Bell, Telus and others in HD
    FOX News is only available in SD from all Canadian TV providers and yet FOX News is the most watched cable news service in the U.S. and has higher ratings then CNN and MSNBC combined.
    It should not be up to TV providers or in fact even government officials to decide what we should or should not watch, all points of view should be available to us in HD and allows us to decide what we choose to watch.
    Shaw also does not provide 5.1 Dolby Digital sound when it sells its version of NFL Sunday Ticket. Bell and Telus claim their version of NFL Sunday Ticket has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound but I cannot confirm that.
    All NFL games are broadcast on Sundays by FOX and CBS have 5.1 Dolby Digital sound when you watch them on network feeds, yet the premium service we pay Shaw for does not have 5.1 Dolby Digital. Standard answer from Shaw is that it is not in our control; I would ask the party “in control” why and get it fixed.
    These are just a few examples of how poorly Canadians are being served in 2014 when it comes to the delivery of HD channels which INCLUDES 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.
    SD vs HD
    All Canadian TV providers should be regulated to provide channels which are available in HD to Canadians in HD.
    All Canadian TV providers should be regulated to provide Canadians with the choice of purchasing only HD channels with the option of buying channels in SD if they are not produced in HD.
    HD should be the “Norm” in 2014 and SD should be offered only as a last resort.
    While I do not expect all channels to be available in Canada it is not too much to expect major channels like FOX News, FOX Business, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and HLN to be added to all Canadian TV providers’ offerings and ALL in HD.
    Your work may or may not yield the results I would like to see in the Canadian market place as you seem to know what should be done but may not have the courage to act.
    The issue of signal substitution will be an indicator of your courage, if other business did this to its customers it would be considered fraud and yet Canadians have sat back and accepted this practice.
    We pay for access to U.S. channels; nowhere does it state you are paying for access to 90% of the channel’s content. All U.S. channels should be delivered to Canadians exactly as they are broadcast in their U.S. market without exception.
    An entry into Canada by AT&T along with their new acquisition Direct TV would be a game changer for both the cell phone industry and TV industry a company of this nature would provide much needed competition in both areas.
    Alternatively to a U.S. provider being granted access to the Canadian market a completely revised and simplified schedule of channels in Canada needs to be adopted by all Canadian TV providers.
    New Standard Practice Policies
    The practice of packaging SD and HD channels together must be ruled illegal and stopped.
    The practice of signal substitution of U.S. channels must be ruled illegal and stopped.
    The practice of providing a channel in SD only when a HD version exists must be ruled illegal and stopped.
    On this basis a revised HD only channel lineup could be produced which consumers could easily understand what they are actually buying and would have full knowledge of content expectations.
    In our household unfortunately we speak only English so therefore any channel which is other than English is of zero value; if something is of zero value to you it is only logical that you should not be forced to buy it.
    If bundling of channels is allowed to continue then the number of “bundle groups” needs to be kept to a minimum and each particular “bundle group” should actually mean something and make sense which is the basis of the list I have created.
    We all understand that businesses need to make a profit to survive and I do not condemn the Canadian TV content providers for trying to maximize their profit, in fact profit is a good thing.
    However at some point we should at least expect a higher degree of choice and the highest quality of video and audio that today’s technologies provide in order for the consumer to justify this significant monthly expenditure.
    I would suggest that if the policies I suggest were adopted Canadians would be less concerned about price as they would feel that they are finally receiving full value.
    Having to watch any channel in SD when a HD alternative exists is a disgraceful commentary on both the CRTC for allowing this practice to exist and also on the Canadian TV providers for perpetuating this practice given it is 2014 and UHD is now upon us.
    Hopefully the results of the hearings which begin on September 8, 2014 will modernize the TV industry in Canada to the benefit of all Canadians and please remember it is a HD world we live in and soon to be UHD the sooner SD is done away with completely the better off we all will be.
    As a closing comment about a proposed “audience measurement system” by using Set Top Boxes (STB) this will not be well received by Canadians as we do not want to be watched. Regardless of privacy safeguards assurances it is an overreach and should be abandoned. If the TV providers need to survey their audiences please find a different way and one that the Canadian consumer volunteers for.
    DRAFT LIST OF HD CHANNELS ONLY

    CANADIAN HDTV CHANNEL CONTENT - VANCOUVER MARKET - ENGLISH
    CANADIAN  NETWORK STATIONS
    CBC - VANCOUVER
    CITYTV - VANCOUVER
    CTV - VANCOUVER
    GLOBAL - VANCOUVER
    CHEK - VICTORIA
    CTV2 - VICTORIA
    APTN
    CBC - TORONTO
    CITYTV - TORONTO
    CTV - TORONTO
    GLOBAL - TORONTO
    U.S NETWORKS - NO SIGNAL SUBSTITUTION
    ABC - SEATTLE
    CBS - SEATTLE
    FOX - SEATTLE
    NBC - SEATTLE
    PBS - SEATTLE
    ABC - DETROIT OR NEW YORK
    CBS - DETROIT OR NEW YORK
    FOX - DETROIT OR NEW YORK
    NBC - DETROIT OR NEW YORK
    PBS - DETROIT OR NEW YORK
    CANADIAN NEWS STATIONS
    BC1
    CBC NEWS NETWORK
    CTV NEW CHANNEL
    SUN NEWS
    THE WEATHER NETWORK
    U.S NEWS STATIONS -  NO SIGNAL SUBSTITUTION
    CNN
    FOX NEWS
    HLN HEADLINE NEWS
    MSNBC

    CANADIAN HDTV CHANNEL CONTENT - VANCOUVER MARKET - ENGLISH
    CANADIAN FINANCIAL NEWS STATIONS
    BNN
    U.S FINANCIAL NEWS STATIONS -  NO SIGNAL SUBSTITUTION
    BLOOMBERG
    CNBC
    FOX BUSINESS
    OTHER NEWS STATIONS
    BBC WORLD
    CANADIAN SPORTS STATIONS
    SPORTSNET ONE
    SPORTSNET ONE - COMPANION
    SPORTSNET 360
    TSN-1
    TSN-2
    TSN-3
    TSN-4
    TSN-5
    U.S. SPORT STATIONS - NO SIGNAL SUBSTITIONS
    BIG TEN SPORTS NETWORK
    CBS SPORTS NETWORK
    FOX SPORTS NETWORK
    MLB NETWORK
    NBA TV
    NBC SPORTS NETWORK
    NFL NETWORK
    NHL NETWORK
    SPEED
    SPIKE
    THE GOLF CHANNEL

    CANADIAN HDTV CHANNEL CONTENT - VANCOUVER MARKET - ENGLISH
    CANADIAN FAMILY STATIONS

    U.S FAMILY STATIONS -  NO SIGNAL SUBSTITUTION
    ABC SPARK
    ANIMAL PLANET
    FAMILY CHANNEL
    DISNEY XD
    NICKELODEON
    TELETOON
    TREEHOUSE TV
    YTV
    CANADIAN - GENERAL - TRAVEL - COOKING STATIONS
    BRAVO
    FX CANADA
    HIFI
    H2
    MOVIETIME
    OASIS
    radX
    SHOWCASE
    SLICE
    THE FRAME
    W MOVIES
    W NETWORK
    U.S. GENERAL - TRAVEL - COOKING STATIONS - NO SIGNAL SUBSTITIONS
    A & E TELEVISION
    AMC
    DISCOVERY CHANNEL
    D TOUR
    FOOD NETWORK
    HGTV
    HISTORY CHANNEL
    LIFETIME
    NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
    SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL
    THE COMEDY NETWORK
    TLC
    CANADIAN HDTV CHANNEL CONTENT - VANCOUVER MARKET - ENGLISH
    CANADIAN PREMIUM MOVIES CHANNELS
    AXN MOVIES
    ENCORE AVENUE 1
    ENCORE AVENUE 2
    HBO CANADA
    MGM CHANNEL
    MOVIE CENTRAL
    MOVIE CENTRAL2
    MOVIE CENTRAL3
    SONY MOVIE CHANNEL
    SUPER CHANNEL
    WARNER FILMS
    U.S. PREMIUM MOVIE CHANNELS - NO SIGNAL SUBSTITUTIONS
    CANADIAN PREMIUM SPORT CHANNELS
    SPORTSNET WORLD
    U.S. PREMIUM SPORT CHANNELS - NO SIGNAL SUBSTITUTIONS
    NFL SUNDAY TICKET with 5.1 DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND
    NFL REDZONE
    NHL CENTRE ICE
    CANADIAN MUSIC CHANNELS
    GALAXIE
    CANADIAN FRENCH LANGUAGE CHANNELS

    CANADIAN FOREIGN LANGUAGE CHANNELS
    ***************************************************************************************************
    This draft list of channels would need to be altered for the various market in Canada but it would provide a top HD lsit of channels for Canadians an bring us up to current technolgies.

     

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 18:16 WestCoast57
    1. Who cares about Fox News? Its audience is shrinking and getting old even in the US.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 16:35 JF Bérubé

  163. The basic channels are atrocious! At this time most channels are showing old sitcoms, old movies, paid infomercials, repeats, repeats, repeats. To get anything 'new', you have to buy it or wait for the new season to start.
    For those of us on fixed incomes... who can afford $20-$30 per month for basic cable?   Only the rich can afford to view something other than 'basic'. 
    I would love the opportunity to pick and pay.  Why must I have to choose a 'bundle' of channels when there is only 1 or 2 within that bundle that I will watch? 

    I want Showtime and HBO and all the others that offer the best of the best - but I can't afford it.  I won't  buy Netflix Canada because it doesn't offer the same choices as Netflix USA!
    I have an old computer and the slowest of slow internet connection so I can't download/watch online.  Even if I could, there is nothing for 'free' and if I could, most programmes are blocked because of 'agreements' with USA and UK, etc.  I don't own an iphone, ipad or anything else that is remotely modern. 
    Sorry, but Canadian 'content' just does not match USA  or British 'content'.  Not sure why but usually the acting/script is just not appealing.
    All in all, in this day and age, it is disgusting that our airwaves are controlled!!!  Freedom of choice is my first choice. Allowing those on fixed incomes to enjoy something better than what is currently offered on basic would be a step in the right direction.
    My only friend is my TV.  Take that away from me will be cutting off my daily social activety but at the moment my next best friend is a 'real' book (cause there is crap all to watch). Just not into soap operas, sports or bad news!

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 21:03 elaine2405
    1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/pick-and-pay-cable-tv-would-offer-...
      Be careful what you wish for

      Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 12:20 JF Bérubé

  164. Having pick-and-pay channels is a great way that Canadians can save money. We spend waay to much money for TV services, and many of the channels are 3 or 4 of the same stations. What's the point? The two big companies also cheat Canadians because they know what popular channels people watch, and charge more for packages.
    The ultimate goal that CRTC has to ensure with these proposals is saving Canadians money!!! If the companies are going to be able to charge their own prices without some kind of cap, then this may be a useless service to all. Whatever is decided, I'm praying in the end there is substantial savings and no loop holes for companies to 'get back at us'.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 19:29 Philip
    1. for once can the CRTC take a wild guess at what loop holes the cable companies will use to beat the system ..... how come the cable companies are so much smarter ....   just like the loopholes the senators use to get around their expense reports.... no one seems to forsee that someone else may try to bend the rules in their favour ...  unless they are all getting paid under the table....

      Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 22:58 Alan Harper

  165. I only wish to comment about simultaneous substitution.Regarding simultaneous substitution, a key point that continues to be lost or forgotten, when the cost of US programming to Canadian broadcasters is discussed,  is that the reason US programming costs so much these days is that, back in the 1970s, having made significant demands of the private broadcasters in terms of Canadian content and its scheduling in prime time, the CRTC next licenced a new Canadian network, Global, whose advent in the market immediately increased the competitive cost of U.S. programming, which within ten years was costing up to ten times more than it had been prior to Global’s arrival on the scene.
    Also, it became politically expedient to make all the U.S. Networks’ signals available to virtually all Canadians, so cable and then satellite companies were allowed to import distant signals to virtually all parts of Canada, thus further diminishing the value of US product because of lack of exclusivity.  And then scores and scores of cable channels were licensed which provided even more competition for the ‘conventional’ broadcasters – the ones charged with ‘knitting together the socio-economic fabric of the country on an east-west axis"’.
    Next, whatever additional advertising dollars might have been generated by simultaneous substitution, there is no way that these could ever have allowed Canadian broadcasters to fund the production of Canadian drama with the kind of budgets that the US broadcasters could generate with a population ten times that of Canada.    Canada has done well despite this - Murdoch Mysteries, Corner Gas -  but as long as the US continues to produce and broadcast all those highly popular drama, reality and sitcom series, with their vastly greater financial resources, Canadians who choose to do so can and will prefer the U.S. output by a significant majority.  You can lead a horse to water.....
    Societé Radio-Canada has been able to generate large audiences in Quebec for its own original Canadian programming in the French language because there is no competition from any signals from France.
    But Canada’s geographic location adjacent to the United States means that it’s the only country in the world where broadcasters have to compete not only with one another, but with the output from scores of imported U.S. signals – so simultaneous substitution goes some way toward redressing the absence of exclusive ownership of a US Network property in the Canadian market, and enabling Canadian broadcasters to afford to produce the Canadian content they do.
    It would be the height of idiocy to drop a policy that has worked very well, simply so that disgruntled Canadians can see the U.S. commercials in the Super Bowl – something that the print media have blown out of all proportion in order to further embarrass the broadcasters with whom they compete for advertising.


    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 20:00 newdigate
    1. It is not just people who want to watch American commercials during Super Bowl. Simultaneous Substitution has been used on all types of programming and often with horrible results. Far too often the schedules do not align and viewing is cut short.
      This policy needs to go, entirely.

      Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 20:07 Stevep

      1. You are absolutely right. I can't count the number of times that the beginning of a show that isn't being slime-u-cast (as I prefer to call this practise) has been cut off by a late running signal substitution, or how many times the wrong show has been broadcast over, or the first 15 or 45 minutes of a show has been cut off by one of these things done wrong. Never mind that our local channel runs commercials DURING the shows as well as between them. They run car adverts on screen over characters faces during the shows several times per show. I'm sick of it. No respect for the viewer at all.

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:35 GorgonTheWonderful

    2. The only thing signal substitution does is damage the product and diminish the quality of the cable system. You  are not giving subscribers what the expect so they end up pulling the plug and going OTA. I couldn't care less about exclusivity if it only ends up making me lose subscribers.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 00:22 JF Bérubé

    3. The height of idiocy would be to to continue supporting signal substitution that benefits ONLY the profits of a bunch of millionaire and billionaire tv network owners who own cash cows that do nothing to merfit the profits they scam.  Without producing a single program these CTV and other networks - which once produced some great and unique Canadian shows - do nothing but broadcast the same U.S. shows we already pay to watch on the U.S. networks.  There is no benefit to the consumer.  if these networks cannot survive by providing us with good shows we want to watch - something other than the same U.S. shows we already get on other channels then let them die the death they should have died long ago and get out of the tv business.  There are a lot of good trade jobs available for hacks who can't create programming that can captivate and lure an audience.  Replacing U.S. signals is wrong on so many levels.  Only someone who works for one of these networks could make such a glowing case for keeping a form of corporate fascism that should have been abolished long ago.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:31 GorgonTheWonderful

  166. I'd like to comment on items 1 and 4.
    1 - I believe a basic small package should be available as an option. I am so tired of paying for channels I never watch. My preference would be straight pick & pay for all channels, possibly with time shift package deals for the networks available. My subscription now includes several sports channels that are never used; why should I have to take and pay for these because someone thinks I need this in a package?
    4 - The policy allowing Simultaneous Substitution needs to be dropped entirely. I have experienced far too many incidents wherby it was not properly applied, and the program I was watching was cut short because the US signal was behind schedule and the substitution was done anyway to put the Canadian signal on at the shceduled time. I did file a complaint about it on one occasion, and the response from both the cable provider and station involved was completely false - they claimed they corrected it within a few minutes when in fact they did not - I missed the last 20 minutes of the program. I PAY for the US and Canadian channels, and if they carry the same program at the same time, I should be allowed to utilize whichever one I choose to, simple as that.
    The heading of this page is "Maximizing Choice & Flexibility" - pick & pay and being able to watch any channel I pay for would go a long way to making that a reality! Thank you, CRTC for giving we Canadians the opportunity to provide our input.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 20:22 Stevep
  167. Just wanted to add that i've seen the CRTC approve a LOT of channels over the years and few of these ever seem to launch. I think the CRTC should be more vigilant in making sure these people launch their channels or don't get approved for more. And I see the same people often applying for more and more.
    The CRTC especially needs to be vigilant when it comes to people like Corus, Shaw, Rogers, and Bell getting licences for channels just to prevent others from launching similar channels. In fact it would help if there was no genre protection. We don't need it anymore anyway. It only prevents others from potentially competing with the aforementioned companies because they have all their channels protected from competiton, why?
    Also when you approve someone's request to add a US or Foreign channel they should be forced to add it to their line-up. Too many times have channels been approved for carriage, but they never seem to get added.
    I know these issues are a bit off topic but they still fit in the grand scheme of things.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 22:14 vjose32
    1. A limit of time should be given for new licenses to launch. If the delay is not respected the license should be revoked and no other license ever granted to the same broadcaster for reasons of abuse. We cannot accept hogging the system with requests of an anti competitive nature.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 00:02 JF Bérubé

    2. Just want to say rage I believe simultaneous substitution should be removed. Remove the main US networks from the basic package and then there is no need for it. Furthermore I would allow the bdus to bundle and sell the US nets and then they could take the subscription fees to make up for the loss of the substitution. It's a win-win to me. Canadians don't have to deal with simultaneous substitution and the bdus get new revenue from selling the US nets to offset some of their local network costs. 
      Furthermore I think that removing OTAs is wrong and would be ok different than removing local radio stations and forcing Canadians to pay for them. Perhaps is the local networks had more local info then they would be better off. If they are short on money then they can stop buying expensive American shows.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 23:44 vjmiranda

  168. I want to add that I believe something should be done about Shaw's refusal to carry CBC News Network HD. They are the only provider in Canada that does not offer this channel and it is outright childish and ridiculous that they continue to refuse to do so. They should be forced to carry this channel. In fact I think any channel that is a mandatory basic channel should also be mandatory HD basic and as i've mentioned before I think that everything should be made in just HD to HD set top boxes, faze out the digital STBs, and then just down convert to digital for those with digital STBs, simply enough I think.
    And I believe that if a channel is made available in HD and a provider already offers the SD version, then they should immediately offer the HD version, and at no extra charge. Too many times providers are forcing consumers to pay for both feeds when they only want the HD feed.
    Canadian broadcasters also need to get their act together and get more HD channels now! Most of their programming is HD programming from American networks, so why not just make their networks in HD already? It doesn't make much sense imo.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 22:19 vjose32
    1. Shaw's refusal to offer CBC NN in HD should be illegal. This is the public broadcaster that receives billions of tax dollars.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 22:18 mpa

  169. When it comes to choice I believe that all the major providers should be required to offer a variety of foreign language services, ideally at least 1 for every language available. I am currently with Shaw and they offer way too many South East Asian and Chinese channels and only a few other foreign language channels. They have Italian and Spanish and Greek but they don't have any Portuguese and seem to refuse to carry any, even if the cost to them is very little with say RTPi. I don't believe they have any Brazilian channels either and there's many other languages that are missing on their dial. It would only be fair to consumers to have option to subscribe to a channel from their native country. This should be a mandated requirement. If they want to offer 10 Chinese channels or whatever, fine, but first add 1 for every other available language/country!

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 22:31 vjose32
  170. As a first generation white canadian, it is frustrating to have spent most of life with a lot of t.v. channel choice from the US and then as we opened our doors to China, HK, Poland and India, I am now left with basic t.v. being in the asian languages and only one french channel (which was rarely available as a youth wanting to better learn french on the west coast).  
    As Canadians with a dual language, we were given little to no opportunity to learn other languages and then we became inundated by having to PAY to learn languages that were migrating here without learning English. 
    We need to change our focus.
    First off - any language other than English and French should be an add-on and pay-per view unless we can fund (free to Canadians that are English as a First Language) learning the other languages for a five year period.  
     
    Also, why do all basic channels include REPEATS after REPEATs.  
     
    I like the local vancouver channels that tell you what's going on in our neighbourhoods, but we still have a lot of channels that it may take a while to determine if it is local or american.  American advertising that is not availabe to Canadians should require a disclaimer (similar to how CTV news and other channels have little icons in the corner to notify us what channel we are watching).
     
    Lastly, a lot of the heartstring channels asking for money should be required to advertise how much they are paying for commercials so that people understand how much money is spent before it actually goes to help people.  There are too many scams going on, and I personally stop watching t.v. and go to netflix or paying for movies rather than watch poor or repetitive programming. 

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 15:51 underviewed
  171. All of Shaw's BDU services need a serious upgrade. We are in 2014. HD is in, SD is out. Same goes for every BDU but Shaw is the most obvious. Kill SD feeds wherever HD is available. That is a huge waste.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 17:46 JF Bérubé
    1. Not everyone has an HD cable box.  You suggest just cutting off their service to improve yours?

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 22:16 mpa

      1. Actually all they need to do is drop SD and down convert the HD channels for those that don't have HD. Then they wouldn't need duplicate HD and SD channels, freeing up more bandwidth and making lineups easier to navigate.

        Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 20:49 veevem

  172. here is what's exactly wrong with the bundling and present packaging of channels.  yesterday, i wanted to review my programming choices.   I realize i watch about 5-10 stations. these include the cbc, hgtv, hbo, diy, cnn. here is what happens:  it costs 45$ for basic programming.  if i want cnn i have to pick a bundle 10$,likewise for hgtv, if i want hbo its 20$ (as part of the movie channel ) so put that together its 85$ for 5 channels plus taxes its 100 a month, which is highly , highly unreasaonable.   this is exactly why people tend to want to disconnect from cable and satelite.  there is no competition as the BDU's collude or in the absence of collusion price their offer the same way, so as not to affect the revenue stream between them.  they do this with cell phones in the same way.  these companies have had their way for such a long time, that it is time to wake them out of their stupor and be told that the status quo, will result in a disconnect movement in favor of services like netflix.  
    I am really fed up of bell, and rogers which is all i have as "competing' distributors.  a hundred dollars a month is right up there with the other necessities of life, food gas etc.  this has lasted long enough.   By the way i congratulate the CRTC to have taken the intitiative to  challenge distributors on their pricing schemes.  The process has been very democratic, transparent and honest. I also congratulate other fellow canadians in making a stand against these heartless profitteers, who will beg the crtc not to oblige them to cut jobs.  
    these companies are immoral.  it is time they learned and listened to theire customers.  i have no problem with good profits, but i do have an issue with indecent profits with little or no value added.  
    thank you
    claude gagne

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 11:34 clees
  173. MAXIMIZING CHOICE AND FLEXIBILITY.
    As I am addicted to freedom, I want total and complete freedom and I don’t care about basic service.
    I don’t care about  local stations, community channel and provincial legislature channels.
    I believe that cable and satellite companies could charge a very small price to have access to their services and I believe that the CRTC should require all distributors to offer all channels on a pick and pay bases.
    Also, I believe that the CRTC should stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows).
    I am also of the opinion that the distributors only pay the channel providers (like specialty channels etc. etc.) on a per subscription bases. If no one happens to subscribe to these channels, some of them will just get off the grid and so much the better.
    IMPORTANT NOTE:
    There is also one thing that infuriates me and no one talks about while I think everyone should.
    It is what is called the set-top boxes or HD decoders which we are forced to rent or buy from the service providers (and apparently, they all have different ones). With this hardware, these service providers take over control of your television set, so much so, that we have to use their own remote TV controller.
    The television manufacturers are smart enough to incorporate these HD decoders in their own units (television units).
    Today, with smart televisions, you can control your television by voice and even motion control, to mention only a few of the amazing features offered by the television manufacturers.
    Most if not all of these features are inaccessible because we are forced to the use the service providers remote control unit for the stupid top box or HD decoder.
    I am surprised to see that the CRTC has never looked into that matter especially with the evolution of the television units and the technological advances.
    I am hoping that everyone will rise up and start complaining vigorously until we are heard and satisfied.

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 15:02 Charles Thibault
    1. Some very good points that merit a discussion of their own. Those cable boxes are such a pain and they often prevent people from recording one channel while viewing another. Unless you buy into those corporations pvr scams as well and end up paying even more money per month just so you can watch one show and record another. Many of these networks have been given a license to print money. Many should not exist. And NO channel should be able to replace ANY other network's channel with their own signal.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:11 GorgonTheWonderful

  174. I strongly support the unbundling of TV services.  The current bundled artificial system is designed to generate excessive fees.  I can't understand how viewers are forced to pay for channels that are not wanted.  If channels cannot stand on their own merit then they should fail. The quality of programming is questionable on too many channels and program duplication exists across these channels. I pay $150.00 per month and only watch a handful of channels .... this is most unreasonable. Please bring some sanity to the system. Pick and Pay is a suitable alternative. Thank you.    

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 07:27 wayne_k
  175. Please don't forget about those of us who depend on an antennae for our programming.  We have no cable option, but are very happy with the number of stations and quality of programming that we receive for the price of an antennae and a new tv.  I do not believe that we should be forced  to pay a telecom company for that kind of basic coverage.  

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 11:38 Karen Maxwell
    1. I agree. If a reduction of expenditures is required then subchannels should be allowed for mutiple broadcasters. 

      I see no reason why CTV 1/2, Omni 1/2 and CBC/Radio Canada should not be able to broadcast on their own shared UHF channels.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 09:30 canucktunes

  176. I strongly disagree with any proposal to end the requirement for conventional broadcast stations to transmit their signals over-the-air.  Over-the-air broadcasts are an affordable, high-quality option for Canadians to receive television programming.  Since the conversion to digital, more Canadians have been receiving their TV via antenna.  To save money, conventional stations should be permitted to share transmitters with other stations, utilizing sub-channels on the same transmission.  Two 720p broadcasts can occupy the same transmission channel.  
    With regards to simultaneous substitution:  I believe that broadcasters should continue to be permitted to engage in this practice to support their advertising revenue stream.   

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 15:43 jase88
    1. WHY?  You pay for those U.S. channels and you should be able to watch them.  Why do you care about the advertising revenue stream of a millionaire tv network owner who can't even see fit to offer you something for your money that isn't already being offered to you and paid for buy you on the American networks they block.  Mind you, perhaps YOU don't have to put up with the SLOPPY signal substitutions that we get in this area, and maybe YOU don't have to put up with a local channel that puts up a huge rectangular block on the top of the screen during the show - covering the faces of the tv characters you are trying to watch, as a spinning logo for a local car company occupies the screen for between 3 to 5 minutes time at least 2 or 3 times per 30 minutes or 60 minute broadcast.  I choose to watch the U.S. signals for good reason.  I won't watch the local ones.  I now get a number of shows from a friend who downloads them online.  I way be a week behind in my tv viewing but at least I don't have to watch those stupid on-screen commercials that take place DURING the shows.  That is the ultimate in viewer disrespect.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:05 GorgonTheWonderful

  177. Yes simultaneous substitution should be eliminated. If I choose to watch a Canadian commercial I will tune in to a Canadian channel. I choose to watch American feeds and pay the price for doing so and yet the Canadian channels force me to watch the same commercials over and over, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a half hour span. If they feel they are a disadvantage by showing American commercials then don't cross-channel the games or other live entertainment and let me watch the programming I choose to pay for. I would hope if the pick and pay is approved and I choose to not pick any Canadian channels then the above will be a moot point. 

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 15:46 Nascar Jim
  178. I don't want topayfor any "basic" package at all and particularly not one that contains low definition channels. 
    Pick and pay is the only thing I want to see - period.
    Cable companies should be banned from offering any pre-defined packages or else they will simply charge outrageous prices for the pick and pay option leaving us with the package pricing we have now.
    Pricing could group channels into price bands and could offer discount incentives if you pick more channels eg pick any 5 channels for $5, pick any 10 channels for $9, pick any 15 channels for $12 etc.
    We should fund CBC separately as suggested in a recent Globe and Mail article and free it from political interference.  Then make CBC accountable for Canadian content whilst freeing all other channels of this requirement.  In particular Netflix SHOULD NOT be forced to subsidize or include Canadian content.
    If the CRTC is unable to compel changes, more Canadians will cut the cord and find the programmes they want online, via use of VPN services if they have to.
    The writing is on the wall.  Cable companies need to wake up and smell the coffee. Then stop forcing customers to pay for programming they don’t want. 
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/a-six-point-plan-to-finance-...

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 17:40 pvandebospoort@gmail.com
  179. What the CRTC needs to do is bring the cablevision regulations back to where they were when cablevision services first started.  
    We used to get our television service from an antenna array on our roofs.  Then cablevision services started offering a clearer picture and more channels for which they charged a nominal monthly fee to cover their costs of infrastructure installation and maintenance plus a reasonable profit.  Viewers were happy to pay the fee to get a clearer picture and some additional channels.
    Then the CRTC started to allow more and more channels to be available (mostly via satellite transmission) and the cablevision providers had to pay to carry these channels and then just passed the costs along to the subscribers, adding more and more channels which most of us don't want to watch.
    The CRTC needs to tell ALL channels to live or die on advertising revenue alone, stop the satellite only channels from charging the cablevision services to carry their signals, and let the cablevision services just charge subscribers a nominal fee for each individual channel that a subscriber wants to receive.  
    In other words, a 100% pick and pay system of all channels available, whether over-the-air or via satellite, and if subscribers wish to pay for only one channel, two, five, ten, or whatever, then that is all they should have to pay for.
     
     
     

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 18:28 radioman
  180. Pick and pay, if implemented properly, should cause channels with poor programmes and/or excessive advertising to wither and die. And so they should.  There are far too many rubbish channels vying for limited advertising $$.  This has caused a vicious circle where advertising time has continually increased, and programming has become increasingly advert driven to the point where much TV is simply unwatchable. 
    Add to this the programmes where each 5 minute segment has to tell us what we are about to see, recap what we've just seen, and tell what's coming up next and it's no wonder advert free PBS shows like Downton Abbey, and Netflix are so popular.  Excessive advertising is destroying the quality of the vast majority of programming. Producers who treat their audience as if they are brain dead don't help either.
    Let the poor channels die thereby reducing competition for advertising $$, and this in turn should increase the quality of programmes on the remaining channels.  It might also lead to a reduction in the number of adverts and then, finally, we might get programming worth tuning in to.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 19:32 pvandebospoort@gmail.com
  181. I don't watch  news, or business or weather channels, most of those are channels 1 to 20.   The channels I do watch are anywhere between 25 to 60.   Mu provider, Rogers, has divided up the channels into 'block'. Where the first block of channels (1 to 22 i think) is considered the baisc service while to get any higher channels you have to upgrade your package to get te next block of channels.   I wacth Space channel and its at 50 and i have to get a VIP package just for that one channel and it even stops at 70 and its not even HD or digital cable.   Of the 70 channels I have available, i watch about 12 of the, yet i am FORCED to pay a high premium just to get the channels I need.    This is exactly the same problem of buying 8 hotdogs and the buns come in packs of 6 except we are paying so da&$ much more for the unused channels.   Often there will be new customer specials at a reasonable price but they only get the first 15 channels.  With so many people with many different tastes and needs for tv programming they cannot all fit with the basic channel line ups that are the only affordable package.   Personally I am disgusted at the hand-cuffed nonsense from any cable provider

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:43 Sonias
  182. The CRTC has done a fantastic job protecting Canadian Programming, culture and heritage through genre protection and mandatory Canadian programming minimums.  As such, the CRTC has to continue to protect Canadian content and foster an environment of creative, intelligent programming for all Canadians while enforcing strict Canadian guidelines to BDU’s and broadcasters.  As the regulator, this should be the main focus of the CRTC.  This can be done by enforcing the mandatory carriage of Canadian Channels via genre protection and mandating that distributors offer a basic service comprised of the most Canadian programming possible and the protection of specialty pay channels from non-Canadian competition.  The price for this service should be capped to allow all Canadians access to enjoy high-quality Canadian programming.  A reasonable price is only determined by the amount of Canadian programming available and the cost of each service.
    Currently, the majority of Primetime programming is non-Canadian and the majority of what is on the air in Canada is non-Canadian.  This is mainly due to non-Canadian programming being less costly than its Canadian counterpart and non-Canadian programing being more abundant and easily accessible to Canadian Distributors.  Distributors and broadcasters should be required to invest more in Canadian programming. Canadian programming requirements should be higher and thus would foster increased Canadian production, enhance the quality of Canadian programming, highlight and preserve Canadian culture, and increase the economic development of the television industry in Canada.
    Additionally, the mandated percentage of revenues that BDU’s contribute to Canadian programming should be spent out of house. Internal production expenses can be skewed and thus internal production should be absorbed through the billions in profits that the current Canadian BDU’s and broadcasters have in Canada.  Focusing the production revenue to outside, independent production houses would create transparency in Canadian programming expenditures and again, increases Canadian production, promote economic growth and preserve Canadian culture and heritage. The Canadian basic service should be comprised of exactly what the name suggests – Canadian programming.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:53 FRANCENE BROTHERS
  183. While I appreciate efforts to foster Canadian content, it should not be done in a way that allows cable companies to gouge customers.  The current system almost serves as a non-governmental system of taxation, where every cable subscriber is paying "taxes" (in the form, of high basic cable costs and bundled pricing structure) to provide broad-based funding to cable companies.  Unfortunately, this has led to a lot of people getting channels that they do not watch or enjoy - but which they pay for regularly.  Currently, as part of the 'basic' package, I pay for (but do not use) the music channels, the french channels, the 'radio' channels, the dedicated news channels, many of the specialtry channels, etc.  This must change.
     
    Right now, I pretty much exclusively watch the cable (HBO, AMC, etc), sports and movie channels.  However, to get access to these channels, I have to pay for a long list of channels that I don't watch.   And to extract even more money from me, the cable companies generally cluster attractive single channels with a bundle of other low-interest channels so that I can be charged more.  Want to watch popular programming on AMC?  Bell Alaint forces you to purchase 4 additional channels - that have never once been turned on in our house.  Want to get GolTV for soccer?  You need to buy a 2 french sports channels and a channel that only shows old sports events.  Et Cetera.
     
    I would advocate a pay-per channel system, with a very minor (and inexpensive) group of basic channels.  These basic channels should consist of a few cor Canadian networks (CBC, CTV, Global?) and basic educational content (CPAC, provincial legislature channel).  Since these are either free OTA content or are paid for entirely out of public funds, the cable company's cost of distributing would be minimal - and thus the cost to the consumer should be minimal.  Beyond this core package, all channels should be subscription based on an individual, pay-per-channels.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 07:47 Shaun
  184. For me the issue is very simple.  I want to be able to purchase what I want to see.  I don't like bundles set-up by Rogers, Bell, Shaw because they throw in specialty channels that I want nothing to do with.  Most of those specialty channels are cheap garbage channels that show junk just so they can collect a fee.  They make money on these channels because they're cheap and we pay for them regardless.  Then they get to claim that they are giving us 200 channels.  Well, in reality 190 of those are repeats or plain old junk TV they use to collect fees as part of the bundle.  This whole bundle scheme should be made to come crashing down and if Bell, Rogers, Shaw have built their empires on such schemes too bad.  They should have known they had rigged a system of cheap qualify programming to rake in fees through bundles and that people would hate it.  Nobody is too big to fall. 
    It's frankly immoral to make people pay for something they don't want.  It's like going to a restaurant and ordering fish and with it they give you a hamburger saying its part of the bundle but the bundle costs 15% more than just buying the fish.  It's like going to a buffet where you are told there are 200 dishes but only five are really edible.
    I want to be able to purchase Canadian, American, British, French, Swiss, Australian etc.  My bundle would include CBC (English and French), Newsnetwork, TQS, PBS, BBC, TV5, ABC, CBS, NBC, Granada TV, ABC (Australian).

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 10:21 William Yates
    1. I completely agree!!!
      We currently pay $155 a month for channels we have NO desire to watch, never have, and never will, and channels that are french-which we do not watch.  We usually only watch AMC, HBO, CNN and Sportsnet..that's it, that's all.  Pathetic for that amount of money!

      I'm so sick and tired of having to pay that much for the handful of channels we do watch.  Enough is enough!!

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 17:22 Sweetietammy

  185. It is critically important that the CRTC maintain the requirement for all broadcasters to continue to provide HD OTA Broadcasts of their programming. If HD-OTA was ensured and required, in most cases the discussion about provision of, and the affordability of, a "small" basic service would be eliminated. (Setting aside the requirements of rural areas for a moment - not to minimize them), most Canadians are likely within reception range of HD-OTA broadcasts of all Canadian Networks. If you don't do this, more Canadians are simply going to "Cut the Cord" and watch programming through the Internet - general, Netflix, Hulu....
    The affordability of Satellite or Cable services is the heart of the issue for many Canadians. Bell continues to increase rates at >3% annually. I get these rate increases with no ability to discuss. Bell, as an example, is completely ambivalent to their customers in terms of affordability and the real threat that Canadians have had enough over the high cost and true LACK of TRUE competition in the are of communication services. 
    The CRTC has to realize that the world of communication is an open place and Canadians are already getting programming from other regions in the world in various ways. The is particularly true of getting UK or USA services within Canada. The days of CANCON are over. There was a time when these rules and regulations provided an ability for Canadian artists to broadcast their music or acting. However in the 21st century, the availability, good or bad, of the Internet means that Canadian artists play to a worldwide audience through the internet and much LESS through the older traditional ways. 

    • Eliminate simultaneous substitution

    • Allow subscribers to make their own choices. 

    • Force TeleCOMs to price EVERYTHING on a pick and pay basis - no pre-determined packages that the TeleCOM can use to underprice choice

    Canadians deserve, and will demand, to have the choice they want at an affordable price. The TeleComs will need to learn how to truly compete in a global world.

     

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 10:30 Jeffdj.01
    1. OTA is a wright that all Canadians must have. The cost of purchasing from Bell, Rogers and Shaw is not a reality for low income people. Some of these people can not afford internet either thereofre having access to news and current events would not be possible.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 11:47 lstjean

    2. How about removing the US networks and thus removing the need for simsubs, it's just a duplicate of the Canadian channels anyway, and if a few people don't like it, then screw them. I'm tired of this perception some people have that the NEED to have NBC, CBS, FOX, or ABC, we have nearly all the shows on Canadian channels, at great expense, so we don't NEED those channels anymore. If people really have a need to watch Superbowl ads then perhaps the networks can be made available to customers for $20-25 a month, thus allowing the BDUs to make some extra funds in place of simsubs, and allowing people to watch Superbowl ads. I think this way eventually people will realize their is little added value to the American networks.

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 16:29 veevem

  186. I am in favour of the unbundling of cable packages, it is unfair to make consumers pay for channels they don't want.  I cut off my cable tv years ago because of this issue now I only watch videos on the internet.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 12:21 denise2929
    1. I've read about 40 of the comments and this is the one that is most similar to my own opinions.  I would like to see total unbundling of cable packages, including local channels.  If I don't want to watch a local channel because it offers shows I don't care for or that I can watch at a more convenient time, then why should I be forced to pay for it as part of the cost of a basic package.  The market (consumers who are willing to pay the charges) should determine which channels survivie and which don't. 
      I have a very serious objection to the suggestion that the CBC and CTV network feeds should be included in the basic package lineups.  I, personally, have eliminated all CBC affiliated channels from my "favorite" list on my current cable bundle because it is just anathema tome to think that my tax money as well as part of my cable subscription costs go to support the drivel that passes for Canadian programming. 
      I object to the idea that cable companies can substitute Canadian network feeds for American or other foreign network feeds for sporting and other events.  If I choose to watch those other channels, there must be a reason - whatever those reasons are (even if they are that I want to watch the US Superbowl commercials) they should be respected and I shouldn't have to watch what someone else thinks is good for me. 

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 18:57 elteeca

  187.          The BASIC BUNDLE should mean that a user has to select certain number of channels (for eg 10, or 15) of the total list available from the provider at the price listed by the provider for each channel selected. The rest should be selected individually.
    If this means that some channels disappear so be it. Some could save themselves by combining with others. This discussion shows that by far the majority of users are fed up with the present system. Is CRTC supposed to serve us the customers, or are they supposed to protect high profits for the industry?
    No need here to repeat all the reasons for spread through the discussion paper
    ivanp

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 12:30 ivanp
  188.      I'm a senior living in Toronto. I currently get all my local channels via an antenna and am very happy with this arrangement. As such I find it very disturbing that the CRTC is thinking of allwoing local channels to end broadcasting over the air as this will force me to pay out an extra $40 -$50 a month plus instalation and modem rental for the same service. 
         I'm sure that you will find a disportionate number of Seniors using antennas and thus this group will be the will be the most affected in a negative way by such a decision.
         I realize why this decision would benifit TV carriers, and also why the bandwidth used for these over the air transmissions would be very valuable to whomever was granted the right to use it for other purposes, but think some of this value gained should be dircted toward those who will be affected negatively by such a decision.
        I must say, that for me, I suppliment the channels I get form my antenna with Netfix, plus have one of my computers connected directly to my TV  which allows me to view virtually any specialty content I wish to watch, but I realize this not typical.
        My first recommendation is that you leave the current regulations regarding over the air TV broadcasts unchanged. Failing this, I would recomment that you request that all the carriers be required to provide Seniors free of charge, a service that would include any Canadian channels that CRTC allows to be taken off over the air transmission. (I have other ideas but this is getting a bit long, I may comment later.)
     
       

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 13:10 DRCM
  189. If we are to eliminate OTA transmissions, a basic local package should be provided at no charge to anyone who wishes.
    If we keep OTA, then yes a basic package for a nominal fee would be acceptable, provided that ALL other channels are available to anyone for price per channel.
    Customers should be able to choose from pre-built packages, or build their own, but the price differences should be adjusted accordingly to the amount of channels provided.
    I have no problem with Simulasting, I don't see a reason why it should be discontinued.
     

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 14:22 javensbukan
  190. I am under not the illusion that the proposed changes will cost me less. But, I do want to be able to choose the channels I want to watch not the ones that someone else thinks I should watch. 

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 16:23 BBanks
  191. Cable providers should be required to offer a basic package that includes all local channels and any Canadian national channels which do not charge subscriber fees.  The package should not include any channels that do charge subscriber fees.  BDUs should be permitted to add foreign channels to the basic package if they do not charge subscriber fees.   The cost of this package should not exceed $15/month.  All channels beyond the basic package should be available on an individual basis.  The price for optional channels should have the subscriber fee that is remitted to the channel and the markup that is kept by the BDU clearly separated. 
    Neither the channel fees nor the markups should be regulated, except that pay channels should be required to charge all subscribers the same fee, regardless of which BDU they subscribe through and which other channels they subscribe to.  Likewise, BDUs should be required to charge the same markup on every channel a customer orders, regardless of which other channel(s) they subscribe to.   Separate prices for HD and SD channels and bulk discounts on the markup charges should be permissable so long as they do not depend on ordering any specific channel or group of channels.
    To protect the Canadian industry, it would be reasonable to require consumers subscribe to a Canadian pay channel before subscribing to a foreign pay channel in the same genre.  Once a consumer has subscribed to all Canadian channels in a given genre they should be able to subscribe to all foreign channels in that genre without limits.
    I do not have a problem with simultaneous substitution unless it is done improperly and portions of the program are missed.  I have no interest in watching American commercials.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 18:23 Titanium48
  192. Signal subsitution should have been ended long ago.  We pay for American channels which we are prevented from watching. From a legal perspective that is a failure to deliver the goods - right there.  CTV and some other networks do nothing but substitute their signals for American ones all day and night long.  They produce little to no Canadian programming apart from news.  They should have to create Canadian shows and run them - and do so in prime time instead of blocking out U.S. signals.  All these stations do is duplicate American services we already pay for, yet are denied being able to watch.  They exist soley as cash cows for millionaires and billionaires who own these networks.  I bought a $90 cable box so I could watch shows that run on the CW network.  Now a local channel has dumped it's CBC affiliation so it can run nothing but it's signal in place of U.S. ones.  As a CTV affiliate it will now signal substitute all 7 shows I enjoy watching.  I don't need a cable box to pick up these channels that I will be forced to watch.  I could watch them for free with digital rabbit ears. 
    Any station which cannot compete and lure viewers with quality programming should be taken off the air.  We should not be forced to pay for or support such channels.  Channels that run "paid advertisements" and "infomercials" for a good part of their programming should be removed as well.  We don't need tv channels that run nothing but commercials.  One local channel even runs on-screen commercials during the shows - over the faces of people on the programs we are trying to watch.  They do this in regular 3 ot 5 minute segments.  They show no respect for the viewers or the fact that we pay to watch these programs at all.
    What's more, the last time I read the c.r.t.c. regulation with regard to signal substitution (and I was sent and have read a copy of it) it said that a Canandian station can REQUEST a signal substitution.  It does not say that a Cable network MUST grant that request.  So, the blame for this goes to disrespect on both the part of our cable companies as well as these cash cow tv networks which contribute nothing, yet rake in the money by scamming us and replacing the signals we pay for.
      How do networks like CTV and Global have the nerve to claim to be a Canadian networks, when then do not run any Canadian programming?
    The C.R.T.C. should cap the price of basic cable.  I think that additional channels should be allowed, but the price should be minimal.
    Why, because the cable industry won't cap the price.  Prices are constantly rising and we get nothing more for the extra money.  Sometimes they even remove channels without replacing them with something else, and charge us more for doing so.  Or they add things that nobody wants to watch.  Our taxes should not go to pay for someone's farting in the moonlight channel or any other type of reality shows or self-indulgent pap.
    Consumers should also have the option of adding - at a rate of no more than $1 or so per channle, just the channels they wish to add to their basic package.
    Yes, the C.R.T.C. should demand a pick and pay system.  Why, because it's what people want and because we should not have to be forced to support mediocrity.  We should only support the channels which produce the shows we enjoy watching.
     I agree that subscribers should be able to build their own packages as well as choose from pre-assembled ones.  Because it gives consumers some choice and would make for a much better system than the current one.
    The C.R.T.C. should eliminate signal substition altogether.  There is no justification at all for allowing tv networks for force us to watch their signals in this manner.  We pay for those U.S. channels and we should be able to watch what we pay for.  As I said earlier, the only reason some of these so-called "Canadian" networks exist to to signal substitute.  They exist as cash cows for their owners and they offer the tv viewer and cable subscriber absolutely nothing in exchange.  These channels run American shows all day and night long and all they do is replace the signals of one American channel or the other.  We don't need this and we don't pay for this.  If these networks can't offer us better then they should not exist, never mind be allowed to substitute their signals in place of American ones.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 19:14 GorgonTheWonderful
  193. If there is a basic cable package forced on us I DO NOT want it to include the CBC. People who do should pay for it just like PBS.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 19:47 ottawa2014
    1. if there is a basic cable package ... I WANT IT to include the CBC....

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:59 Alan Harper

  194. Signal substitution of even replacing Canadian commercials is wrong.  If I wanted the Canadian commercials I would watch the Canadian channel.  Items like the Super Bowl should retain the American commercials for the American feed.  These commercials are part of the experience.
    The comment from Bell that people want to add channels to the basic package is partially true.  We also want to pick the basic package in the first place.  30% of my current basic package is unused in my household.  Would you pay to rent a car you didnt't drive?  Would you pay for a meal you didn't want?
    Add on pay and pick should be more affordable than the current add ons at a premium price for a single channel.  We live in a modern age there is no extra special costs to give access to a single channel.
    Added packages should be more flexible so you don't have to get three extra useless channels to get the deal on the two we want.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 20:33 alndawn1
  195. I want to see the practice of allowing Canadian channels to show the same American programing at the same time stopped.   They take the American channel I'm paying for and turn it into CTV or even worse CBC.  I paid money to watch the American channel, not a Canadian channel.   Stop this Canadian content foolishness.  It's NOT Canadian if they just buy American programing.   Stop being so PC.  I want to see Superbowl commercials on my TV and not have to watch them on my computer.
     
     

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:34 rahiltz
  196. Cable and satellite companies should not be able to add to the basic TV package, as we only want to support channels that are aligned with our family values.
    The price of the basic package should be $20/month or less.  This makes it accessible for all while still requiring enough payment to support the needs of the providers, creators, and distributors.  French and English should be selectable, or bilingual, all for the same price with a small charge for bilingual (both offiicial languages).
    Consumers should definitely have the ability to select channels on a pick and pay basis or build their own bundles.  This is required to avoid the current issue of having hundreds of channels, the vast majority of which never are watched, even though they are paid for, causing costs to rise to unreasonable levels.  If we can have a $20 or less basic package and then subscribe to 10 channels that cost $2 or $3 each per month, we are paying a reasonable amount for the channels we want without all the other channels that we never watch.  We save $$$ and the company can see what viewers really want and creators can focus on the development of the most popular channels.  The cable companies should offer channels the same way the internet streaming channels are offered, a small subscription fee for the most popular ones and a smaller fee or free for the less popular ones.
    As a different option, the channels that are on the least watched end of the spectrum should go back to an internet based format, where they can create and survive in an open market, not one with support that is meaningless by customers who never watch the content.
    As consumers, we don't care that much about substitution, but would be much happier to just see the original content.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 21:51 Scott Goobie
    1. As consumers, some of us do care very much about what is substituted.  Especially if it means having to endure spinning car logos on the screen blocking the action and faces of characters during the shows we are trying to watch and enjoy.  There is no respect from the networks or cable companies when it comes to these signal subs.  Most are sloppy and cut off the end or start of shows, some go on even when programming has been changed.  We?  Sorry, you don't speak for everyone.  Scroll down and you will find that many people do care VERY MUCH about substitution.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:44 GorgonTheWonderful

  197. These networks have entire deparments of staff whose job it is to sell advertising.  They don't need to ruin my enjoyment of the U.S. channels by replacing those signals and running commericals on the screen during the shows, blocking my view of the action and characters on the screen.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:24 GorgonTheWonderful
  198. Remember when all you had to do was endure ads to get the programs Including hockey night in Cananda ?
    Why do the profiteers get their way all the time? Now we have to pay fees or try to get programming through deplorable digital broadcast airwaves.
    We need a government that will decide in favour of the average and lower income citizen rather than the media magnates...cable/specialty channels are fine, but if it has ads it should be broadcast free. It can be done, and it won't effect media mogul profits beyond making them a little more reasonable.
    This 'debate' about 'choice' misses the point entirely, airwaves are public and the government should have had the guts to ensure media giants continued broadcasting as before in order to access thier incredibly prifital cable markets... (yes i heard the technical 'reasons' they don't stand close inspection, it could have been done)...how soon we forget.
    PS I am under no illusions either that this comment will have any real impact

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:37 freetv
  199.  
    I was on the verge of cancelling my Rogers cable cold turkey and then I heard about these CRTC discussions.  The prospect of having far more choice and flexibility is the only thing that stopped me to wait and see.  The cable companies don't see the writing on the wall--viewership is leaking to the internet and they have to wake up and smell the coffee.  If they wnat to provide a limited [12channels] basic package for a VERY low rate, that's fine.  But after that, it must be pick and pay.  I am not sure how many have emphasized this, but there should be a recognition of the fact that adult households should not have to accept childrens programming--it's ridiculous.  Parents are to foot that bill only.  It was implied on the news that the cable companies need to sell the big, pre-arranged packages in order to support the 'variety' of programming choices.  Well, if everybody defects to internet, they won't have the cash.  If we go pick and pay, I and others will keep my cable and feel that it has value and they can stay in the game. Then they can find another way to support local/canadian/niche programming--but not on the backs of the public at large.  Would it not be possible for subscribers to voluntarily pay a surcharge to the genre of programming that they support?  I would consider that a voluntary tax.  PS: I do agree to prudent safeguards for the CBC, I am Canadian afterall.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 - 22:55 sherlock
  200. I live in rural Canada.  I also wanted to dump my satellite subscription in favor of Netflix and OTA transmissions.  Alas, I live in an extreme fringe area and shelling out $300 for an antenna that might or might not work just didn't appeal to me.  I am strongly in favor of the Pick and Pay model as there is probably only about 3 or 4 channels I would subscribe to over and above a basic package that included the local channels.  Provided a model like this is adopted I would have the following concerns:
    1.  Distributers should be compelled to offer the HD and SD versions of each channel in the base package.  HD and SD versions of the optional channels could be offered seperately as long as the price was the same.
    2.  Networks with multiple feeds (like TSN) should have all feeds included in the subscription.  Either that, or they should not be allowed to switch a series (for example, like CFL broadcasts) from feed to feed.
    3.  Given that many urban Canadians have access to the free OTA transmissions, I would like to see the base subscription capped at $20 to even the difference between urban and rural viewers.
    I have heard that one concern with the Pick and Pay model is that there will be less variety as underused channels will go belly-up.  This would be the free market at work and guess what - instead of the available talent being spread over 500 channels maybe it will be spread over 200 channels.  The better talents will remain employed and the viewing experience might just improve!!

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 11:29 backwoodsbob
  201. When I first signed up for a Bell Satellite package, they had a basic service that was fairly cheap. Then they started tacking on fees, adding channels 'for free', then pushing up the cost of the package. I think it started back then at around $25 a month, eventually it has reached somewhere around $45 a month. If you wanted a couple of special channels, you had to buy a theme pack, usually with a couple of channels you would like to have bundled in with a bunch of garbage channels that padded the channel count, while they called it a 'value'. At one point, to get 4 channels that I wanted, I had to buy another 10 that I didn't want and have never watched.
    When for a while they offered single stations a la carte, I looked at trying to trim down the theme packs and only get the stations I wanted, they only made a few of the channels available and the others were still part of the theme pack. Then the single channels were priced so high that it made no sense to buy one alone, the so-called 'value' was still there to purchase the whole theme pack.
    The current offerings seem to gouge even more as they offer a cheaper base package, a couple of limited theme packs, and the majority of the channels you might want to purchase are part of all-included bundles that cost you even more money.
    So yes, offer a reasonable 'base package'. If it is going to be only a handful of channels, though, it should be capped even lower, $10 a month, and people either have to buy the receivers or pay more to rent them. Then make sensible offerings for each additional channel people want, $2 a station or something along those lines, with smart bundles that are not just 2 good stations packed in with 8 garbage stations.  If those other channels are any good, they will stand on their own and won't need to be propped up by a couple of feature stations. If they are no good and noone is willing to pay for them, they shouldn't be there.
    It makes no sense at all to brag about having 200 or 300 or 1000 channels, when night after night I scan through the guide and find absolutely nothing to watch.
    As it stands, if they don't make some drastic changes soon I'm going to drop the service entirely. I'm sick of paying $60 a month year-round when I can only find something to watch for half that time at best. The marketplace has changed, we have other options now, if they don't get with the times they don't get my money any more.
    And for heaven's sake, YES, stop simultaneous substitutions. At all times. Period.  If I'm watching NBC, it's because I want to watch NBC. Not some hybrid of NBC and Global or CTV or whoever is plugging the commercials in there.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:27 Jydez
  202. I believe that basic cable should be the local Canadian channels as well as the four main U.S. networks (e.g. NBC and CBS).  My concern would be that if basic networks were not included then the companies would gouge consumers when these channels are purchased separately leading to an increase in most Canadians' monthly cable bill.
    I agree that channels not included in the basic service should be available as pick and pay or in a customizable bundle.  I am frustrated that I am currently paying for the Big 10 channel in my sports bundle and would have to get a separate bundle to get Sportsnet 360 that would then include the Fight channel which I don't care to have.  I should be able to have the freedom to choose the channels I want to watch and not have to pay for those I don't.  If the cable companies are smart, they will restrucuture their bundles to be more appealing to their customers if pre-assembled bundles truly are more profitable.
    Yes, simultaneous substitution should be eliminated altogether.  I should have the freedom to make my own decisions as to what I watch and not to be forced to watch something for protectionist reasons.  Furthermore, I have seen technical glitches occur with this that are annoying when shows are joined or left in progress.  If Canadian channels want me to watch their feed instead of an American feed it is up to them to make it worth my while - earn my viewership instead of having it mandated by the regulator.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 14:02 alces
  203. I do not think that forcing subscribers to accept any basic package of channels is fair.  Pick and pay, if implemented, should apply to ALL channels, even so-called local channels that produce or broadcast little or no local content beyond local news.    I cancelled subscription TV over two years ago because I could no longer justify spending 1-2% of my annual gross income on television.  In it's place, I erected an OTA antenna which gives us 14 channels in rural Ottawa.  Even half of those we never watch because they consist mainly of language programming that our family does not speak, but we would be forced to pay them for with any current or proposed subscription TV model.
    However, even so, I am finding that television overall is less interesting, crammed with overwhelming amounts of advertising, high-priced inconsistent athletes and sports teams, seemingly endless reruns shown on multiple channels, and my family watches less and less, instead choosing to spend our time (and money) on other activities.
    The concept of TV channels is outdated, and any attempt to prop up the current business model against an on-demand advertising-free streaming service like Netflix for a fraction of the cost, means that the writing is not on the wall, it is already chiselled into the gravestone.
    The CRTC needs to use this process to examine not the best way to renovate the current broadcasting house, but the best way to demolish and rebuild it completely.  This is necessary to not only catch up with the times, but establish a framework in which to continually change so Canadians are not left in the dust.
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 15:18 coreynolds
  204. We need to see what others are doing, recently I travelled to the south of the hemisphere and found that the local channels are over the air, free! and that was or a third world countries. Now if you pay for Directv for example you get the channels but in HD, those local channels have thier own production and programming mixed with foreing series. So I think the Canadian channels should be free for all of us.
    About the price of each channel that can be the next big way to drain our wallets, for example, if you want to watch the Spanish Soccer League you will have to pay for a channel called Beigh Sports, how much? $15.06 a month with Rogers, so if that is the price per channel we are going to get I would like to ask the CRTC to stop allowing for long term contracts with TV as it looks like is going to be with wireless.
    Why we don't have more TV providers? 2 big companies only in Canada? CRTC please open a way to let dish, warner or directv to come and offer us options in a way that protect Canadian contents if necessary.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 16:34 AD
  205. First, I disagree that there should be a 'basic package'.  However, I do think there should be a small basic charge to cover the cost of equipment maintenance of the cable or satellite system.  And when I say small, I mean not more than 5 dollars or so per month.  And the cost any consumer equipment should be on a strict rent-to-own basis, with the cost of equipment rigorously regulated.
    All TV channels offerings should be on a strict pick-and-pay basis with no exceptions, and the consumer should have the option of cancelling a channel any time.  Bundles and packaging should be strictly forbidden.  Channel prices should also be regulated, and a ceiling price imposed for each.  The cable companies should not be permitted to make more than a ten percent profit an any given channel.
    I would like to see more competition on the cable systems.  If the cable system owners were forced to share their TV bandwidth with other, independent companies, then everyone would benefit.  The CTRC should put an end to monopolies.  We've had enough of their greed.  Besides, if they don't change, the internet will wipe them out.  It's already starting to happen.
     
     
     
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 16:56 ggrad02
  206. It appears from the wide variety of individual topics and views people are raising that many of the people commenting have a great deal of inside knowledge and understanding of how the TV system as a whole functions.  I'm afraid I'm not one of those, and my requirements are limited to very down to earth details.
    Until perhaps six months or so ago, my wife and I were paying for TV, Telephone, and Internet as a package with one company.   Supposedly this reduced individual charges of each, but together they still cost more that we could afford.  In terms of television alone, we were paying around $95.00 per month until we realized we couldn't manage and reduced our payments a modest amount, but got relatively reduced benefit in terms of TV.
    I had been paying around $14 per month solely for the ATN package of channels, just in order to get Cricket Plus on cable 845, which broadcasts in the English language.  I could not benefit from the other ATN group of channels, because I cannot understand Hindi, or whatever other language is spoken on the other Channels, other than the Russian (USA) TV channel which was part of ATN, but in which I had no interest.
    To save a modest amount of money, we were reduced to the basic channels, surprisingly, plus my ATN cricket plus.  How much I'm paying for that, I don't know, but basically to be reduced to perhaps 60 to 70 different channels, including the public service ones, from several hundred that we had before that, rather smacks of sor grapes.  By this I mean that for those who can afford to pay say 30% more than we can, they can get several times as many of the more varied and interesting channels.
    If they are made to provide the basics for a very modest amount, as suggested, and charge a fair price for each additional channel chosen by their custmers, I for one will celebrate and be willing to pay for those additional channels at a fair price, so that I will not have to pay for channels I don't want and cannot in any case understand.
    You see, I for one can only understand the English language. Thus pragramming in French, Mandarin, Greek, Spanish, Italian, etc., are beyond my comprehension.
     

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 17:21 MisterEnglish
  207. I believe what the CRTC should do is the following.
    1 - Remove discretionary services from basic & put a cap on the price of basic, and also remove the US networks from basic though I would recommend keeping PBS on basic as many Canadians do pledge for this channel and shouldn't be forced to subscribe to it on top of that.
    2 - Remove simultaneous substitution, wouldn't even be necessary with US networks no longer on basic. BDUs could make the US networks available elsewhere and charge a subscription fee to make up lost simultaneous substitition revenue.
    3 - Give Canadians more choice by mandating that providers allow consumers to subscribe to channels in a variety of options including via pick and pay, existing bundles, and build your own bundle options. This would give Canadians the most flexibility possible though some reguation of subsciption fees may be required to prevent BDUs from gouging consumers with subscription rates.
    4 - Require BDUs to offer a wide variety of third language services as some languages are underserved and require them to offer more French services outside of Quebec.
    5 - Require broadcasters to produce more new and original Canadian content, especially for primetime and reduce Canadian content requirements during the day.
    6 - Require that all vertically integrated BDUs offer their consumers every Canadian channel currently on air. Consumers should have the option to subscribe to any available channel they want and not only those their BDU feels like offering to them. 
    7 - Require that VI BDU's cease operations of analog cable transmission.
    8 - Require that broadcasters maintain current OTA offerings.
    9 - Require that BDUs make their channel line-ups user friendly and easy to navigate, currently many are too cluttered and many basic channels are scattered throughout, making it difficult for consumers to determine what they are receiving. And some BDUs unnecessarily offer different channel line-ups to consumers which makes it more confusing. Each BDU should have 1 universal channel line-up.
    10 - Require that BDUs remove SD channels from their line-up where the HD channel is available to avoid unnecessary channel duplicates. HD channels can be down converted for consumers who do not have HDTV. This would also end the practice of BDUs forcing consumers to subscribe to both the SD and HD versions of their channels.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 23:19 veevem
    1. I agree about the SD channels, there is no need to continue to offer 2 feeds of the same channel- SD feeds are now redundant. IMO.  As you mentioned, the BDU can down convert an HD channel to SD for subscribers who don't have an HD box, which begs the question 'why do they continue to offer both feeds?!'.  Also, getting rid of SD feeds should free up quite a bit of bandwidth that could be used to add other channels or improve the picture quality of the HD channels which are compressed by service providers.

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 20:23 CDNtv Guy

    2. I would like to say that I agree with veevem completely. You articulated my sentiments exactly.
      Thanks

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 11:06 Buglet

  208. 1) I agree in priciple that the distributors should have to provide a basic package of Canadian channels although community,religious, aboriginal, gov't channels should be the exception in that customers should decided if they want these types of specialized channels. Having a pre-determined 20 or 30 channels with several that you will never watch seems unnacceptable. I believe that CBC, CTV, the french networks, global etc are the basic requirements needed.  I don't trust the distributors to add what they want to this list because they fill it full of channels that under normal circumstances customers would not want in large enough population to justify keeping it on there list of channels. The price is a factor it mus be reasonable but the primary factor is the channel and content ; example: "There is local channel in Ontario that ever since it was activated has provided poor picture quality, innacurate programming and guide information" but it is part of my basic package so I am stuck with a channel that probably should not even have been licensed. The CRTC needs to cap the price for the basic channels possibly at $25.00 because we cannot depend on the distributors to charge us a reasonable price, We must remember that at one time many of these basic channels where free with just a TV antenna.
    2) I believe that distributors should be forced to provide all channels under the pick and pay basis keeping the prices at the present levels. I am fed up in paying for packages containing one or two channnels I want combined with two or three more that I will never watch. I am also fed up in paying for specialized channels such as the History channel and other channels that have been steadily showing programming that is not consistent with their speciality, example: "The History channel rather then provided 7 days a week 24hrs a day history programming which you expect from a a specialized channel you pay extra for is showing shopping programming at times or reality shows etc... We are paying for specialized channels based on the title History, Movies, Arts and Entertainement many channels are pushing the envelope to other venues probably to attrack viewership the unfortunate part about this is that the client is held hostage expecting a certain type of programming and getting something quite different. The distributor says it's the channel and the channel doesn't care so the client has nobody to turn to. If clients were allowed to pick and pay this may force some of these channels to realize that they can now be dropped quite quickly because they are not part of a multiple channel package. In the last year the Silver screen channel SLVSC started showing what they call true north classic which appear to be Canadian film board type documentaries or shows something that in my opinion belongs on the CBC. When we asked why they did this they told us that the CRTC told them to do it. Again a lack of respect for the person paying for a specialized channel of classic movies and getting different unwanted programming.
    3) No I don't believe we should, there is no need for this if we go to a pick and pay. I do not trust the distributors the manage this process in a way that will be favorable to the consumer.  They will gradually go back to what we have because it's easier for them.
    4) Yes this needs to stop. There are events that eveyone expects to see such as the Superbowl commercials but they are changed to Canadian content, then they wonder why we try to go to the internet to receive the original content. If I pay to see american channels as part of my programming and various shows I should see them in it's intended format and content. Many times we have Canadian or Provincial holidays and some channels programming change and we often wonder why? The distributors often forget who is the client that his paying for certain programming to be received as planned and with it's original content.  

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 23:47 CBroughton
  209. Hello,
    First, I would like to thank the CRTC for allowing Canadians to participate in this process of shaping the Canadian Television industry of the future.  I seriously hope that the views expressed by Canadian consumers will be given serious consideration and not simply glossed over by some staff member.
    With regards to the key issues outlined by the CRTC, my views are as follows:
    1] Basic Package
    Having looked over the CRTC's 'Working Document', I am not in favour of either proposal outlined for the so-called 'skinny basic'.  My proposal would be a variation on Option A, whereby the package would consist of the channels outlined in Option A as well as PBS and the added stipulation that the price be capped.  In addition, I would propose a much lower price point, between $15-20., as I feel the proposed $20-30 price point is still too expensive, especially in the current economic environment where all goods and services are constantly becoming more expensive.  All Canadians should have the ability to subscribe to at least an affordable basic package, especially if the Commission decides to shut down Over-the-Air transmitters, which I am not in favour of.  The basic package as currently structured is in my view a barrier to entry into the system and under the 2 proposals it would still continue to be a barrier.   What I mean by barrier is that it discourages consumers from subscribing to a television service due to 2 factors:
    1- It is a mandatory service, meaning you have no option of whether to subscribe to this package or not- its forced on you.
    2- It is prohibitively expensive and the value of the package is not in line with the costs consumers incur- simply put its not worth the amount that people are forced to pay for it.
    You are proposing to give consumers more choice and flexibility on one hand, yet on the other hand will continue to FORCE them to subscribe to a basic package in order to be able to purchase any other services- those two concepts contradict one another IMO.  In order for there to be real choice, the Commission must either convert the basic package from a mandatory service to an optional one where consumers decide whether to subscribe to it OR the basic package must be priced at a low enough price point where the mandatory aspect is no longer a significant issue and thus also is no longer a barrier (i.e. it is affordable for everyone).  One final note, I would be willing to endorse Option B, if consumers were allowed to choose the 'other' channels that the BDU would want to include in the package.  One proposal could be allowing 5 specialty channels to be included in basic BUT consumers would select the 5 channels they want instead of the BDU adding whatever channels they want into the package.

    2] Pick and Pay

    I am in favour of a pick and pay system where consumers would be able to select only the channels they want.  I would also favour the adoption of customizable packages where consumers would be able to create their own package of channels.  I have a couple of concerns about these concepts that I hope the CRTC will address in their decision:
    1- ALL specialty channels must be included as part of the pick and pay offerings.  I am referring specifically to the more popular specialty channels such as TSN, Sportsnet, Bravo,  Comedy, Showcase, etc.  These channels are currently prohibited from being offered a la carte by the broadcasters who own them, this practise should not be allowed, they should be forced to make all their channels available as pick and pay.
    2- Pick and pay channels should be priced affordably and BDU's should not be allowed to price them higher to encourage consumers to purchase packages instead.  I would hope that market forces would take care of this but the Canadian system is not one where true competition exists so I am skeptical that channels would be affordably priced without some type of intervention from the CRTC.

    3] Simultaneous Substitution
    I am in favour of Option B, prohibiting Simsubs during live event programming.

    4] Preponderance
    I am not in favour of consumers being forced to purchase more Canadian channels then foreign ones.  First, this goes against the whole concept of choice, allowing consumers to purchase only the channels they want.  Second, most specialty channels available today are Canadian, which means consumers will end up purchasing more Canadian services than foreign ones regardless of whether you force them to or not.  Also, those that are interested in ethnic services would be disadvantaged as many of those are foreign channels, which might result in some consumers not being able to purchase a foreign channel they want due to having to meet this requirement of having to purchase more Canadian channels then foreign ones.

    5] Linkage rules for Ethnic Services
    I strongly urge the Commission to eliminate ALL linkage rules with respect to third language services.  These are protectionist policies that no longer serve a viable purpose and hinder the consumers ability to have the freedom to purchase only the channels they want.  The services that currently receive this favouritism (ATN, Fairchild TV, Odyssey, Talentvision & Telelatino) are ALL established channels that have been on the air for many years and are strong enouugh to survive without them.  They have had the time to build their service and establish a customer base and should be forced to stand on their own two feet without the help of these regulations.  If the commission is truly in favour of giving Canadians choice and flexibilty then these regulations should be eliminated once and for all.

    6] Vertically Integrated Companies
    I would like to see the Commission prohibit the large conglomerates (Bell, Rogers, Shaw) from airing the same programming across all the channels they own.  Allowing this practice was a VERY BIG mistake IMO and the CRTC should reverse this decision.  This has had a very major and negative impact on specialty services owned by the Big BDU's, it has resulted in watered down specialty channels that air less original programming and not as much unique programming.  They should be forced to produce original  programming for each of their specialty services that is unique to the channel and the genre it serves.  What you see now is a Canadian show that was produced for one channel being aired on several other channels to fulfill those channels Canadian content requirements.  If they cannot produce content for each channel then I suggest that less popular channels be shut down or merged together.

    7] Implementation
    I strongly disagree with the Commission's proposal that the new changes that will made, be implemented by December 15, 2015.  Canadians want change NOW and I think BDU's have the ability to make changes to their systems in a much shorter time then a year from now.  I would propose that the new basic package & pick and pay system be implemented and available to consumers (at the latest) 6 months from the date of the CRTC's decision on this TVindustry hearing.
    Thanks.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 20:17 CDNtv Guy
  210. Canadians want better tv at less cost.  Standard TV in the US with 70+ channels averages $39.95 per month.  For an extra $5 they through in high speed internet.  For the same, good-sized basic package of 70+ channels in Canada, we could expect to pay about $80 for the tv package and another $30 for internet.  That's at least twice, maybe three times what US consumers would pay!!!  That's appalling.  So your plan is to require distributors (monopoly) to offer a small basic package for $30 with maybe 5 local stations, one community channel and one provincial legislature channel, for maybe $30.  Sorry, any Canadian consumer in their right mind would pick the US model and not what you're offering, which is 7 - 10 channels for 30$ per month.  Instead of opening up the market to US competition (and this is what Canadian consumers have asked for all along), you will intervene in the Canadian market with more protectionism, not a free market business model which is sustainable?  If you do so, netflix and internet TV will continue to chip away at the customer base of Canadian companies.  This small basic package for $30 probably has been already pre-negotiated in backroom deals between CRTC and the heads of the big 3 monopolies (Bell, Rogers, Shaw) long ago anyway.  This basic tv package is still too expensive for what you're getting compared to the US model.  The pick and pay basis and the build your own package would probably end up costing us way more.

    So stop the protectionist racket and open the Canadian market up to North American telecommunication companies.  Free enterprise for everyone and let the Canadian market / consumers decide what a good rate for basic cable is, not the CRTC / Bell/Shaw/Rogers Monopolies.



    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 07:47 Cashcow
    1. I agree about the small basic been pre-determined, I think the entire outcome has already been pre-determined by the CRTC which means this whole hearing is one big sham- a theatre of sorts.  Its evident by the questions listed above that they are leading you in a specific direction and that they have pretty much decided what changes to make- at least the major ones anyway, I think the details are still being worked out.
      I think the $20-30. 'small' basic is the trade off they made with the Big conglomerates in order for them to agree to pick and pay.  It is still too expensive and the fact you will stil be forced to subscribe to basic will turn off many people- the exodus will continue, some because they can't afford the high price and others because its not worth it.  I say make the basic optional and then they can charge whatever they feel like, charge 50 bucks, I don't care as long as I am not forced to subscribe to it.  It's like going to the store to shop and before you even get in the door you owe $30.- is that fair or logical in any way?!

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:18 CDNtv Guy

    2. Why is it illegal to get DirecTV or Dish in Canada?   Because Bell ruined that for us by taking it to court, and useless government and courts do whatever the big corporations want .  It is time we get the right to subscribe  to US services.     I would like to see Bell, Rotgers, and Shawdy all go bankrupt, they are morally bankrupt anyway.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 18:30 kcbrk32

      1. I agree. the CRTC should open the border and allow Dish Network and Direct TV access to canadian subscribers. I am sure Cox Cable, Charter and a host of others will follow the migration to North of the 49th.  Then we'll see Shaw, Rogers and Bell Scramble!

        Friday, September 12, 2014 - 19:51 mixedpickle1

  211. Very SIMPLE.Decision...........  Pick and Pay is the ONLY way Canadian TV should be offered to the people in order for it not to be a rip-off to the consumer.  Being dicatated as to the stations you will get is not protecting consumers at all.  Personally I do not want to scroll through programming I never asked for.  It is a plain nusance and unwanted.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 09:07 dsweit01
  212. I am strongly in favour of the pick-and-pay model.  Personally I don't currently even own a TV because of the garbage programming to which viewers are forced to subscribe.  I admit that, once I'm on that couch, I watch the garbage just because it's there... so I've gotten rid or our TV altogether to avoid tempting myself.  I actually do miss quality programming and wish I could just purchase those few channels we like so that when I end up on that couch, I end up watching something useful or simulating in the right kinds of ways. 
    The ability to custom-pick your TV programming is critical for families with children.  Children are vulnerable to the brainwashing to which many if not most commercial programmers subject them.  I would not permit my children to have free reign of the currently available programming (hence the no TV in the house rule).  However, I would gladly let them watch channels pre-selected by us.  
    While not a personal pet peve of mine, I would be supportive of a small, basic Canadian-mostly programming package, as long as its content, including if not especially advertising, was regulated (for reasons noted above).  However, if advertising is to be forced on the viewers - i.e. you have no choice but to watch it as it's part of all programming - then the programming package should be at no cost to the viewers - it  should be paid for by the advertisers.  I never understood why advertisers get to have our attention in our homes when we foot the cable bill.  If you want us to pay for cable, then I don't want to watch the ads.  If you want us to watch the ads, then pay for my cable.     

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 09:43 Ewok
    1. I agree totally. Especially the point about the ads. We are forced to watch the ads, so why then should we also have to pay for cable or satellite tv channels. These networks are run on ad money so if we watch their stupid ads, why then should we also be saddled with the cost of paying to watch such things. It gets extremely ridiculous when you factor in how many channels are now running "paid advertisements" in places of actual programming and how many more are buying programming on the cheap in the way of schlocky "reality" shows.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:04 GorgonTheWonderful

  213. I strongly agree with the direction the CRTC (and the government) is taking on this matter.  It is long overdue.  Canadian consumers have wanted to be able to pick and pay for the channels they want for a long time.  I don't mind a small basic package.  All other channels should be pick and pay. I recognize that the cost of individual channels may go up but that is fine. If someone doesn't want to pay for it they have the freedom to not view it.  I do not agree with allowing the networks to offer "special bundles" or whatever.  They will only try to dump in some unpopular channels in order to earn advertising revenue.
    I have no sympathey for the views that will be expressed by the distributors (Bell, Rogers, Shaw etc.).  They will say smaller stations will close, Canadian and small productions will cease etc.  The distributors are solely interested in their own profits.  They are a regulated utility.  They will always make money.  If they choose to invest in true quality programming they will earn more revenue as well.
    I am not unsympathetic to the production side of content (writers, production techs, actors etc.) but the bottom line is I don't want to be forced to pay for something which I don't want.  If  the content is mediocre whether it is the writing, production values, acting or whatever I won't pay for it if I have a choice whether or not it is Canadian or anything else.  In my opinion having viewed Canadian productions for years, many are not good enough to capture an audience.  I don't want to subsidize an industry which produces product which people don't want just to keep some people employed.
    If the product is good, people will want to view it no matter who produces the content.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 09:44 6975439
    1. I agree strongly with 6975439.  Bell, CTV, and many of the locals get up on the bully pulpit of their media monopolies they own and they hog all the attention away from the general public - while using warped lies to try to justify age old cash cow b.s. that should have been abolished long ago.  Invest in true quality programming and people will tune in.  These "local" stations are a boondoggle anyway.  They are nothing more than CTV networks that run American tv shows in place of the U.S. signals all day and night long.  They don't produce anything.  They have no NEED for money to produce Canadian shows because they have none and produce none.  They run CTV national feeds of the same news show run on the CTV news network. They don't produce local tv news and even if they did, that would be the only thing they did produce these days.  Who needs that.  If that's all they have to offer they should just become an online news service.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:58 GorgonTheWonderful

  214. I think the wrong question is being asked. As anyone who watches a tv show on netflix, or via a dvd or iTunes knows, watching tv shows on demand without commercials is far and away a better experience compared to watching scheduled tv shows with commercials. In the pre-cable and satellite days, the "payment" for watching over the air broadcasts via an antenna was our time, as the tv shows were paid for via the commercials broadcast during the shows. We the viewer traded our time spent watching commercials for the entertainment or information provided by the show. As we moved into the era of cable tv and giant backyard satellite dishes, we were asked to pay for the delivery of those same channels, in a more reliable and higher quality format, to our houses by the cable and satellite companies.
    At this point, the line between paying in $ for delivery of the channels and paying in time for the entertainment and information provided by the tv shows began to blur. Soon, we were being offered channels that you could only get via cable and satellite, and not over the air, which allowed cable and satellite companies to charge us for access to these channels. Today a cable or satellite company derives some income from physical delivery of a television service and some income from selling access to channels not available over the air. However we the viewer are still also trading our time for the entertainment and information.
    The thing is, as netflix and others have demonstrated, there is no longer a need for cable or satellite tv delivery. The majority of homes are internet connected, and HD quality programming can be delivered via the internet. As such, there is no need to pay a cable or satellite company for this delivery when we are already paying them for internet delivery.
    Further, television entertainment and information programming no longer needs to be subsidized by our time, nor do we need to pay for a channel in order to view the shows we want to watch. Instead, there are two ways in which we should be able to pay for the shows we enjoy the most. The first is the netflix model, a monthly subscription giving access to a large variety of on demand shows. This is a useful model for increasing revenue from back catelogues of tv shows, provides a cost effective means of accessing groups of programs and also works for live shows such as news, weather and sports. Further, advertising is not needed in this model. The cost of the subscription should be the only cost the viewer is required to pay.
    The second is the pay per show model. In this context, the prices need to be low enough to attract widespread viewership, and, despite the current prices on iTunes today, this is by no means impossible. Say a 1 hour english language show costs $1 million to produce (including the show's incremental share of the production company's overhead). Given the size of the english speaking population in the world (not just in Canada), charging each viewer $0.50 to watch that show means you need 2 million viewers worldwide in order to break even. 4 million worldwide viewers and you've made a tidy profit. For an average household watching 5 hours of tv per day, 5 days a week, thats $50 a month but with the added benefit of no commercials and on demand viewing. Its not as black and white as that, but the point is, the pay per show model does not need to be expensive in order for the creators of the shows to recoup their costs and make a profit.
    The problem is that in both these scenarios the middle man (i.e. the cable and satellite provider) is cut out of the process because the producer can sell their show directly to the viewer. Cable and satellite providers would be left with charging customers for internet delivery. There is no incentive for cable and satellite providers to forego the cable/satellite revenue stream. Further, many of the producers (i.e. the channels) are owned by the cable and satellite providers. Finally, advertising is big business, and a huge part of a cable or satellite provider's revenue stream. For these reasons and more, the industry isnt likely to change on its own any time soon.
    I don't know how to make the industry change, and this is likely out of the CRTC's hands, but i think that in a perfect world, television entertainment and information delivery should be on-demand and commercial free. Smaller basic cable bundles and pick and pay channels are nice ideas, but they are not revolutionary. In fact, their only effect will likely be to kill off niche channels. I would bet that the cost of my cable bill for basic cable plus sports and drama bundles remains the same after those changes take effect, its just that I will have fewer channels to flip through, because the cost of TSN, Sportsnet, Showcase and A&E (channels I watch) will increase and I won't be able to afford the Golf Channel, W Network etc (channels I don't watch). This doesnt seem worth it, and for viewers of niche channels this won't be a positive change if their channel ends up being cancelled or the cost becomes unaffordable. Each household only has so many dollars to spend on tv, and so the inevitable result will be that a household will fit as many channels as they can into the $ amount they were spending before and sacrifice the rest of the channels.
    I applaud the effort of the CRTC to slim down the basic cable package if this will make cable tv more affordable for lower-income households, but this is the only positive that I can see in these changes.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 10:58 haggis99
  215. I do not agree with items 1, 2, and 3.
    I believe in a 100% pick and pay service with no basic package to be offered.  
    Sorry, i don't want to pay for channels/stations/programs I don't want.
    If they can't survive as a stand-alone, then maybe it wasn't meant to be.
    Or perhaps the true cost needs to be passed along to those who want the channel/station/program. No more subsidies.
    Let the market place decide.
     
    As for item 4, yes simiultaneous substitition should be discontinued when the Canadain network bradcasts at the same time as an US network does.  I find the Canadian network pushes the limit on commercial breaks and ID breaks , as such at times miiss "snipets" of the program or next weeks preview.  If I'm watching a major US event such as the Superbowl, yes I want to see the US commercials as that is what Superbowl is about.
     
    As for the distributors, especially those that own the content (Bell, Shaw, Rogers), they will always complain and whine when change is required.  They always want the status-quo as they don't have to do anything.  They are not customer servce oriented.
    The internet and companies such as NetFleix and other streaming sercvices are the future, and if the current Canadian distributors don't change their ways, either through Government intervention or their shareholders, they will go the way of the dinosaurs.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:50 BrianBDAB
  216. Why do I feel like cable companies and the CRTC feel the need to coddle customers? Why does this feel like a paternalistic relationship where I'm being told what's good for me? I don't like it.

    1. I do not agree that all subscribers should be allowed to purchase a basic package because the consumer can purchase a basic package, and the channel can be in a local building, but the majority of the content could be not local or Canadian material. It's forgotten that local stations have largely been bought up by Bell or Rogers, and though a station can be locall staffed the content may not be local. I support cable providers being able to add to a basic package, but what does the CRTC call affordable? Even if the cable package is capped at $30 the cable companies will still add fees to the service for having two television outlets in the home, or if a third then another line needs to be run, and special costs for a digital adapter, etc. Rogers doesn't need to charge Canadians 8 dollars a month for a second outlet. The extra fees don't stop! An affordable price is something that most Canadians would be able to afford comfortably. Television should not be a luxury service. Any price over $30 (including fees and not including taxes) for basic services is too much. If the CRTC introduces a cap to basic cable fees then the companies will just add extra fees to get the same or more money out of us. One time account set up fee, second outlet fee, extra digital adapter fee, digital service improvement fee, etc.
    2. Pick and pay should happen only in addidion to local channels and the cable companies should not be able to tier channels prior to customer choice. It should be that consumers get basic local channels and 10/20/30/etc. other channels of the consumers choosing. Consumers then have 10 days trial period and can make changes before the package is locked in (unchangable for 1 year).
    3. Yes. All channels should be offered outside a pick and pay basis. This should be done because the cable company already bills for digital boxes, adapters, outlets, and a ton of other fees. The service Canadians get doesn't justify the price we have to pay.

    4. Yes. This option would give consumers more choice. The packages consumers can build should not be restricted to channel tiers. Customers should be able to pick from all channels.

    5. Let me see my program exactly as it happens.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 13:16 cdnsimon
    1. cdnsimon I think you are confused about the number of questions - there are only 4 questions.  Your #5 reply seems more apt to question 4.

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 20:01 GorgonTheWonderful

  217. I am very unhappy with the way channel distribution is implemented. The goverment has allowed this industry which was created out of thin air by the Mulroney Government, handing these corporate players (The Big Three) the ability to make their own very, very, rich market and charge massive unwanted fees for many sevices or channels that are not wanted. The same thing has happened to the telephone market. People are paying up to 10 times more than what they should.
    So we went from free television with commercials to the worst of all worlds; that is paying through the nose for the TV service and additionally having to still watch massive amounts of totally moronic, repetitive commercials.
    I propose a different system.
    1. Customers can pick up to 35 channels that they usually like to watch for a set fee, say $30.00 per month. Other packages, for example Movies or Sports channels can be added at very small additional cost, eg $15.00 per package.
    2. Television commercials must only be shown once an hour to reduce the constant ridiculous, break up of viewing. in other words commercial breaks only in the last 10 or 12 minutes of any hour long program. Of course this could  not be applied to live foreign imported programs like the Superbowl. This would be applied to Canadian channels and any recorded programs for rebroadcast.
    3. The substitution of Canadian commercial content for foreign content should be permitted for live programmes only.
    4. The CBC is in deep trouble. I suggest we reform it by adopting the BBC system of independant funding so that nasty antagonistic, governments like the present cannot cut, interfere or direct its services. I propose a small tax on all electronic products that are sold in the country that would generously fund the CBC's radio and television services. After this is established, we should reform the CBC and take it back to its previous roots and get rid of commercials entirely. I'm tired of garbage, violent Television, Garbage Radio and would like to see the French service be less Quebec centric, with Acadian Channels and French channels from the West.

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 14:27 FoxRouge29
  218. I have grown tired of paying for CBC as part of my bundled package on top of the billions of wasted dollars they reap in tax payer subsidy. I would enjoy seeing this Liberal mouth defunded entirely. I find their content to be nonfactual and in many cases fabricated news. Their support for a specific political party was clearly an attempt to sway Canadians to see the values of the Liberal party and not that of Canadians. Our last federal election outcome clearly demonstrated that Canadians do not support the CBC or the Liberal party. As for Canadian content I find many of the carriers found in the bundled packages are clearly not very Canadian at all with many American programs coming through them as re-runs. I find the content of Sun media to have greater Canadian content than CBC yet I have to pay extra for it. Selecting what I want on my screen is critical to me and my family. CBC has long become the dinosaur of television and has lost their way pertaining to Canadian values. Having the ability of selecting who I wish to fund through my television network provider is one tool I would like to help eliminate networks not worth my tax dollar.    

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 14:57 RAndall J
  219. Well this has been a bug a boo for me for two years. What has happened to competition on T.V. I want to select what channels I want to see. I do not want to purchase a basic package at all that includes religious programming or whatever. I want to watch what I want only. I will be a senior in two years and think the price of cable T.V is horrific. Communication prices are more than heat and electricity. I wanted HBO because I love the programming but I had to take the movie package as well. Have not used the movie channels once. Stop it. Let people choose what they want..charge accordingly and let those channels that do not do that well fall by the wayside. The reason they are not doing well is that the democratic majority are telling you they do not like these channels. Make a profit on the ones that sell. Like a retailer economy of scale will offset your bundles. Be creative..Everyone I know does not have HBO because they cannot afford it. HBO had the best quality TV shows in 2013/2014. But you have to buy it in a bundle. The government should be regulating this under the competition act and make Cable networks offer choice. I use my internet 4 times a month and have Telus. I am charged $47.00...How is that possible? Fix this situation or I will find a way to get my entertainment cheaper as I have no choice

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 20:27 Heather Dobson
  220. 4. Please, please stop the sim-subbing. If i pay for ABC and CTV i should expect to have ABC and CTV provided; not ABC over-ridden (many times quite poorly) by CTV feed and commercials. The topic draws the distinction between live events and other shceduled programming. At least please stop this for live events which, more often than not, suffer from poor switching between the feeds.
    Honestly, what purpose is there in forcing Canadians to watch ten year-old Canadian Tire or Pizza Pizza commercials during the SuperBowl? Obviously Canadian retailers cannot even be bothered to pay for SuperBowl commercial time since they don't bother even producing new commercials. Sometimes protectionism is quite counter-productive and ends up actually stiffling innovation, creativity and competition.
    To emphasize the point, simsubbing was just botched again as I watch Thursday Night Football.
    Please let me watch what i pay for.
     

    Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 22:57 pmpd54
  221. I just moved from Calgary to Medicine Hat.  
    In Calgary I received 5 English and One French channels in HD with the purchase of a HD antenna that was $85.00.  I received (Free OTA) channels - Global Calgary, CTV Calgary, CBC Calgary, Omni, City TV, That was all I needed and other than the initial investment of the HD antenna nothing else was needed. With that I was satisfied.  I got local news, weather and sports... and did I mention free!
    I moved to Medicine Hat, AB and wow what a shocker... no OTA transmissions and with this... zero free choices. So... I now have to take a basic cable package from Shaw Direct Satellite that gives me at least two of the channels that I use to get for free, but now get this at a rate of $38.38 for what I use to get for free.
    Again... I only watch Global Calgary for the News at 7:00 AM, 12;00 PM and again at 5:00 PM. Oh... I get a handfull of other channels including U.S. feeds of their Network stations and TSN in non-HD but thats about all that are included.  It's hard to fathom getting charged for stations that are free from thier source don't you think?
    I think that the cable and satellite companies are raping all Canadians.  The boost up rates for profit, and to justify the speciality channels that no one watches or cares for.  Hmm Golf channel, Home and Garden Channel, Nat Geo... etc. If I coul dhave my choice I would have 2 channels.. Global (Calgary) and TSN HD.  Does anyone think (at the CRTC) that this justifies me having to pay $38.38 a month to these Cable and Satellite Companies, if anyone does they are fools.
    First of all Canadians should not have to pay for Canadian Channels if they are even brodacast in one locality OTA and free of charge period.
    Secondly... all channels aired and brodacast on Canadian Satellite or Canadian Cable should be individule pick and pay and charged equally.  If ABC is $2.95 a month, so should Global TV, if Omni TV is $2.95 a month so should TSN HD.
    Canadians want less costly fees and more selection, without unwanted channels included.
    If Bell and Rogers and Shaw were non-profit that changes the story... they are not!
    Go quickly - not slowly, The big three will find a way to shaft viewers if they can.

    Friday, September 12, 2014 - 17:59 mixedpickle1
  222. I am sick and tired of being robbed by Rogers. I want to be able to pick and choose what I want. I do not want to be told what i must first buy in order to get what i want. The present process is the most deplorable practice allowed in a developed counrty anywhere. We must stop Robbers from robbing the public under the pretense of local programming. Have you seen what they produce. Its terrible production, horrible quality and not to mention in very poor taste. Public tv like PBS are somehow able to survive but anything Rogers produces in the name of public service or local programming is something that can be uses as punishment for serious offenders and terrorist. I say Rogers local programming is fit for Guantanamo Bay sort of terrorists. Please CRTC i beg you to disaccoiciate the good name of Canada from Rogers local programming and respect Canadians enough to allow us to choose what we want and pay accordingly. If a porton of all TV cahannel subscription is set aside for loval tv which are produced by local independent producers and local talent, I am sure we can have a better outcome. I want choice and I want to be treated with respect. I want to be able to pick and choose and none none of the noise Rogers is making. I ask my fellow Canaidans to support me on this. Thanks

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 04:01 Mustafa
  223. • Yes, all providers should offer a basic package with local stations, community shows, canadian channels, etc. Some people can't afford to have all sorts of speciality channels. At least a consumer would be able to receive local news and learn about politics and their community without having to pay for cartoon or kids channels they won't use. What is affordable? Television should not be a luxury. Cable companies should not be able to add a basic service to any package they want. This should not happen because the companies will establish tiers or packages of channels they think people want, instead of what consumers know they want. A monthly fee for basic services should not be more than $30 (cable company fees included). The CRTC should put a cap on the number of different fees and monthly changes the cable companies change consumers. There are to many extra fees that are tacked onto a basic package. How can it be legal for Rogers to charge an extra outlet fee when there are two televisions in a home. When did it become okay for Rogers to bill me for the number of televisions sets I have in my own home?

     

    • Yes, The CRTC should require cable companies to offer all channels, and these channels should not be tiered or grouped by the cable companies. All channels should be offered at the same price per channel or charge consumers a flat fee for the extra 10/20/30/40/etc. channels they get above basic service, but they can still pick which channels they want.

     

    • Yes, this would give consumers more choice. Cable companies should not be able to restrict the types of channels a consumer can pick from. All channels should be available for consumers to build their own package from.

     

    • Yes. Let me watch my show as it happens. I'm tired of watching ads for Rogers when Shaw ads are covered over.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 12:08 cdnsimon
    1. I agree;  We are seniors -  moved into a condo 2 yrs ago (2012) - already had Rogers cable - when we to nthe nearst Rogers store, we were advised that a TV Channel Selection Package was available - this appear to suit our needs exactly as we wanted minimum channel exposure because at our age the lower the numbers the less confusion.
      This "Build Yout Own TV" package included a basic starter package at $20.29/mth and then a choice of a 15 for $26.38 or 20 for $28.41 or 30 for $33.48 channel package chosen from a large list of channels covering all themes.
      As we were new to Rogers and the area and unfamiliar with all the channel content availability, we were advised to go with the smaller 15 channel package until we became more familair with the various channels and guide content and then we could always add to our selection package to a 20 or even a 30 channel package at some future date.
      We felt that this was a very reasonable approach - BIG mistake in trusting the word of a representative of a large corporation like Rogers.
      In Aug 2014 we approached Rogers to follow up on their offer to add to our package and were advised that these packages were discontinued and no longer available.
      To make matters worse we purchased their receiver outright and now we are stuck with a receiver and a TV service that does not even meet our basic needs.
      It is incomprehensible in this day and age that a corporate giant can weld so much power over a freely elected government ast to be allowed to pursue a monoply in order tomaintain an income of unfretted profit off the citzens of this country.


      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 15:01 JohnA

  224. I just want to say that I know Bell and others are afraid of losing money under a pick and pay regime but I beg to differ. I think a lot of people, like myself, would simply allocate their spending differently. For instance right now I have the 3 old school Shaw tiers, which i'm not sure they really offer anymore, at least they don't advertise it. And with those tiers I get a large amount of channels, plus some basic channels, that I don't or rarely watch. So instead I would rather like to bundle my own selections. Instead of paying for Speed, CNN, HLN, W, CMT, MuchMore, Much, TSN, Sportsnet, BBC World, etc to name a few, I would then subscribe to other channels instead like DIY Network, GSN, Rewind, and others. I think many customers would be like this.
    Bell is also concerned they would have to shut down many channels, well if they have channels that have low subscriber counts then maybe they should put more effort into them to make them more attractive or maybe they should just shut them down anyway. I think part of the problem is that Bell and Shaw own WAY too many channels and have spread themselves extremely thin content wise and must resort to airing the same shows on multiple channels at different times which is a terrible process. Sometimes less is more!

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 14:50 veevem
  225. I will agree that maybe it is time to remove NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC, but not PBS as it doesn't compete with any local channels. But there is no need for having the 4 other US networks that compete directly with Canadian networks and just duplicate the programs. Hell just rebrand the Canadian networks to NBC, CBS, and ABC, lol.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 14:57 veevem
    1. Problem is, the American networks are the reason a lot of people subscribe. If they were dropped or made illegal in Canada, I would see no reason to subscribe. I'm sure many others feel that way.

      It would be better to put ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and The CW in their own packages (one East, one Pacific). I would prefer them both to be offered, but maybe just allow the opposite one so it doesn't complete with the locals such as they are. (Winnipeg would get the Pacific one, but not the East or Minneapolis ones.) There isn't much point watching the Minneapolis/Fox Rochester ones anyway because they are ruined by simultaneous substitution (simsub). No simsubs allowed on the Pacific one for Winnipeg even if CTV has something on at 10 PM CT.

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 18:00 kcbrk32

    2. It's NOT the U.S. channels which should be removed.  They create and broadcast their own programming.  It's the Canadian networks who broadcast U.S. shows which we don't need - as we already pay for the U.S. channels.  The CTV type channels are the ones which would be competing directly with American produced shows - if it were not for the fact that the c.r.t.c. allows them to NOT compete, but instead totally block out the U.S. signals.  It's just a cash cow for them and a total rip off for consumers and viewers.
      What's more, there was a time when tv channels actually bought programs like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Trailer Park Boys and others to run in syndication.  They actually spent some of the money they earned from our viewership, some of their profits from their commercials and the fees they collect from the cable companies in the way of carry fees, etc... on programs for us to watch.  Nowadays they are SO GREEDY for profits that not only do they NOT spend anything on programming for their viewers, but instead they have found a way to make EVEN MORE PROFIT by running PAID ADVERTISEMENTS that run 24/7 these days.  Instead of spending money they just grab more and more.  So we not only pay to get these channels and we not only have to watch their commercials (which also generates income for them), but we also get short changed and programs are entirely replace, entire hour long program slots, with never-ending 60 minute commercials.

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 12:10 GorgonTheWonderful

      1. Oh, and one more thing. The Canadian networks don't run ALL of the U.S. channel programs - they just CHERRY PICK THE BEST SHOWS WITH THE HIGHEST RATINGS SO THAT THEY CAN CHARGE THE HIGHEST RATES FOR THEIR ADVERTISING when they block out the U.S. Networks with their signals. Getting rid of the U.S. channels or making people pay for them would solve nothing. It's the Canadian channels replacing the U.S. signals that needs to end once and for all. I will watch the Canadian channels if instead of U.S. shows they can fill up the program day with shows like Corner Gas, The Trailer Park Boys, Continuum, or other good Canadian shows.

        Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 12:16 GorgonTheWonderful

  226. "Maximizing choice and flexibility" and "local stations permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters" are diametrically opposed.  Come on, CRTC!   Use you logic.   Eliminating a choice cannot result in maximizing choice.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 16:01 MikeToronto
    1. Well said MikeToronto.
      It's obvious that:
      ""Maximizing choice and flexibility" and "local stations permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters" are diametrically opposed."
      Let's hope that the CRTC actually does its job and stands up to the likes of Bell and Rogers.
      The only circumstance in which a local station should be allowed to shut down its OTA transmitter is when the owner shuts the station down. It's called "broadcasting" for a reason - these stations only have their licences because they have agreed to broadcast their signals OTA.

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 18:20 Marconi

  227. I want to state that I disagree with Rogers, Shaw, and anyone else who thinks this matter needs more time. I think December 2015 is already too far away. I don't see how it could take so long to implement all these changes if they actually do some work and get it done. 2 years is just way too long, unless the companies want to give customers retroactive reimbursements for unnecessary expenses we must deal with while we wait for them to get off their rear ends and get the job done. Canadians want these changes and they want them ASAP not in 2 or 3 years. All they are doing is attempting to delay the inevitable and that shouldn't be allowed. Hell I think June 2015 sounds even more reasonable than December 2015, which is already more than fair. If Shaw/Rogers can get Shomi up and running within several months then there is no reason they can't make these CRTC mandated changes. We want change NOW! Thanks

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 16:26 veevem
    1. Agreed.   The changes should be made before the start of the Fall 2015 TV season at the very latest.   Abolishment of simultaneous substiution should go into effect 30 days after the close of the hearings (it is just a cease and desist order)..   That way we can get a Superbowl without annoying 10 year old Canadian Tire commercials!

      I recall reading something about Shaw having to reprogram their systems for pick and pay.   No excuse.   There are lots of computer science grads willing to help with this if they were offered proper salary and benefits.

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 17:40 kcbrk32

      1. kcbrk, The U.S. channels are not competing with the Canadian ones.  They are being REPLACED by the Canadian channels.  They broadcast their shows at times they choose and their target audience is the American viewer.  We are just a little bonus audience for their advertisers.  What you have to understand is that there would be no signal subs and no "competition" to speak of, if it were not for the fact that CTV and Global ADJUST their shedules so that they can run the same shows at the same times so that they can do these subs.  This is intentional on their part and they do this so they can block out the U.S. signals with their own.  They could have opted to run one less U.S. show per evening and run each show an hour earlier - in which case many people might tune them in to see their shows sooner, but they want the easiest and greediest option.
        The entire original idea of the cable industry in this country was to provide us with the U.S. channels we'd not otherwise get over the air with "rabbit ears".  In the 1950's we had the CBC and that was it - until cable came along.  CTV came along and was good at first when it had original shows, but for a long time now all they've done is broadcast American shows - shows we can already get on the U.S. networks.  Who needs that?  Who needs a "best of" American network?  Cash SCAM for Shaw, Rodgers, Bell, CTV, Global, The Dougallmedia, etc... but nothing for the consumer.

        Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 12:48 GorgonTheWonderful

  228. Simultaneous substitution should be abolished. At a minimum, it must be abolished for live events, and in particular, sporting events. There is no benefit whatsoever for the consumer. With sporting events, the simultaneous substitution is often botched and the consumer is left watching a program that is on a channel that he/she is not watching.
    It happens in one of two ways. The event may be simultaneously shown on a U.S. channel and a Canadian one. At the conclusion of the game, the Canadian channel often switches to alternate programming, while the U.S. channel has a post-game show. For those of us watching the U.S. channel that want to see the post-game show, we often end up missing a few minutes of same while the cable company switches us to the Canadian channel and then switches us back to the channel that we are actually watching. If I wanted to watch the Canadian channel, I would be watching the Canadian channel and would therefore not need to be switched back to that channel. Furthermore, if I am watching the U.S. channel, I should be able to enjoy the entire program; and should not have to miss even a second of it. After all, I am paying for that aren't I?
    It also happens when the event is only shown on a U.S. channel and not simultaneously on a Canadian channel. What often happens is at the expected end time of the event, the channel will be switched to a Canadian channel to simultaneously substitute a program that is scheduled to be shown at that time, even if the game is still going. Live events often go beyond the scheduled end time, but for some reason the cable companies do not realize this and automatically substitue programming at the scheduled conclusion. Since cable companies have shown no ability whatsoever to properly perform simultaneous substitution, the practice should be abolished. As stated above, the practice offers no benefit for the consumer.
    In conclusion, I have experienced botched simultaneous substitution on countless and numerous occasions. One particularly egregious example happened this evening. I was watching a college football game on CBS which had started late because of weather conditions. At 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time), the game switched to Jeopardy which was scheduled to be shown at that time on the CBS channel and a Canadian channel. It was not switched back to the football game until 7:49 p.m. The only reason that I missed 19 minutes of the game is because of simultaneous substitution. If the practice was not permitted, I would not have missed any portion of the game.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 22:23 jkp
  229. I just registered to participate on this site, and the CRTC told me that I should comment as they said something to the effect of (I don't recall the exact words) the Canadian TV system is my system.
    I truly hope that the CRTC remembers that and doesn't roll over for the likes of Bell and Rogers. Some of us want OTA broadcasting. The CRTC should be in the business of ensuring that OTA broadcasting continues.

    Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 18:32 Marconi
  230. I agree with question #2 ONLY and not agree with the rest. Let the consumer pick and pay. The distributor will package useless channels with useful ones.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 10:49 Kamalchhabra
    1. Kamalchhabra.  Question #3 pretty much saws the same thing as question #2.  It too, asks if people should be allowed to build their own package.  If you agree with #2 - how can you disagree with #3.  For that matter, how can you disagree with #4, because it would allow you to actually watch the channels you pay for instead of replacement signals.  Question #1 is an either or question.  It asks which choice your prefer.  Again, how can you disagree with the question outright?  It gives you a choice of which system you prefer.

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - 16:34 GorgonTheWonderful

  231. (1)I think a small basic service package as descrbed above is important for community and national identity.  Beyone that, everything should be pick and pay.  The subscriber, not the cable and satellite companies, should decide what is affordable. A charge - however small - for a service that I do not want is not a bargain!
    (2) Yes, the CRTC should require distributors to offer all channels on a pick and pay basis.  The current system of bundles results in subscribers receiving and paying for far more channels than they want or can possibly watch in order to receive the channels they do want, or they don't/ can't watch the channel at all because of the need to upgrade the bundle.  
    (3) The principle of choice applies here - let subscribers build their own packages. There's no need for pre-assembly: we're talking about TV shows, not cars or appliances.
    (4) I think when there are commercials that are specially developed for some of these live events, and journalists write about how good/funny/inventive/ these commercials are, it would be fun to be able to actually watch them.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 - 16:07 Stanhope
  232. There should be NO vertical intergration.  Service providers should not be content providers.  If we're going to end sim-sub let us also put a stop to Service providers substituting commercials on American channels such as CNN, HLN, MSNBC.  Despite paying extra for MSNBC I am regularly abused by Shaw with substituted commercials for their content and service.  Some of these commercials have run thousands of times.  It seems that the more channels we have, the less there actually is that is worth watching.  Despite having 7 bundles and basic there are less than a dozen channels which I watch on a regular basis.  There should be no guarantee that any channel will succeed by being subsidised by people who never watch it.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:05 yukoner1
    1. yokoner1.  I can dig what you are saying.  I was watching 2 shows on the History 2 channel just last night, and every time they went to commercial the commercial breaks were dragged out and parts of the show may have even been cut out in order to run replacement commercials by Shaw, Global, and CTV yet.  Ridiculous.  This has to end as well.  Same commercials plugging the same sim subbed shows on the same networks every 10 minutes.  Enough already.

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:22 GorgonTheWonderful

  233. Remember that movie "Network" where the guy got pissed and tossed his tv out the window.  Well consumers need to let the c.r.t.c. and cable industry know how pissed off we are as well.  Perhaps the ideal thing to send them the message would be if we all cancelled our cable subsriptions and just got a set of digital "rabbit ears".  After all, we are paying MONEY FOR NOTHING (as Dire Straits might put it) for cable when all we can watch are local signals anyway.  May as well cancel the cable if we can't ACTUALLY WATCH our shows on the ACTUAL U.S. feeds.  If we are going to be forced by the c.r.t.c. and the greedy cable companies and networks to watch replacement signals we may as well get rid of our cable and go back to rabbit ears.  We'll be stuck watching the same signal sub crap, but at least we won't be paying anything to the greedy s.o.b.s for robbing us.  Time for a consumer boycott of cable I say.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 13:17 GorgonTheWonderful
    1. Either that, or a boycott of products, services, and companies advertising on the program that has been overridden by the simsub.  Tell the company why you are boycotting.    I doubt the CRTC will doing anything because all the whining by Shaw, Rogers, Bell, etc.  So hit the big evil corporations in the pocketbook.    Show them we are not sheeple to be fleeced monthly for cable bills.

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 18:17 kcbrk32

  234. Comments and I am a current Satellite subscriber and Canadian citizen.
    I will keep my comments straight foward and simple to understand.
    I am hope that the Satellite companies and the CRTC reviews them.
    1. I do not want to pay for channels I never watch. I can't say it any clearer than that.
    For me this includes all French stations, all sports stations and many, many 'bundled' stations.
    Out of my complete package that I pay about 70 dollars monthly for (which is too much) , I watch less than 10 channels regularly.
    That works out to 7$ a channel (10/7)
    2. I would like the freedom to subscribe to satellite companies from the United States without being made to feel like a criminal.
    Why I can't price shop for a satellite company from the USA?
    3. Let the market place dictate what channels (and what sattelite companies) survive. This is real democracy.
    The current model is 100% protectionist.
    4. When watching USA stations, I do not need to have commercials substituted from Canada.
    If I am watching a Canadian station then I can watch Canadian commercials, and vice versa for USA stations.
    5. I would like the ability to trade channels. Why am I being made to pay for channels I don't watch?

    Closing comments, the system in Canada is set up to protect big business. We are supposed to be a democratic society.
    Remember how much freedom Canadians are supposed to have? Apparently we don't when it comes to television.
    Go with that theme and  do not be too timid revamping this over-regulated, protectionist system.
    The comments I have seen from the big providers clearly indicate overall that they are intimidated by any change at all,
    unless it makes them more money, which means it will probably cost me more money, which is unacceptable.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 14:12 alan.mccaugherty
    1. alan..  Some of the best comments of all.  Wish I'd made them myself.  You have nailed it all and put it brilliantly.  Well done.  I could not agree with you more.

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 17:20 GorgonTheWonderful

  235. On Sep 12th 2014 I was listening to the hearing by CBC and they were saying 95% of the canadian understand that tv service is paid service and only 5% of people still use OTA free service which they want to shutdown so that they can recover the money for the shortfall which they are experiencing because of decreasing advertising revenue. Now the thing which I dont understand is by shutting down access of great canadian content to only 5% of OTA users who are getting the service for free right now how are they going to recoup all the money which they are loosing from advertisements. If the OTA user base is so low then won't it be profitable for any business model to focus on 95% not on 5% poor people.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 16:13 John Trivedi
    1. Also, keep in mind that the CRTC chairman called out the CBC numerous times on their lack of evidence or research. I think the % of people using OTA is WAY higher than 5% and CBC should know better than to try BS the CRTC chairman.

      Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:36 mark_aok

  236. CRTC please help Canadians by:
    1.  Separating service providers from content providers permanently 100% of the time.
    2.  Stop blocking U.S. feed on TV and the internet.
    3.  Enforcing internet and cable TV neutrality -- no favors by service providers for content providers who pay service providers more $.
    4.  Providing total choice for consumers regarding channels, no cross subsidizing, no requirement that we pay for ESPN to help Disney (are you kidding me????)
    5.  Ensure all consumers have equal access to also being providers for each other.  Yes monster size cable oligarchs, this includes making cat videos at home and posting same on YouTube.
    CRTC, please don't make all of us wait until pigs and donkeys fly to get this done!

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 21:18 Maggie@Home
  237. OTA user for too many years, never had to have cable or dish.  I remember when cable was first being introduced, we were supposed to be getting TV programs with no commercials, because, afterall, we would now be paying for the service; but what would the providers fill the spaces with???.  So, whether we use OTA, cable or dish we still have to put up with commercials.  Before cable & dish, commercial watching was how we "paid" for TV service and it still is for OTA.
    TV service providers should allow the consumer to pick whichever channels they would like; perhaps in bundles of 5, 10, 20, 30, etc channels.  Kind of like going to the library, check out the books you want; without having to take a box of books you've read or dont want to read, and pay for them, to get the ones you want. Similar to renting DVD's, select and pay for the ones you want, that's all. If I want doc. & sports only, why do I have to take movie & sit-com channels in my bundle, for instance.
    Just a foot note;  I currently receive OTA channels which are not available on any of the dish services or my local cable provider; and my reception is much cleaner & clearer than some of my neighbours who are using cable service.
    Please don't remove OTA service and force us to have to be gouged by the Big Boys.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 23:21 detmalda
  238. I would rather be able to choose the content that I want to watch, this means streaming online with providers like Netflix or US TV Now.  Unfortunately this would compete with our large providers, who also happen to be our major ISPs as well.  They set download caps on the bandwidth you can use (or charge you an arm and a leg for unlimited).  This seems to be a major conflict of interest and limits the choices Canadian's can make in terms of online content.  
    The CRTC would do best for consumers by considering removing bandwitdth limits and allowing consumers to choose the services they want, either through a traditional provider or online.
    Look at models from other countries:  France for example, there are no limits whatsoever on highspeed internet bandwidth, basic TV is included for the cost of the TV License (120€ per year) with internet being about 35€ per month ($50).  And all the online streaming they want included!
     

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 01:42 AdamG
  239. If you allow OTA transmission to shut down, you will make even less money from me.  I will NOT subscribe to cable/satellite and pay for something that I once received for nothing. Your advertisers will simply lose a viewer.
    This move will force me to subscribe to a VPN, and sign up for every AMERICAN service I can get my digital hands on.  Guess what happens to Canadian broadcasting then?  Although of course, Rogers, Bell, Telus will still get their ISP money. What a great country we live in where every facet of an industry is controlled by so few players, who coincidentally own many of the stations we are talking about cutting off from OTA.
    Also, shame on the CBC for wanting to shut down OTA transmission.  You are subsidized to the tune of $1 BILLION per year, and you cannot figure out how to make this work financially?  Instead of a CRTC hearing, we should be having an audit of Mr. Lacroix's books. Let's see... ALL Canadians pay for the CBC, but now only those paying for cable or satellite service should be able to watch?

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 08:35 macdim
  240. My cable bill arrived this morning.
    My bundled cable bill (compulsory package) is $61.99 with tax Total = $70.05
    We use only 3-10 news information and enterainment channels.
    We have no use for the 50 plus channels we are required to pay for.
    We want the CRTC to order an unbundling of the channels, letting us pay a reasonable price  for the channels we use.
    The rates we pay are usurious,
     

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 15:26 Catherine27
  241. Should the CRTC stop distributors from performing simultaneous substitution during live event programming (like sports and award shows)? Or eliminate it altogether? Why?
    Yes they shoud end this process and allow Canadaijns to view the entire program.
    The superbowl is a prime example of what happens when sunstitions occur.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 16:41 kiwi2000
  242. I recently cut my cord and and moved to an OTA/netflix combo and am very happy.  I like the fact that with how expensive cable was getting (with less and less quality content being provided) I had this choice available in order to voice my displeasure at where cable was going in this country  ($100 for an Antenna, 23 channels in the GTA with superior HD quality).  If the CRTC decides to let broadcasters turn off their antenna's or put some form of tarrif on streaming video, then I will view this as an attempt to support an oligopoly who now faces something they haven't had in a long time, competition.  
    The move to OTA has been gaining momentum with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues making the switch or looking into how to do so.  I find the 5% usage figure too low.  I would be interested to see what the trend is in this figure is as well ... my feeling is that it would show a positive one as folks realize that OTA is much different then the analog signals of the past and is of excellent HD quality.  I would also be interested in seeing how expensive it is to support the infrastructure to broadcast a digital signal and what kind of cost savings would result for broadcasters ... given this has been a standard for a decades what has changed?   Does the advertising model no longer work?    Let us see the economics (independently audited).
    As many have noted, I will not pay for cable regardless of what basic packages are created.  If Canadian OTA signals are silenced then this will have the opposite effect and will decreasing my consumption of Canadian content given I will only be watching American channels going forward (NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, CW, MyTV, PBS, This) which saddens me because I find myself watching quite a bit of CBC and CTV programming (still won't pay for it via a cable subscription though).
    Do what you want on various cable offerings, but please leave OTA alone.
     

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 22:28 JoeP73
  243. Hi,
    I'm in my late 20's, living in Ottawa. I made this account for one reason - to ask the CRTC to NOT kill OTA. I like many people in my generation will simply never pay for a Cable TV subscription...it's just not going to happen.
    If the CRTC implements the "Section 16 - Licensing regime for over-the-air stations"...effectively the OTA poison pill I believe it will mark the end of local broadcasting. The blunt reality is that younger people are just not interested in a Cable TV subscriptions. If the local TV stations are not freely available they will only be watched by the older generations and eventually not watched at all as more and more people ditch TV subscriptions.
    I understand that content providers are hurting, so could I suggest a comprise?
    Let's make it mandatory for local stations to provide their channel for free (supported by advertising) using OTA OR a free stream online. This way we keep Canadian programming available to ALL Canadians and we allow local content providers to survive due to monetization of _targeted_ advertising. I.e CTV could provide different ads to different people based on age, gender, etc. in this way substantially increasing their advertising revenue.
    Let's keep local Candian content and ensure that ALL Canadians can access free local programming via OTA OR an internet stream.
    Thanks,
    Mark

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:30 mark_aok
    1. I don't want CTV knowing my age, gender or etc. .... just leave OTA alone please.... watching commericials is enough of a cost to watch tv..

      Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:55 Alan Harper

  244. I like the idea of a simple, basic package of local Canadian TV channels, a national weather channel, national news channels and community and provincial legislative channel and maybe a couple of Canadian national sports channels for a total of about 13 to 15 channels in all, for about $30 per month.  I don't care for the American stations and all the excess specialty cable channels now available on cable.  If these channels do not garner enough subscriber support locally or across Canada to make them viable, financially, on their own, then the producers/owners of the programming should listen to their accountant, stop producing them, and simply close the money losers down.  I'm tired of paying for hundreds of cable channels on my basic TV bill, that I haven't the faintest interest in.  End of story. 
    Bundling of a local telephone line and high speed internet service with the cable TV, all for about $90/ month would be a good target. 

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 01:06 KathH
  245. I do not agree that I should have to buy a basic package to be able to subscribe to specialty channels. I already get 23 HD channels over the local airwaves. Buying a basic package just gives the distributors a reason to overprice their offerings by a $30 monthly fee, and means I am unlikely to subscribe to their services (why pay for what I already receive?).
    Would be better to pick and pay for what one wants.
    Best solution would be to require the providers give a basic package at no charge, and then compete for useful add-on content service fees. Perhaps this would stimulate competition to provide content that consumers actually want. All channels should be individually priced. The distributors currently tend to create channel bundles that few want, and price them accordingly. If I want to subscribe to a particular channel that is included in a package of 5 or 10, the distributor mistyakenly believes that I am getting great value because of the way their offering is structured, when in fact I feel I am being ripped off as I am forced to subscribe to a lot of content that I am not interested in.
    Perhaps it would be better if volume discvounts were actually based on the volume of desired chanels subscribed to (e.g. if you subscribe to 10 channels rather than just 1 you get a discount, etc.) 

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 16:51 Bruno
  246. 1) First of all, nobody should be forced to purchase anything. I should be able to choose which ever channels I want. If I don't want a certain station, that's my business. As far as I'm concerned, the cable companies should be forced to provide these stations for free. They are free OTA, and were meant to free to begin with, so they should be free regardless of wether you have cable or not. The price paid for cable in this country is far too high anyway. The companies make more than enough profit, there's no reason to give them more money through force.
     As for the so called maximum price of $25-$30, that's what the cable companies charge now, and this proposal would actually make the "basic" package smaller thereby making the price higher in all cases.
    2 & 3) I absolutley agree that I should be able to pick which ever channels I want while not paying for channels I have no interest in. With the package I have now I have more channels that I don't watch that ones I do. As for the price, a maximum needs to be set on what the cable companies would be abl to charge for each channel, otherwise the price will skyrocket, gurenteed.
    4) Yes they should stop "simultaneous substitution" if only because I used to be able to watch the Super Bowl commercials, now I have to search for them online or wait months for them to appear on regular rotation, and that does not always happen. If a local station cannot compete, too bad. Business is business, not welfare, adapt or die.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 21:02 Cliff-B
  247. Why on earth should ANYONE be forced to purchase a "package" of programing they don't use, in order to get the few things of quality they do wish to pay for? The present system, or any other built around forced purchase of a package is absurd.
    Can you imagine if you went into a grocery store to buy some fruit and vegetables, but were prevented from purchasing them unless you also bought three huge bottles of pop, some candy bars and a big bag of chips??? Well, that is precisely the situation that the CRTC has allowed for years and years. (You call yourselves a "reguator"?? That's an absolute joke...since when have you ever moved to protect consumers from being gouged?)
    I just refuse to pay the exorbitant rates charged by Bell for satellite TV, and so now make do with rabbit ears. The only two Canadian channels I watch are CBC and TVO...and if I can get them free by antenna, or online, why should I pay Bell so much money for a "package" which is comprised largely of commercial garbage I never view? I would not mind paying a small fee for the Canadian channels I want, if I was able to pick the two other channels I actually want (PBS and TSN).
    Every channel should be sold on merit (pick and pay). Stop shoving rubbish down consumers throats...and then expecting them to pay massive fees for it. I know the present arrangement has made the telecommunications industry incredibly rich, but fewer and fewer Canadians are prepared to put up with CRTC decisions that are designed to protect the unrealistic profits being realized through the forced purchase system. Consumers now have other choices, and will find ways around the unfair regulations the CRTC has always allowed.   

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 02:24 Lena
  248. It's far to expensive to have both Cable and Internet. I was paying about 160.00 monthly for both for years. Now (during the last 11 months) I only have Internet and must pay $ 70.00 plus taxes monthly.
    My Point is that I watch TV from an antenna and can receive (CityTV, Global, CBC, CFTO (off and on), TVO, as well as some of the major US Networks. -- All OTA.
    The changes coming SHOULD NOT be any kind of trade-off, Cable Cos such as Cogeco charge far too much and because there is no real competition and Bell just keep their Satelite prices hovering around the same as Cogeco, there's NO COMPETITION and we, the consumer suffer their dreadful pricing and selction because of it.
    I say to all Cdn Networks providing OTA tranmission, I hope you continue to do so after CABLE and Sat PROVIDERS agree to pick-up your stations as a basic service.  Single people, especially those of us living on a disability income (me),  can no longer afford Cable, Internet or combined and depend on the few OTA channels we can get that are just commercial driven.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 08:00 Scott
  249. I must further add, Cogeco has made sure Having Paid Internet Access DOES NOT ALLOW for watching any programming and I assume that was a deal between Cable Cos and Specialty Networks as well as US and Cdn Majors -- not to allow transmission via Web to Cdn Cable clients. And that's not fare!  They, the Cable companys, want us the Canadian Consumer to PAY for BOTH Cable and Internet in order to watch Programming.  DISGUSTING.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 08:09 Scott
  250. We live on a farm,so only have access to satelite.We have Shaw.My main complaint is the bundling has become so political.Why is Fox or Sun Media in any package.It is political propaganda that we are being forced to pay for.I have no objection if they are offered as extras and are paid for like msnbc.The CRTC has to get more involved as a regulator.Shaw has just put out a new guide and FOX and Global are gigantic while many channels such as CBC& Sportsnet are so small subscribers cannot see many channels.It is very costly to switch but will if this continues.
     

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 09:48 firefly
  251. I think simultaneous substitution should be eliminated completely. I understand the rationale behind it and why broadcasters will moan and groan to keep the status quo, but it has created an environment among conventional broadcasters where there is little incentive for them to produce Canadian content and what little does get produced gets relegated to unpopular timeslots or the summer months when there are fewer potential viewers so simsub opportunities are not lost on American during more lucrative timeslots. It serves as little more than a cash cow for conventional broadcasters as they scramble to maximize simsub opportunities to the detriment of Canadian programming. I believe simultaneous substitution also stifles innovation and will keep our system stuck in the past as it gives conventional broadcasters little incentive to move towards modern means of delivering content.
    In spite of comments by BDUs at the hearings, problems with simultaneous substitution are very frequent, particularly with live event programming and regular programming that is scheduled to run a minute or two into the next timeslot. There may only be 500 complaints a year with the CRTC, but how many people would actually take the time to complain or even know of the mechanisms to make a complaint? It would be a fraction of a percent. I hear people grumbling about simsub all the time for reasons from substitutions starting too early or ending too late to the entirely wrong program being substituted at the wrong time to sound and picture quality issues to extra screen pollution from Canadian broadcasters adding their station identifier logos alongside the American broadcaster’s station identifier logo. It happens multiple times every single week.
    I believe a compromise could be reached with simultaneous substitution where American broadcasters are not included in basic packages offered by BDUs (except perhaps PBS) but could be added in a bundle not subject to simultaneous substitution for an additional cost for those who wish to watch American signals. This would give viewers freedom of choice and the revenue generated could be used to offset any potential losses caused by elimination of simultaneous substitution. This would also give conventional broadcasters more incentive to develop newer and better platforms of distribution and better their existing offerings, which if Canadians are wanting to watch American signals over Canadian signals as other comments here indicate means there is something wrong with the Canadian offering in the first place that needs to be fixed. If the Canadian offering was the better option, eliminating simultaneous substitution would be irrelevant because Canadians would choose the Canadian signal over the American signal. Eliminate simultaneous substitution to give broadcasters the incentive to make it the better option!
    Moving on to pick and pay - this addresses both the second and third points, I would like to see a system where this is an affordable, barebones basic package that consisted of local stations, news, community and parliamentary channels upon which speciality channels could be added. I am mostly interested in science and nature programming, but in order for me to get all the channels I like I am forced into larger and larger packages with more and more channels that are of no interest to me. I know broadcasters will argue that these big bundles make some smaller channels viable, but I believe there could be some room for compromise in the pick and pay system where there could be small and affordable bundles of related channels, like how Hollywood Suite and some Blue Ant Media channels are bundled, so long as the individual channels are still available on a pick and pay basis. As an example, Bell Media could create a small “Discovery” bundle of their channels Discovery, Animal Planet, Discovery Science, Discovery Word and Investigation Discovery. If an individual channel was $2.50 pick and pay and the bundle price was $9.00, I would buy the bundle versus just picking Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Word for $7.50. I am sure many people would opt to do the same if there were small, affordable and sensible bundles in addition to pick and pay. It might compensate for some losses that may be caused by unbundling the larger packages, keeping some smaller speciality channels more viable while the least viable channels would disappear as they should. It would also give broadcasters more incentive to develop and enhance their offerings to attract more subscribers whereas in the present model, there is little incentive where subscribers are guaranteed through bundling. That said, subscribing to a channel is one thing, but like so many channels I am forced to subscribe to and never watch, if few people are watching them, that channel is not making money in the first place.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 10:00 nightheron
  252. I believe that local stations should not be allowed to shut down their over the air transmitters.
    Over the air broadcasting (OTA) provides an alternative to the BDUs. Canadians that want a low cost solution, with HD, quality can choose this option without having to pay monthly fees or fees for equipment rental.
    OTA is an cost savings alternative for people on fixed incomes, such as seniors and others that do not have the disposable income to pay the BDUs. Stopping over the air broadcasting would remove an option currently available and history has shown that reducing consumer choice typically leads to higher costs for consumers.
    It was stated that this is a cost savings strategy for broadcasters, I wondering what independent research has been done to quantify the "cost savings" and if other alternatives have been looked at, which may produce some savings, without impacting a percentage of the population that does not want to support the BDUs.
    I find it ironic that since most of the broadcasters are owned by or affiliated with one of the large BDUs, not only would stopping OTA contribute to "cost savings", it would also increase revenue for the BDUs.
    It has been mentioned that  in place of OTA the BDUs would offer a package that included local stations for a price in the range of $20 to $30. On the surface, this would appear to be low price however, when you factor in digital box rentals and HST, this in not a low price solution. Additionally, history has shown that BDUs typically increase prices every year- what would become of this low priced package after a few years?

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 11:34 BobC
  253. Is the CRTC really protecting Canadian content or are they really killing it completely ? They are trying to protect it but as more and more Canadians, like myself, cancel their cable subscriptions completely because they can't afford the $90 to $120 per month to watch TV, they are moving to the internet for their viewing where they control ZERO Candian content.
    Let's look at one of the ONLY truly Canadian programming left today - the CFL. As the deal was signed moving the CFL away from the CBC (funded by Canadian tax dollars) to TSN (owned by BELL) they have now locked down Candians being able to watch our game. The ONLY way to watch CFL is now pay not only basic cable rates but in order to get TSN you MUST buy a premium package. TSN does offer CFL live streaming on their website but ONLY if you currently pay for their service with a cable provider (also owned by BELL). So what does this now mean for someone who chooses not to pay the high cable fees ? NO CANADIAN CONTENT !
    If you are going to "discuss" pick and pay options with Rogers and BELL, of COURSE they are going to price it so that it is unattractive to change the way they have making BILLIONS of dollars off the backs of Canadians. After all it isn't the average Canadian that can afford to buy sporting facilities. Only Rogers can do that.
    I really think that the CRTC needs to spend more time looking to the future which is the internet NOT the antiquated "cable" system. Oh wait - the same cable providers control that as well ?
    Is it really the CRTC that should be reviewing their friends at BELL and ROGERS or is it Canadians that should be reviewing the relevance of the CRTC itself ?

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 12:49 ayachetti
  254. With regards to Netflix, I believe Canadians should have the right to choose access US programming. I subscribe to regular cable and as such currently contribute to Canadian programming.  While I disagree with the principle of fees, my belief in viewers choice outweights this; as a resort I would suggest if the concern is to to fund Canadian programming I am prepared to pay a 'minor' fee to Canadian programming (where I access US Netflix).  
    Moreover, this whole line of enquiry is a result of the bullying tactics of cable companies who are threatened by a new technology not reliant on traditional cable infrastructure.  I think that to remain competitive cable companies need to adapt to the new technology- not impede technological change and drag Netflix down and restrict them. I believe the public has the right to choose access better services and show selection.  If cable companies (who currently charge high fees for poor programming choices) are losing revenue, it is through their own fault.  
    ps. i pay over $100/month for cable, and rarely watch it.  I pay $15/month for Netlix.  I can choose what I want to watch, start and stop it at my leisure.  And I do not have to watch commercials.  Canadians should be given more choices.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 13:08 lorifromthewest
  255. What I think of maximizing choice and flexibility is that all subscribers could get a basic T.V. package that includes all of the local channels, all of the local U.S. channels including The CW and PBS, local and national essential channels like provincial government channels, community access channels, CPAC and The Weather Network and maybe news and sports channels like CBC News Network, TSN and Sportsnet. If those channels are put in the basic T.V. package, the cost of it could be lowered. Also, the T.V. service providers could put additional channels in the package as long as it is affordable because a lot of people could see a variety of channels. The cost of the package could be between $20-$30 depending on the amount of channels that are in the package. The CRTC may not need to cap the price of the package because the package might have various amounts of channels in it. Next, I think that The CRTC could require T.V. service providers to offer all of the channels that are not in the basic T.V. package on a pick and pay basis because it can allow a lot of people to get the channels that they could get. A lot of people could either make a T.V. package or get a pre-assembled T.V. package because it can allow a lot of people to decide what their T.V. package could look like. Next, The CRTC could stop T.V. service providers from doing simultaneous substitution during live event programming like The Super Bowl, The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards and The Grammy Awards because a lot of people could see the Super Bowl commercials, The Academy Awards commercials, Emmy commercials and Grammy commercials. Also, they could stop them from doing it during regular shows because a lot of people could see the preview of the next episode of a show because some of the local channels that show the shows do not show the preview of the next episode of a show. Next, the premium cable channels like HBO and Movie Central could offer streaming services that are available in the U.S. premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime like HBO Go (If HBO could offer the service in Canada) and Showtime Anytime because a lot of people could see more content that the channels offer. Also, the premium cable channels may not need to show the rating of a show or a film when the show or film begins because the rating of the show or film is shown before the show or film begins. I see that when I watch HBO. Finally, Fox Sports 1 could be offered in Canada because I could see Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole's show, Fox Sports Live."

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 15:43 smartman69
  256. OpenMedia.ca is pleased to provide its comments on the Let’s Talk TV consultation, and many of the proposals in the Working Document for Discussion. You can view them online here at: https://openmedia.ca/sites/openmedia.ca/files/OpenMedia-FutureOfTVisInte...
    The report, titled ‘Connecting Canadians: The Future of TV is the Internet’, brings together input from over 20,000 Canadians, both online and offline, from coast to coast, and presents a bold new vision for the future of digital services in this country.
    The report sets out the priorities of Internet users across the country when it comes to building a more Connected Canada, and shows that the CRTC should focus on the bold steps needed to move us away from a dependence on the traditional broadcasting system for funding and distribution of content, and towards a more diverse system that encourages and incentivizes the availability of modern, innovative digital services for Canadians everywhere.
    We have developed three recommendations that have emerged from our consultation with Canadians throughout the Let’s Talk TV process, and they are as follows:

    1. Imposing new financial costs for online (or “over-the-top” OTT) digital services is inappropriate given the advantages that vertically-integrated incumbents have over other content producers and distributors.

    2. Access to Canadian content can be improved through pick-and-pay models that build on a “skinny basic” package that ensures access to publicly-supported content producers with public mandates, including APTN, CBC, and B.C.’s Knowledge Network.

    3. Access to Canadian content can be promoted through fair wholesale pricing arrangements – ensuring that content owned by vertically-integrated incumbents is affordable for other distributors.

    We encourage everyon participating in the consultation to review our full report to learn more about how we engaged Canadians throughout the Let’s Talk TV consultation, and learn where Canadians stand on the future of digital services in our country.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:11 openmedia
  257. the document was too long - didn't read it.  the registering to log in is a long process. However, I persevered to let you know that we have cut the cable and would only go back if we could pick individual channels without having to take even a basic package.  CBC should be on a distribution system like netflix - that way even remote areas could get it.  I have family in Northern Alberta that can only get CBC if they have cable/satellite yet it is tax funded.  We do miss watching CFL and would pay the CFL to watch those games.  Under the current system we can pay $50 a month for a basic package or read about it online and go to a game a couple times a year.  

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:14 mybugera
    1. Interesting but I s there a guarantee that overall this will be less expensive? The CRTC talks a lot about choice and flexibility but not so much about cost -  also would be a shame if a lot of people were out of work in the end. 

      Friday, September 19, 2014 - 16:43 Cdn Jobs

  258. I don't agree with simsub on any level. For me it violates might right to choose whitch stations i want to watch, since that'swhat i pay for.That's pretty much why i use netflex most of the time.I beleive everyone should have the right to watch what they want when they want to also get what they pay for which i beleive i'm not getting.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 18:07 equa1
  259. Cable providers are fleecing consumers in this country. Prices for cable TV should be regulated, and I suggest a $1 a channel for the cheaper ones, and $2 a channel for the more expensive ones, and instead of having a minimum basic package, there should be a minimum of five channels per subscription in order to make it worthwhile for a cable company to connect you. Also access to OTA television is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. It gives access to basic, regular TV to everyone in this country, even people on the lower economic scale. Besides, OTA is great technology today, and it's paid for through advertising anyway, so let TV station owners cry. I enjoy Montreal stations and American stations.
         When it comes to cable companies, our "master fleecers", authorities in this country absolutely MUST increase the number of players by using the same model as the internet, for example Bell and Vif, which uses the Bell system to compete with Bell. Just two or three or four cable companies simply won't cut it.
         I use OTA TV  in order to be able to pay for the internet, an increasingly essential service nowadays. If free OTA television was taken away from me, I would really go crazy, because I would be forced to use radio as my news source in order to keep the internet. I'm not the only one in this position. The CRTC should think about that, unless we want to end up with a nation of ignorants.
         Telecomunications in general is a problem in this country and the big boys have had their way too many times before. It's time for the CRTC  to get tough on cable providers.

    Friday, September 19, 2014 - 19:48 nomoretv

Fostering local and Canadian programming

View comments
  1. It is imperative that local stations maintain their over-the-air (OTA) transmitters.  In the city that I live in, like most cities, only one cable company (Cogeco) has infrastructure in place, effectively giving Cogeco a monopoly.  Without the availability of OTA service I would be forced to deal with a company that I do not want to deal with.
    What would rural viewers do without OTA?  Cable companies will not install rural cable television infrastructure as it is too costly, satellite service is often unreliable and Internet service in most rural areas is pathetic, thereby leaving rural customers without television service.
    The suggestion that local stations be allowed to shut down their OTA transmitters would hurt many viewers simply to increase profits for a few companies.
     
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 13:28 Abra Cadabra
  2. I use Over the Air (OTA) as my choice to receive TV. Please do not allow TV stations to turn off their transmitters.  The signals I receive are high quality 1080i (or 720p) which are not matched by any cable or satellite provider today. I can not afford to, nor would I want to, purchase these services. Should the OTA signals disappear, so will my ability to watch the Olympics, World Cup, or just the evening news. The CRTC would be doing a huge diservice to ordinary Canadians should this happen. Please dont allow this!!!

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 13:37 Karen
  3. how can you ever imagine this...???   how many people  can not afford  cable....  this would be   20 steps backwards...    and forcing people  to listen to the radio..... 
    and  many many more  would make a choice to go "gray"  and  watch "local" programming  from united states  providers....
    this move  would make the majority of canadians  hostage to cable  companies
    not a good idea  at all 

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 14:44 pierreg.
    1. It's just not people who cannot afford cable that are OTAers.   In my area of West Toronto there are million dollar plus homes with a 4 bay UHF antenna on the chimney.  Some of the reason mpeople choose OTA:
      - they see little value in the extra channels cable provides
      - hate dealing with the cable provider (billing problems, customer service, etc.)
      - higher picture quality digital over-theair provides
      - additional channels / feeds that cable does not and cannot provide (US subchannels, original US broadcast for events like the Super Bowl)

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 23:43 OTA ATSC

  4. I don't know what is meant by "local stations." In my area, I am well-served by OTA channels that include CBC, Global, CityTV, CTV1, CTV2, and Omni. Would some or all of those be allowed to discontinue their OTA transmissions?
    Like other in this forum, I only watch a limited amount of tv, usually for news, weather and special programming. As I am living on a pension, I would not want to allocate my limited resources to pay for delivery of this service.
    Others have noted that the OTA signal is superior to anything the service providers can offer, and makes use of the capacity for high quality images that modern televisions can provide. Why would I want to pay for an inferior picture?
    From my observation, the use of OTA transmission is increasing. Please don't discontinue OTA transmission!

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 14:45 Alan01
    1. Yes, that's what it means.  Any station like CTV that can be received OTA would be allowed to shut that service [transmitter] off and what that means is you would have to get cable or satellite to watch TV - and that alone should be unjust.   They seem to be basing this on the fact that most people under the age of 35 are watching TV over the internet, or have satellite / cable.  And I agree, when I had an antenna for a few years, the quality of reception was far better than the HD reception the cable company we had was providing.  I have an antenna at the trailer and I would go without a TV before paying $30+ for 1-2 hours of weekend TV usage when I'm there. 

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:32 Sweetvirgo

  5. Re: Cost savings could be redirected to local content production
    I believe this is a bait-and-switch situation by the large telecom providers that own many local stations (examples: Rogers/CITY, Shaw/Global, Bell/CTV).  Perhaps there may be a small uptick initially but I suspect it will fade away in time and the over-the-air (OTA) transmitters will be gone forever.  Shutting down transmitters conveniently clears the bandwidth for large telecom providers to expand their paid Mobile TV services.  I suspect the latter (facilitating paid Mobile TV) is a greater driver than the former (increased funds for local programming) for large telecom providers.
    Re:  Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters?
    There are already processes in place to shutdown transmitters if the operator desires this.  Bell/CTV shut down their Wiarton ON CKCO transmitter recently.    CBC and TVO shut down their entire analog OTA service in 2012.
    While it may be true that many OTA transmitters have small usage, it is NOT true that this is the case for ALL OTA transmitters.   Many OTA transmitters particularly in larger cities (examples:  Toronto/Hamilton/Niagara, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Windsor) have substantial usage particularly after the August 2011 digital conversion.  In many cases, OTA usage grew due to HDTV signals being available and that just a small UHF antenna was necessary in many places.   These areas have enough OTA services to achieve a form of critical mass.    
    Some areas of Canada have just a handful of OTA stations (sometimes just 1 or 2).   At that level, it is easy to understand why there's little reliance on OTA in those places.  Proposal 16 might make some sense in those places but those aren't representative nationally.
    In summary, I recommend the CRTC not accept proposal 16 particularly for the larger Canadian cities where OTA still has material usage.
    Thank you for considering my comments.


    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 15:47 MikeToronto
  6. Local stations should not be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters.  Many people cannot afford to pay service providers for tv and therefore use OTA HD antennae.  I am on a low income and am happy with the current situation with my excellent access to CBC, CTV and TVO.  If this is stopped I will not have access to tv.  

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:17 sharris
  7. Please do not shut down local programming. I do not wish to be forced into a cable or satellite subscription to receive local news and information. Right now I receive my programming Over The Air and it costs nothing. The large media companies are powerful enough as is, I do not wish to fill their pockets for programming that is mostly of little worth.
     

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 16:31 otterhead
  8. I pay for Cable. I am not subsidizng people that are to cheap to pay for it. So OTA should be shut down and replaced with an Optional CDN Only basic TV package OR a "Pick and Pay" basic service.

    And since when is access to TV a mandatory right? In the real world you PAY for the Goods and Services you receive.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 17:02 MJA_OUT_WEST
    1. We PAY for over the air TV by watching all the commercials that are forced upon us..  

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 00:34 Alan Harper

    2. In Canada you can not start a tv or radio station without a licence.  There is a limit to how many tv and radio stations can be on the air so the licence is given when the station will benefit CANADIANS.  TV stations do make money and are not not-for-profit, therefore we Canadians grant a right to a company to make money and they in turn promise to benefit us Canadians.  Therefore tv is not a right, but it is intended to be a benefit to Canadians.  You should look into the history of the CRTC and maybe learn more on this topic.
      You do know (or should) that not one penny goes from your cable bill back to the local stations.  You are not subsidizing my free enjoyment of tv OTA.  OTA is funded through advertising revenue.  Cable companies pay only (and bill you) for specialty channels.  This was why the local stations wanted "fee for carriage" you should read up on this topic.  Do you not enjoy free radio - it's the same thing.  Your strongly worded message is a misinformed rant.  Maybe you should be upset now for how much you pay for cable when you know that the money DOESN'T pay for the content.

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 08:04 tvottawa

    3. Yes in the "real world" OTA is paid for by advertising costs that are built into product costs. Advertisers then pay for ads on the OTA broadcasters. So much misinformation about OTA. I currently have cable running over my property but I am not allowed to charge rent to the cable companies since they are allowed to go over my property therefore I am subsidizing the cable feeds. I do not use cable but I am offsetting the cost to cable users because I am not allowed to charge the cable company access to my land. So who is subsidizing whom?

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 12:22 bradOTA

  9. I do not agree with allowing OTA boradcasters the choice of  shutting down their transmitters.  I don't want to feel like I have no choice when it comes to how I get my TV programming and I disagree with this proposal vehemently.
    I am close enought the the border that I can receive both Canadaian and American broscast signals.  If the CRTC were to allow Canadian stations to cease transmitting over-the-air, I would simply aim my antenna State-side to get the programming I'm looking for.
    Please don't eliminate my choice to enjoy my local programming via TV antenna.
    Am I wrong when I say that these big conglomerates running our local broadcasters perhaps, have gotten too big?

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 17:05 dkeast2000
  10. For the "1)" item NO way - this is the mess we have now. I do no want to subsidize channels like CBC, APTN, Religious or Shopping Network etc. channels that we are currently FORCED to take by the CRTC under the Guise of "Canadian Content". Enough of the "Nanny State" - let the consumer decide what we want to watch and what we want  to pay for.
    For "2)" again NO. That has the "Basic Service" clause which is forcing us to pay for lump sum "Canadian Content" TV. I want choice - not "Nanny State" deciding what I have to watch and pay for.

    For "3)" item - YES. I have been asking for this for the past 20 years in numerous e-mails to the CRTC, Liberal and Conservative Governments. I want to a system that allows me to decide what best suits my needs and my wallet. That could be all pick and pay, it might be some mix of pick and pay with a bundle or maybe just a big bundle. I do believe there will need to be a basic fee for telecom infrastructure likely in the $2 to $10 range per month. Things like Satellites, satellite receivers, transmitters, Cable wires, cable repeaters, WIFi broadcasters etc. all cost money to set up, maintain and then upgrade. This becomes a utility cost, just like water, power and natural gas. So it's a basic access fee and your choice of channels on top of that.
    Content choice is a good thing and forcing me to take channels I don't want encourages lots of mediocre channels that really should not even exist. Some channels are so "thin" in content, that there is basically one show that keeps them afloat. Other have no content I want, but I am forced to take them as a "Bundle" for one other. If a channel has content I want to watch, I will pay for it. If they don't, then they should get ZERO funding and produce something I want to watch or be shut down due to lack of interest. The same applies to "Canadian Content" - just because it was made in Canada should not mean it has be payed for and crammed down our throats (i.e. CBC for example). TV should be subject to the same rules of existence as the Real World. If a show isn't popular, then it gets the axe - the same should apply to channels and networks - as decided by the consumer with our wallets and subscriptions.
    For item "4)" I really don't care if they show Canadian or USA commercials during events like the Super Bowl. That should be a decision by the Network / Channel. For my self, soon as a commercial comes on, I will 99% of the time switch channels or hit the mute and do something else (i.e. check my e-mail, surf a web site, get a snack etc.).
    Second last, we need to have the CRTC "But Out" on whom can offer services in what location of Canada. If there is competion for Cable / Satellite / IPTV then the consumer benefits. The fewer companies that can offer us product (i.e. CRTC saying you get this territory, you get that territory etc.), the worse the service and the higher the cost. We do not need more governemtn mandated monopolies like the old Telus, or SaskTel etc.
    Lastly "free" OTA should be ended. If there is still going to be OTA offered, then it should be encrypted and require a rented box to watch it. Why should any of us that PAY for  Cable / Satellite / IPTV subsidize people to cheap to pay for it? Where is "TV" a constitutional or mandated right of Access? NOTHING is free and I am tired of subsidizing people that think they deserve this for FREE. And if the TV encrypted Box isn't a workable solution, then allow the Channels / Networks that still generate OTA to put 2 or 4 times the advertising that is on there now. OTA has to be paid for somehow, so either pay a subscription fee or accept that advertisements have to cover the costs. Again NOTHING is free - somebody pays for it eventually - and I am tired of it being me in my monthly Bill.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 18:05 MJA_OUT_WEST
    1. You do know (or should) that not one penny goes from your cable bill back to the local stations. You are not subsidizing my free enjoyment of tv OTA. OTA is funded through advertising revenue. Cable companies pay only (and bill you) for specialty channels. This was why the local stations wanted "fee for carriage" you should read up on this topic. Do you not enjoy free radio - it's the same thing. Your strongly worded message is a misinformed rant. Maybe you should be upset now for how much you pay for cable when you know that the money DOESN'T pay for the content.

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 08:00 tvottawa

  11. With regards to question 1, this action is, in my opinion the opposite to what CRTC should be doing. OTA has lots of potential and is currently grossly underutilized in this country. The CRTC should be looking to the UK and France among other countries whose governments have put up "multiplexes" for bid, which have been won by mostly a consortium of the main broadcasters. This would grow the medium and provide competition to Cable/Satellite. Also, what constitutes a local channel? It is unclear, are not all channels, say in Vancouver local?
    Allowing the decrease in the number of OTA channels won't necessarily get people to switch to cable. A majority of the Candian population are close enough to pick up a multitude of US stations, they also have the Netflix option which is under half the price of proposed minimum cable packages. Therefore this proposal will not work, and in fact do the opposite again, in that less people will be watching local TV. It will also negatively affect low income citizens.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 18:28 globalguybc
  12. With Regard to 1:
    Absolutely not - the only way to keep prices down in the cable/sat industry is to make the channels either broadcast over the air or alternately provide a free sat unencrypted service. 
    As someone in a city on the border of OTA coverage I actually think it needs to be expanded (Im speaking about CBC especially since they seem to have decided not to bother with smaller cities in ontario).
    Id also like to link this comment to another suggestion which the crtc has made regarding a minimum package for cable/sat providers.  I find it interesting that once again the CRTC seems to be giving the providers what they want - taking away OTA while in the same breath saying "oh provide a cheap basic cable for only $20-30 a month" is of no benefit to consumers.
    Once again the multi-billion dollar rogers/bell/shaw will win the day - they wont need to pay for OTA while locking down every possible peice of content and forcing a fee onto consumers.  They may initially agree to $20 but dont doubt in 2-3 years time they will go back to the CRTC saying costs have risen.  Additionally they will continue to lock down their devices forcing people to use what they choose for their best interests -  without a cable card requirement you can bet equipment fees will also be excessive.
    In order to protect consumers the CRTC should not only not allow broadcasters to kill OTA they should actually increase the requirements  - these channels are no longer small independants as in the past they are now all owned by very large corporations which are making billions in profits - they can contribute something back and eat the expenses during times when advertising reviews are lower.
     
    2:  Childrens Programming
    - This should always be encouraged and should be a priority.  I have nothing more to say on this...
     
    3: Daytime Cancon
    - I dont watch tv during the day as I work - that said I think that the broadcasters have it too easy. I would tighten up the restrictions during the evening - especially during the hours of 7pm-10pm in exchange for reducing the daytime burden - excluding news programming requirements.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 18:51 adamg98
  13. We cannot reduce the conversation to simply "stay the course" vs. "shut down OTA TV" -- it's far more complex than that. Local stations ought not be permitted to shut down transmitters. The premise that eliminating terrestrial over-the-air transmission would "reduce some costs for struggling local stations so that they can continue to offer Canadians a local presence in their communities" is abhorrent. Without any incentive to do so, cost savings would be never be redirected to local content production unless severe financial audits were regularly scheduled by impartial authorities.
    Bell and Rogers constantly leapfrog eachother with rate hikes for TV services, far beyond the pace of inflation, that now occur multiple times each year with absolutely no explanation. Essentially, they're colluding to try to find a magic price point that the market is willing to pay such that reductions in their mammoth subscriber base are offset by much higher monthly rates. Growth is their only motivation.
    Recall the massive lobbying effort by CTV that was undertaken in 2009 to "Save Local TV" -- a campaign that stunk of corporate hidden agendas, and from the general public's view, didn't accomplish much. Canadian broadcasters are notoriously lazy, and refused to migrate to digital broadcasting until the mandated deadline in 2011. How is it possible that brand new ATSC transmitters are suddenly a cost burden to operate? In fact, peer-reviewed industry journals prove they are much more efficient than their analog predecessors. Furthermore, consider that most every OTA TV transmitter tower across Canada is leased out to multiple third-party communications services tenants. Their owners (99% of the time the usual Robellus suspects) are surely breaking even, if not generating healthy profits, from antenna co-location at these sites. After CBC was granted permission to shut down all of its approximately 620 analog television transmitters in 2012, it retained ownership of many towers since they're lucrative; effectively, all they did was switch off their own equipment crying poor about maintenance costs that have existed for decades.
    If local TV was truly too expensive to continue to broadcast terrestrially, how has almost every originating station on the major national networks (CTV, Global, City, CBC) managed to upgrade their local operations to HDTV? (exceptions being CTV Kitchener & Northern Ontario that are embarassing stalwarts)
    *Bell/Rogers/Shaw must provide some hard numbers that prove OTA transmitters are oh-so-expensive to operate; problem is, that'll never happen since their underlying intent is to stop providing "free" TV.
    Our neighbours to the south are not facing such a predicament, except for spectrum management opportunists trying to take advantage of the situation by hoarding bandwidth formerly allocated to OTA TV channels. We are not a nation of universally ultra-wealthy people, willing to pay service fees for local TV that has been available for free via antenna for more than 60 years. How would a transmitter shutdown play out in markets like southern Ontario, where a plethora of American signals are available over-the-air? People are not going to pay any subscription fee to a Canadian BDU if they can continue to get TV from Buffalo without any cost.
    We live in an age of more options than ever, not more change than ever as some would suggest; one cannot reasonably assume that every Canadian can and will pay to watch local TV. If the CRTC bows to the spin and capitalistic greed of broadcasters (who are primarily owned by Bell, Rogers, Shaw, and CBC) then we might as well allow telecom operators to hastily do away with all wireline services as it's essentially the same flawed argument about diminishing returns in a crowded market. My views would be completely different if Bell, Rogers, and Shaw didn't own the majority of private OTA TV stations; the oligopoly held by these companies is immensely profitable such that crying poor for local TV stinks of abuse of power/influence. When I watch local newscasts these days, all I see are commercials for products and services of the station's parent company, which generate zero revenue for the local station. Maybe if local stations tried to solicit real ad revenue instead of assuming that indirect promos for their other specialty channels will funnel money back to them, they'd be more 'viable' in the longterm.
    The conventional local broadcast business model is not 'broken' as many have whined -- it's industry consolidation and concentration of ownership that has caused stakeholder expectations to go sideways. I urge the CRTC to stop pandering to the interests of megacorporations and consider what individual Canadians have to say.

    The current state of community programming is also a little questionable. Often, BDUs run community television programming under the guise of regulatory compliance, when really it is just used as a promotional vehicle for their other business interests by incorporating thinly-veiled advertising for wireless phone services, Internet access, and the like. Community TV certainly ain't what it used to be.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:21 Taxpayer_Revenge
    1. I saw a commercial on WNYO a week or so ago. looks like free TV in the US is also under siege from the usual suspects, though perhaps it's not as advanced as it is here, where our officals are openly asking if it could/should be shut down....and just a few short years after the digital transition. 
      http://www.keepmytv.org/

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 20:29 crajax

  14. You pay for Cable TV  because it offers you 'specialty channels' that are not offered over-the-air and you pay even more for 'specialty channels' that do not show commercials.  When cable tv was first offered in the 70's and 80's , local channels were included because no one would pay for the handful of 'speicalty channels' that complimented the cable tv experience without including what you could get with an antenna. 
    In the 90's the 500 channel universe was upon us and it sounded awesome.  Flash forward to today and many of these channels couldn't support themselves--they re-invent new formats and names. Star! became E!, TNN became Spike  WTSN is gone and so it Talk TV  There are too many niche or specialty channels that won't survive on their own.  Pick and pay sounds good but don't expect TSN or The Weather Network to be cheap.
    I get 40 yes FORTY local digital channels with my TV antenna both Canadian and American and I intend to keep it that way.  If I wanted to pay for channels that show infomercials all night and repeat programs ad nauseam then I would pay for them.
    We should be fortunate that we have a choice...let's keep it THAT way too.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:39 dkeast2000
  15. I watch TV only by antenna. If stations stop transmitting over the air, I will be left with nothing.
    I will NEVER suscribe to cable. Not in a million years.
    I will just point my antenna towards the USA and get the american channels.
    What was the point of converting the channels to digital in 2011, only to shut them down so
    fast ? Simply unbelievable !!

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:45 borg8088
    1. I believe you're right about why analogue was dropped and digital installed.  Forcing people to buy cable whether people want to or not. 

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 00:18 Stringfellow573

  16. I did not think that allowing tv station to shut down free to air signals is a good idea because you are fircing people to pay through other broadcast channels like cable etc. lets not be naive. Savings will not go to programming and frankly a good deal of local programming is crap. The notion of legislating Canadian content is futile. One can't legislate culture.the briadcasters slip and slide all the time over their so called comittment to Canadian content. How many reruns of trailer park boys do I have to be subjected to in the name of Canadian content. Viewers are abandoning traditional tv in droves because of inferior programming, and a lack of choice. To continue on this path of canadian content wuotas will further drive viewers to alternative viewing options. Hell I watch BBC and ITV out of the Uk daily. Understand the workd has chaged and there is no turning back

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 21:47 jasmit
  17. With regards to issue #1:
    Allowing local stations to shut down OTA transmitters is a terrible idea and I do not agree with any aspect of it. Many Canadians have cut their cable service in preference of better value online streaming services and OTA local channels. This is a trend that has been increasing in popularity in recent years, with the result that many Canadians today rely on OTA for local news and programming. Shutting down OTA transmitters would have a harmful effect as it will do three things: eliminate choice, decrease viewership of Canadian content, and increase the profits of the cable companies without any real guarantees that more Canadian content will be made.
    Upon shut down of OTA transmitters, Canadians who rely on OTA would then be forced to switch back to cable if they wish to receive the same content as they have always received. OTA has proved to be a viable alternative to cable in that it allows Canadians the choice to not subsidize channels they do not watch, and the choice to not support cable over its antiquated model. Additionally, OTA allows access to local programming for those who cannot get cable due to lack of service availability (such as in rural areas), or for the lower income Canadians who cannot afford to pay for cable.
    Some Canadians may opt to switch back to cable with the shut down of OTA transmitters, but many Canadians who rely on OTA like myself, will simply go without local programming rather than switching back to cable. This will have an effect in decreasing viewership of Canadian and local content, as this group of OTA users may opt to stick exclusively with online streaming services for their television content.
    Lastly, cable companies are the only ones who stand to benefit from the shut down of OTA transmitters. The shut down of OTA transmitters will undoubtedly pad the cable company profit margins due to the decrease in cord cutters and small influx of new cable subscriptions from fomer OTA users. However, there is no real guarantee that any extra money raised in this fashion will be used by broadcasters to produce more Canadian content. It is more reasonable to assume that this money will simply be used to pad profits by the big cable corporations, particularly the ones who own many of the local Canadian broadcasters.
     
    With regards to issue #2:
    I do think it would be a great idea to have quality programming for children to foster their development. However, I do not support having children's programming bundled into any sort of basic cable package, unless there is the choice to opt out of the programming.
     
    With regards to issue #3:
    Yes, I agree that requirements should be lifted during the day in regards to Canadian programming and that such requirement be maintained during evening hours. Television viewership is generally lower during the day and decreasing Canadian content broadcasted during these hours will have minimal impact in the overall viewership of such content. This will free up hours that broadcasters can use to air content that is in demand which Canadians can record by PVR to watch at any time. Additionally, this will allow broadcasters to have a better focus on Canadian content that is aired during evenings hours, hopefully allowing broadcasters to improve on the quality of this content.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 22:17 itsjason
  18. Do not allow the shutdown of OTA transmitters. If anything they should be mandatory for areas that meet a certain minimum population density, an example being all of southern Ontario. The cable and satellite companies should not be allowed to be the sole providers of TV signals in this country.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:11 Grover
  19. I don't agree with argument that shutting over-the-air (OTA) transmitters can save broadcasting companies significant money, which could be directed toward more and better local programming. 30 years ago there was minimum 2 transmitter technicians working for TV station, and cost of parts and maintenance was significant.
    New, digital transmitters are maintenance free and most TV stations do not employ transmitter technicians anymore. Cost of energy is relatively small, as these transmitters are low power. After 2011 all local TV stations already purchased these transmitters, so shutting new equipment and throw it away is just a waste. These new transmitters are solid state they don't have wearing parts and could be adjusted and fixed remotely. They are designed to last for decades. It seems to me that using cost as an argument is just an excuse to force people using OTA antennas to buy cable service. But, who will reimburse them for expensive antennas, cables installation cost, when their equipment will became obsolete after transmitter shut-off. Eight percent of Canadians receive TV via antenna, that's about million people and their equipment value maybe hundreds of millions of dollars. Local TV stations budget comes from advertisement. Even they claim they are loosing advertising customers I don't see it in programming. Cost of running TV station is much less today that 30 years ago. Equipment is much cheaper to buy and maintain. Staff reduction (which saves the most money) is significant. TV station, I used to work for, has employed 300 people. Now the same station employs 30 people.
    Shutting-off transmitters has also other aspect. It is a violation of human rights to have access to information, and jeopardizing public safety. TV transmitters are intended to be used in the public warning system in case of war, natural disasters and outbreaks. Using cable for this purpose is not reliable, and does not guarantee to access all the public.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:16 Broadcasting Technician
  20. How permitting local stations to shut down their OTA transmitters can possibly be fostering local and Canadian programming? For many years I overpaid to get TV services from Rogers. Us, like many, had to paid an exorbitant amount of money (in excess of $800 a year) to access the 3 or 4 channels that we watched. Additionally, we were invaded by Rogers publicity (at least one an hour). We now watch OTA in Ottawa. The picture is superior to what we used to get from Rogers. More importantly, the publicity that we get is locally focused which is a large part of local revenues.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 23:41 LeeLoo
  21. I am categorically opposed to any notion that broadcasters should have the option of shutting down their Over-The-Air (OTA) transmitters.

    If a broadcaster can't even afford to honour their license obligation to keep and operate a broadcast transmitter then my message to you is, "Get out of the business." TV operators have continually re-tooled their operations to run single site consolidated master control facilities such that most stations run lights-out once the studio lights go off after the local newscast. Station and network owners fought like hell and got their right to multiple licence ownership to contain costs and streamline operations. How are they not able to make it work?

    To the commission: What are you doing during the license application or renewal process to verify that an applicant is capable of setting up and operating a viable broadcast undertaking?

    Not only should the continued operation of OTA broadcast transmitters be a requirement, if ** I ** were the commission, I would also require TV stations in all of their local markets to identify themselves with their government assigned call letters in the PSIP metadata transmitted with the OTA digital signal, on the hour prior to the start of a program or, as a 2 second bumper between programming segments.

    I absolutely detest these channel "nicknames" (like "A-Channel", "CP24", etc.) or network names with city names as suffixes (as in "CTV Vancouver" or "Global Toronto"). This doesn't give me the feeling that I have a local station connected to my community. What it tells me, is that I'm watching a network "branch plant."

    To those who would suggest that OTA viewers are "too cheap to pay for it," how dare you.......

    OTA viewers invest in equipment with RF tuners and TV antennae, and make the effort to erect said antennae to receive that content; content peppered with 12 or more minutes per hour of advertising.

    To those who pay providers for their content; what portion of your 40, 50, 80, or 100 dollar subscription do you think actually goes to content? Has your service provider ever opened their books to you? What are they paying in salaries for their call center, billing, and technical staff, building rent to house all their encoders and distribution amplifiers, fuel and maintenance on all those vehicles driving around maintaining the fibre distribution network, or service fees to the uplink facility that monitors the satellite 24/7?

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 02:49 DeepTV
  22. Shutting down OTA broadcasting is a great first step to reduce costs for local stations, but if the CRTC wants to see an improvement in local programming, it must also allow local television stations to charge a wholesale fee to BDU's, just like all other cable only channels. No longer broadcasting OTA turns these local stations into cable only channels, and just like all other cable only channels, they deserve to be paid by the cable companies. Why does the CRTC think local channels should be the only channels on cable not able to charge a wholesale fee to cable companies?
    Allowing local stations to become cable only and charge a wholesale fee to cable companies would put local television stations back at a level playing field financially with specialty channels and local U.S. affiliate stations like CBS, NBC, and FOX. I don't believe in handing out a subsidy to local television stations, but this is not a subsidy, it's treating local television stations the same way all other cable only channels are treated.
    It is an absolute waste of money for local television stations to spend money on OTA broadcasting when almost nobody is watching television OTA. They cancel television programs almost nobody is watching and direct that money towards more popular programs, well they should be allowed to do the same thing here. Almost nobody is watching television OTA, so let them use the money they are spending on OTA and redirect it to something else. As for the small minority who does watch television OTA, you should not expect a private company to spend money just so you can watch TV for free OTA. It is not your god given right to view TV for free. 

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 05:13 TreatLocalTVFair
    1. The OTA system costs are setup to be offset by advertising revenue. Saying no one watches OTA is not true and the trend is growing. Misinformation about OTA HD broadcasts abounds but in reality it is better quality than cable etc. Not looking for a "god given right" just looking for them to adhere to their license to use the public airwaves. Should they want to stop broadcasting OTA that is fine but they then should loose the allocated airwaves to them. Use it or loose it. There is a revenue model for them to do OTA so this is not "free" to the public as the cost of adverstising is built into product costs so in fact advertsing revenue that goes to these stations is paid by the public. OTA broadcasting is a threat to cable comapnies and as more people discover OTA they try it out and move to it so it is a treand that is growing. 

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 12:12 bradOTA

      1. "The OTA system costs are setup to be offset by advertising revenue"

        The main issue is if they broadcast OTA cable companies don't have to pay them to carry their channel. Every channel on cable gets paid by the cable company except for the local channel. In the United States the rules are different and the local stations that broadcast OTA do get paid by the cable companies who distribute them. This puts Canadian local channels that broadcast OTA at a significant financial disadvantage over all other channels. Local channels are struggling to turn a profit because they are the ONLY television channels that only rely on advertising revenue while every other television channel in Canada gets both advertising revenue and a fee from the cable company. Advertising revenue alone does not cover the costs of their business.
        "Saying no one watches OTA is not true and the trend is growing"
        I didn't say nobody is watching television OTA, I said almost nobody is watching television OTA, which is accurate. You people make up an extremely small minority when compared to the overall population.
        "Should they want to stop broadcasting OTA that is fine but they then should loose the allocated airwaves to them. Use it or loose it"
        If they move to cable they will give up their use of the public airwaves. I'm sure they will be fine with that, the whole point of asking for this is so they can move to the viable cable only model where they have access to both advertising revenue and fees from the cable company. The whole point is these "public airwaves" are worthless now as the OTA advertising only model is broken.
        "There is a revenue model for them to do OTA so this is not "free" to the public as the cost of advertising is built into product costs so in fact advertising revenue that goes to these stations is paid by the public."

        Unfortunately, the advertising only revenue model is broken. It only works in the United States because the OTA stations are paid by the cable company.
        "OTA broadcasting is a threat to cable comapnies and as more people discover OTA they try it out and move to it so it is a treand that is growing."
        Actually, most cable companies do not see OTA as a threat. Most cable companies actually want local channels to broadcast OTA because if they broadcast OTA it means they don't have to pay the local channel a fee to distribute the local channel to paying customers.

        Over 90% of the population watches television through cable or satellite, NOT OTA. The reason why the CRTC is considering eliminating OTA in the first place is because they know how few actually watch television OTA. A few hundred comments are not going to change the facts that the people who watch TV OTA are in a very small minority. I do not think it is fair for the CRTC to make a decision that will affect all of Canada over the concerns of a few hundred Canadians who make up an extremely small minority.

        Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 06:57 TreatLocalTVFair

        1. So then change the rules that the cable companies have to pay them and continue with OTA. Since the large number of channels are owned by cable companies they could allow this to happen now.  If the model is so broken then the local stations have the option of releasing their airwaves so give up their broadcast license and allow others to submit to take it over. Since this is the real issue as you say then fix that issue. Becoming a cable only channel also means these local channels do not have to carried as a tier 1 cahnnel and they can be relagated to anywhere on the dial so they would loose their prime spots.
          Your right this will affect all of Canada since those airwaves once lost means no other company can use them to broadcast. So they want to eliminate that oppurtunity for future generations. With so much of the cahnnels owned by cable companies the issue of limited control along with vested interestt should be investigated. Numbers are a wonderfull thing since people take them as fact when it depends on who is presenting them.
          The advertising revenue is broken is interesting since the Rogers and Bell media bought up these channels and don't want to release those airwaves for other compnaies to make it work for them. The revenue model is broken is again put out by the centralized owners. 
          They will release the airwaves but not their broadcast license. So a new broadcast license cannot be issued to antoehr compnay wanting those airwaves that is why they want to shut down their transmiiters as this essentially shuts down those airwaves to others. 
          OTA is a small number of people according to you so why have these service available tto them. Well first there is choice with OTA whithout it you need to subscribe and that is one main argument that most are saying. Shutting down transmitters does not put revenue into the pockets of Canadians. So this is not a cost saving issue for the taxpyer so why is it needed. Following only a small few benefit argument you present then since the revenue this would generate from additional subscribers would only be going to a few cable companies then 90% of Canadians would not be seeing one cent of revenue from shutting down OTA so following your logic the benefits only help a small percentage so scrap the idea of eliminating OTA. So on this I agree with you the CRTC should not make a decesion that only benefits an extremely small minority of cable compnay owners. 

          Monday, August 25, 2014 - 17:00 bradOTA

    2. According to CRTC, 8% of Canadians are watching OTA TV. That's millions of viewers. Some of them don't have cable access.
      Digital OTA TV was introduced in 2011. If in three years millions of  Canadians switched to OTA, means this is a popular trend.
      That's why cable companies are affraid of people switching to OTA, and trying to press CRTC to force these changes.
      But OTA if it becomes popula,r it is much better choice for people and TV producers.
      Eliminates greedy middle man, and offers hundreds of high quality channels.

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 17:23 Broadcasting Technician

  23. In Calgary, with a simple  set-top television (rabbit ears) antenna , I watch can six channels (CBC, CityTV, CTS, Global, and Omni in full high defintion (HD).  All I watch are Canadian channels.  The way to foster the watching of Canadian channels is promoting over-the-air (OTA) transmitters.  Why local stations do not promote OTA viewing boggles the mind.  Before when I had cable, I would record show on the cable box, skipped thru commercials, and watched probably more non-Canadian than Canadian programming.  Now I save forty-five dollars a month not having cable subscription but I watch some ads and watch only Canadian channels.
    I am inclined to watch half as much Canadian television, record shows, and skip thru ads if you take away OTA transmitters from the equation.
    Instead, local broadcasters should encourage viewers to give  rabbit ear annentas a try.  It is amazing how many people do not know nowadays you can (in a major city) receive several HD channels with their current television without a cable line.  Then again, Shaw and Bell and Rogers own Global, CTV, and CityTV.  Those companies have been too preoccupied with selling consumers the big cable packages that they have not devoted much attention to attracting viewers with OTA.  Perhaps they should.   Canadians are increasinglyl dropping cable subscriptions altogether and will watch programs on YouTube, Netflix, et cetera by internet if there is no OTA channels in their area.  On the internet, Canada is one of hundreds of places to get entertainment or news or sports.  When people watch via OTA transmitter, the percentage of local channel viewership is going to be higher. 
    Those are my thoughts.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 06:15 Charles
  24. I HAVE FREE TV. I watch tv over the air with no recurring cost. I spent a couple hundred dollars once for antenna gear and now have service that is close to the cable service called "basic" with no ongoing fees. The CRTC wants basic cable to be low cost, free is lowest cost. This service works really well in urban centers and I wish it to stay. In England, nearly everyone uses this type of free tv. For those in the rural settings they use "FreeSat" it's satellite equipment you buy from one of multiple vendors and you enjoy free tv; free from ongoing fees. This is what we need. Not just anyone can have a tv station - they must provide a benefit to Canadians and we have been slowly softening the rules about local content, Canadian content, minutes of advertising etc. We are pandering to the large companies - Is Bell or Rogers really unable to be profitable. Maybe if you follow the money there is a desire to make these stations unprofitable to sell this change proposal or the fee for carriage proposal. The big mistake was letting the cable companies own the local media and the tv stations. They control the production and distribution. In fact they even control the newspapers. If the CRTC was doing a good job everyone would know about free and accessible tv by antenna. Why the push for ATSC (digital) if we are now going to shut it down? It’s the same unholy business relationship that Ontario has with beer – the beer makers also control the sale of their product. If local transmitters stay we do not have to support this form of monopoly. People can have local free tv if you keep the rules intact. If you would start a campaign to tell Canadians of the opportunity of free tv, more will make the switch and local revenues will increase. I’ve noticed antennas come back to many neighbourhoods. By the way, equipment is available to record OTA which is just as good as any Rogers or Bell box in case this was on anyone’s mind as a concern. Ottawa local channels free and in HD - CBC, GLOBAL, CTV, CTV 2, CITY, TVO, OMNI, OMNI 2, CTS, TVA, Telequebec, SRC. This is a good line-up - SAVE THE LOCAL TRANSMITTERS.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 07:49 tvottawa
  25. Do you agree that requirements to show Canadian programs during the day should be lifted, while requirements to show Canadian programs in the evening are maintained? Why? Would this affect your viewing habits? If so, how?  The Government of Canada should not tell us when  to watch canadian or foreign programs.  Unfortunately, many Canadian programs are not worth watching due to poor quality etc.  There are many Canadian programs available during the evening but many customers don't watch them. To answer your questions, distributors should choose when Canadian or foreign program should be viewed based on what customers want to watch.  I could understand the current restrictions if we would live in a communist country but we live in a democratic country and it should be up to the customers to decide and not the CRTC.  If I don't want to watch for example a particular American or Canadian program then I switch channel until I find a program l would like to watch or I turn off the TV.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 09:08 apothier
  26. I quit Bell over lousy service, and I quit Rogers over billing frustrations. I now have OTA in Ottawa and am very happy with it. I can get streaming programs over the net if I feel the need, but rarely do. Make the cable & satellite companies pay the local stations for the use of those signals on their networks.  The big guys are panicking at the growing move to OTA and their declining subscriber base so are looking to kill OTA before it kills them.  No way Jose, not going back to Bell or Rogers EVER!!!

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:10 RoLeGa
  27. I have OTA TV because I object to the idea that I should have to pay to watch commercials. Satellite radio charges a subscription fee, but in return there are no advertisements. OTA radio is free because there are commercials. I don't see why TV should be different.

    OTA provides a beautiful picture, and it allows me to have access to local, Canadian broadcasts. For foreign content, I use the internet. I believe that this is a viable and desirable future for TV in Canada. Instead of allowing stations to shut down transmitters, the CRTC should be forcing them to establish new transmitters. For example, City Saskatchewan is the only City station that doesn't broadcast OTA. The station also provides educational content during the day. This local station should be available to everyone.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:40 ds514
    1. Furthermore, as many other commenters have stated, new channels can be added to existing channels through multiplexing. So City Saskatchewan could be added added to Global's channel, and then Rogers and Shaw could share the cost of operating the transmitter.
      I have trouble believing that operating a broadcast tower is prohibitively expensive in the first place. Even if only 10% of Canadians receive TV OTA, that's still 3.5 million Canadians watching commercials OTA. I think it's more likely that the fight against OTA is being led by Bell, Rogers and Shaw, at the expense of their own local stations, in an attempt to slow the decline of wireline revenues.

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:50 ds514

      1. Yes I agree that this concept of shutting down transmitters is being pushed by Bell, Rogers etc. these are the same companies that own the "local" stations. OTA is a threat to them and they want to stop it's growth now (yes it is growing). The statement that more money will be put into "local" programming is a farce since there is nothing stopping these media giants from doing that now. Also the complaint is that cable etc don't pay for the local broadcasts, well there is an easy soloution since they are all part of the same company, simply cahnge that internally in the company. Let Bell Fibe, Rogers cable etc start paying their local station that they own for their signal to be rebroadcast on cable etc.  This is a ploy to eliminate OTA broadcast while holding out a carrot as a promise to give more money to local programs. The fact the CRTC has allowed this proposal reach the level of serious consideration goes to show how much they actually are more interested in the cable compnies interests.  This proposal is so transparent as an attempt by the government, through the CRTC, to eliminate OTA broadcasts so that Canadians will be forced to subscribe to a cable service instead of being allowed the choice to get OTA broadcasts. This will mean Canadians will be subsidizing all broadcasters by allowing them to have a license to broadcast using public air waves but never having to actually broadcast while blocking others from using those same airwaves. I doubt however the CRTC will listen to these comments as the "public" input section is just a feable attempt. Why aren't the "public" meetings held accross the country instead of one time in Quebec. Why aren't they live streamed with viewers being able to comment live during the hearings/ Simply becuase they want the appearence of seeking public input but not using technology easily available to accomodate real public input. 

        Friday, August 22, 2014 - 15:51 bradOTA

      2. Operating broadcast tower won't be any cheaper if some TV transmitter will shut-off. Broadcast towers are shared between many TV and Radio stations, also government services, military services, long distance communication and cellular phone repeaters. Nobody will shut-off radio transmitters. And for example Bell owns one TV transmitter on Camp Fortune tower, but several Radio transmitters in the same area. If The cost of tower maintenance and amortization is shared among remaining users, then Bell will pay more for renting tower for its radio transmitters, when it will drop the TV. Or, more probably this will become a problem for taxpayers.

        Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 19:30 Broadcasting Technician

  28. Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters?  YES!  Good grief, lets get with the 21st century.

    Do you agree that Canadian children’s programming should be considered high-priority programming, like the way dramas, long-form documentaries and music and variety shows are today? How else can the CRTC and broadcasters support Canadian children’s programming?  99.9% of "Canadian content" is GARBAGE.  The government should STOP subsidizing this concept of "Canadian content".  Broadcasting in Canada should be based on free market enterprise; if the content is good then people will watch.  If it is garbage then it deserves to die and disappear.  I am tired of my tax dollars being spent on subsidizing broadcaster such as the CBC when they produce substandard garbage.  Let the product speak for itself and sink or swim based on how good it is not on how much money we pour down the "Canadian content" sinkhole.

    Do you agree that requirements to show Canadian programs during the day should be lifted, while requirements to show Canadian programs in the evening are maintained?  I avoid "Canadian content" like the plague.  Canadian programs should be sent out to play with the big boys and survive or fail based on the quality of that content.  They should not be the privileged spoiled rich kid with all the perks supplied to them.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:42 Roughneck Fan
    1. After we shut down boradcast TV lets stop printing magazines and books and newspapers because that's so last century too and everyone carries around a tablet now.  Click "like" if you upgraded your old tube TV to a new flat screen to continue to get free OTA--you know, like you were getting free OTA back in the analogue days...like everyone was able to since television broadcasts began.

      Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 20:08 dkeast2000

    2. Why should we penalize people who prefer how choose to not pay a BDU an insane monthly fee and prefer OTA instead?
      MANY people are switching to OTA especially younger people. Let's keep OTA in Canada!!

      Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 01:02 mark_aok

  29. Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters? Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why? How would this affect your TV viewing habits?
    Under no circumstances should broadcasters be allowed to shut down OTA broadcasts. I quit Shaw over poor signal quality, and I quit Bell over excessive cost. Neither of these providers offered an HD feed of my local channels, (which are available OTA) so I was forced to watch channels from other time zones. Removing OTA broadcasts will essentially force every Canadian to subscribe to a private cable company that has zero interest in fostering local content in a market 3 time zones away from their head office. Our choices as consumers in cable companies have also dwindled over the years to essentially two major companies, that have a duopoly of the entire television market. The CRTC should not be condoning this practice and refering people to a private, for-profit enterprise to receive any television programming. The cost to low-income families of cable service is detrimental to the CRTC's policy of making Canadian content accessible to Canadians.
    Removing OTA broadcasting is also completely against the mandates of the CRTC to ensure that our television reflects our geographical diversity, and making Canadian airwaves accessible to Candians. By allowing stations to terminate OTA broadcasting, there is little incentive for the stations to continue to have any physical presence across the country. Any and all local programming will surely be lost over time as the broadcasters move to consolidate their operations to save costs and increase profits. I for one, am firmly opposed to turning on the local news, only to find that it has been recorded in Toronto, using stock footage from my community. Local stations are vital to the community in a myriad of ways that can not be measured.
    If OTA broadcats are discontinued, I will not be subscribing to any cable service.
    Do not put the profits of the cable companies ahead of the responsibilities of the CRTC.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 10:59 CYWG
  30. - Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters?
    No. For many people this is the only way to watch TV: due to highly overpriced cable/satellite subscription fees, this would effectively deprive lower icome families of ways to access any Canadian content at all.
    The only available stations that would remain on the air would be coming from the US. This would mean that canadian families would only be able watch US programming coming from across the border.
    Furthermore, OTA offers higher picture quality than cable/satellite and it should be a direction to go towards by providing more OTA transmission, not less.
    - Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA.
    In this case, BDUs should be forced to provide free basic cable at one-time cost of installation and no subscription fees. Since in many markets the channels receiveable over the air equal to a basic cable offering, the cable companies should be forced to compensate the loss.
    - Cost savings could be redirected to local content production.
    Which wouldn't be viewable or accessible by everyone, so what's the point?
    - How would this affect your TV viewing habits?
    It would make me watch US channels only.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:01 zedder
  31. I am 100% opposed to the concept of allowing the local broadcasters to shut down their OTA transmitters.  Many people have opted out of paying a BDU like Bell or Rogers and have purchased a TV Antenna.  I opted for this method a couple of years ago and I have been very happy with it. There are numerous downsides to discontinuing OTA broadcasts. 
    First off there is the cost, I currently pay $0 per month and get the channels that I want in full HD.  I also purchased a media computer that acts as a PVR so I can record shows via OTA and I pay no monthly rental fee for it.  We can safely assume that the low cost basic cable option would be SD and would not include a PVR, therefore to get the same value that I am paying $0 per month I would have to pay extra for the channels to be in HD and even more to rent a PVR since the BDUs will only support the use of a PVR that you either rent or buy from them. 
    Second, it will cause those who watch OTA TV to stop watching Canadian channels.  I live in the GTA, so I can also pick up the US stations out of Buffalo, therefore if the local broadcasters shut down their OTA transmitters, I will only watch the US stations, I assume that anyone else who watches OTA TV would do the same.  This of course would drastically decrease viewership to the local stations and decrease viewership for programming produced in Canada.
    Finally, when you consider that all of the local stations that we are talking about are also owners of the major BDUs (CTV owned by Bell, City owned by Rogers and Global owned by Shaw) this approach seems to favour the large media companies’ needs over the needs of Canadian consumers. It is a completely awful idea and if implemented would indicate that the CRTC is not looking after the Canadian public but in fact is merely a puppet for the large media companies.

    When you consider that the CRTC’s original mandate was to ensure that those who broadcast signals over the public airwaves which are owned by the Canadian public would also contribute the community at large by way of fostering Canadian programming and providing local news and information in exchange for the privilege of broadcasting on our public airwaves if this awful proposal is implemented it brings in to question why the CRTC should even continue to exist in its current form.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:04 Mark Pooley
  32. As for "Local stations would no longer have to operate transmitters. This would reduce some costs for struggling local stations ..."
     
    If transmitter operating costs are the issue, there is a simple solution to save 50% -  transmitter sharing via ATSC subchannels (also known as multicasting or multiplexing in some circles).    Shaw is doing a magnificent job converting the entire GlobalTV network to digital.   Perhaps let CTV shutdown its transmitters with the provision that its programming is carried on a nearby GlobalTV transmitter as channel x.2 (with Global being channel x.1) and bell and Shaw could split the operating costs 50-50.   Both channels could still be run as HD in 720p 5.1 audio.   Stations in the United States have successfully done this, notably WHAM-DT in Rochester NY which can be seen in communities on the north shore of Lake Ontario when conditions are good.   There is no material impact to video quality when two 720p broadcasts are placed into 6 MHz.
     
    Here are some other possibilities:
    - locations where Rogers operates both Omni1 and Omni2.  Easy - shut down one transmitter and run Omni1 on x.1 and Omni2 on x.2 (fits right in with the channel branding too!)
    - locations where CBC operates - put the majority official language channel on x.1 and the other official language channel on x.2 and shutdown the other transmitter where it exists (BONUS: can also improve OTA service in cities where only 1 official language is offered currently)
    - other transmitter partnerships could be formed on a more regional basis, such as CHCH and CITS in southern Ontario, CITYTV and CTV2, etc.
     
    Advantages of this approach:
    - broadcasters save 50% on transmitter operating costs
    - OTA viewers retain the ability to receive their existing channels
    - with less OTA televison transmitters operating, spectrum could be freed for future use of the 600 MHz band.  The surviving transmitters could be placed in existing allotments in the UHF channel range 14 to 30 wherever feasible, with any spillover into the VHF channels 7 to 13 if an insufficient amount of UHF allotments exist in a particular city.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:38 MikeToronto
  33. I disagree with allowing broadcasters to shut down their transmitters. Like others I get my TV from Antenna. Allowing this shut down would simply be a means of cable companies to force viewers to buy cable for local programming.
    The more important aspect is the fact that the airwaves are owned by the public so if a transmitter is shut down does that mean the broadcaster still retains those airwaves allotted to them? This means they are essentially squatting on public airwaves thus denying them from public access by holding onto them but not actually using them. If they want to shut down their transmitters it should be a use it or loose it situation. They could become a strictly cable broadcast station but their airwaves revert back to the public to be resold or used however the public allows. If this is allowed then it will be clear that the CRTC is working for the cable companies by denying Canadians the right to receive broadcasts over their own public airwaves.
    It would be the same as being allotted to me crown land that has a requirement to build a structure on it but I never do and then the CRTC allows me never to build a structure but I still want to have the right to deny access to others who may want to use that crown land because it is allotted to me. This would be the same scenario if broadcasters are allowed to shut down transmitters. All of them will claim financial hardship if this is the condition to shut down transmitters and get paid for your service by cable companies. The fact that they would still have ownership of those airwaves so no one else could use them would be another incentive to eliminate the cost of transmitters.
    The fact that the CRTC is even considering this gives the impression that the CRTC truly does not have the public interest at heart and it means they are fine with forcing viewers to pay cable to get local programming.  Over the air broadcasts are superior to compressed cable feeds and are available to the public for free but the broadcasters does have the ability to offset costs through advertising revenue. That is the system the CRTC granted them the licence. Should they want to give up that over the air broadcast license they have that option but not have a license to not broadcast over the air. 

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 11:58 bradOTA
  34. Please do not shut down transmitters.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:06 dferin
  35. This proposal is actually 3 separate and distinct subject matters:
    1) restructuring the cable/satalitte services offered to the customers'
    2) programming content and,
    3) ota and other delivery systems.
     
    1) I am in favor of the restructuring but, not the proposals that allow the providers to offer a basic package made up of their choices for a basic rate.  From past experiences it has been shown the companies tend to offer the lowest common denominator of channels with the basic service of which maybe 2% are actually worth watching.  Maybe it would be better if the requirement would be for the customer to choose a fied number of channels of his choice from some tiered offering such as local, nonenglish, news only, etc. and whereever the channel broadcasts in both sd and hd, the customer can decide which he prefers at no added charge.  Currently even local hd channels are surcharged if a customer prefers this type o broadcast.
    2) OTA discontinuance should either be removed as a topic or disallowed.  The companies providing paid services are also owners of or shareholders in some of the stations and that with attempting to create a lock or monopoly on all broadcasting by pushing for the ability to discontinue OTA broadcasting presents a conflict of interest.  Their support of it is only for financial gain.
    Over the past few years in at least the GTA the market has seen a re-emergence of interest in OTA transmission.  There are a number of reasons for it.  With the rise of the internet streaming of content more persons are finding it cost effective to move to OTA and either stream to free web based broadcasting or streaming services such as Netflix.  The paid providers continually incease fees, change stations reducing the quality and variety of basic serivce and, overcharge for hardware and service.  As the population ages and with the transition to fixed incomes from pensions and the like that makes it more and more difficult to meet even basic requirements of life, there is a seeming trend for the elderly to first reduce their paid service and then move towards OTA.  Not all seniors own computers or are computer saavy and the only option for them to receive content and meet basic needs is the OTA broadcasting.  
    Likewise we now have a new generation of persons more attuned to receiving content through the internet and relying less and less on paid service providers.  As this generation moves more toward the web based services it needs less and less the offerings from the paid service providers and OTA can become the way for them to receive local content.
    I believe the paid service providers as businesses have an understanding of the trend in the market and realize the future earnings and subscriber numbers can be quite impacted if the combination of OTA and internet content continues to grow and like the music industry before it are trying to block progress to retain their lock and revenues.  
    Another issue, not discussed in the proposal as to the estructuring is the cost of providing broadband.  Currently, the same paid providers are the main providers of internet gateways to most individuals.  They are blocking the potential of a competing system via throttling and prohibitive pricing for bandwidth.  By eliminating OTA, this boxes in the customer to either pay them for internet or cable/satlillite services.  The result is a stengthing of an almost complete control of the "airwaves" by a few.  OTA was designed for just the opposite.  Currenly, the costs of internet for many seniors and unemployed is cost prohibitive with little use, as is paid service.  OTA is the only practical option.
    With time as our generation and the next die off and the internet and streaming services mature and develop as well as the cost of the internet becomes reasonable and realistic, the need for OTA may change as more of the population can afford internet broadcasting and as a general proposition no one is without a computer and ability to stream to a television.  Until such time, this discussion should not be on the table.
    On a personal note and self-disclosure.  On retirement due to cancer and complications my annual income has greatly decreased.  In the past we were spending in the range of $150 per month to receive a decent selection of viewable channels.  We reduced our service to basic and the result was horrid.  Of the huge offering of stations, most were repeated, there were an untold number of radio stations, pay per view and other stations.  Of the package maybe there were 5 of any value.  We decided to experiment and bought a $25 OTA antenna to see what was viewable and can receive on a poor day about 14 and on a good day some 23 of which only 2 are repeats, 1 is a radio and 2 are full time foreign language.  Hence the % of acceptable and viewable channels is greater.  Even better is most are HD and the radio station is listenable.  I am into music and have had in the past decent music systems.  So, I know when a signal is being processed to a point where it is all but horrendous.  Those provided by the paid service provider were highly compressed, totaly without dynamics and noisy.  The 1 that is OTA is devoid of this horrible processing and is quite enjoyable to listen to.  
    There is another potential consequence.  As many residents are within a short distance of the US border and where currently a decent OTA antenna can pick up some US stations, eliminating OTA in Canada may have the result that a % will continue OTA but receive and view ONLY US content and defeating the ongoing discussion regarding Canadian content.   While Canadian content is of interest politically, for many there is no allegience to it.  What is viewed is more important than where produced.  It also, will eliminate Canadian channel viewers livin souh fof the border who either have an interest in Canadian content or rely on it for business orh international movement such as those who commute daily betwen countries.  
     
    In closing, I feel OTA should not be a point of discussion as to potentially eliminating it.  The population age and income demographics favor it.  Current delivering systems, technology and costs are not currently or in the immediate future mature enough.  Furthermore international broadcasting between the countries are impacted and can negitively impact the Canadian economy.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 13:18 BrianL
  36. I don't agree that over-the-air transmitters should be allowed to be turned off.  There are other ways stations can elect to raise funds to help pay for its operations as many of them already do fundraising events to support their stations.  I'm not an expert so I fail to understand how paying a major company lots of money to distribute your channel via satellite or cable costs less than operating OTA.  Forcing Canadians to pay for either cable or satellite TV reception is simply unjust.  As it is, there are still many regions where satellite or cable reception isn't available and these people would lose what TV channels they do get and that alone is unfair.   

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:17 Sweetvirgo
  37. RE: LOCAL PROGRAMMING  “A viable local presence”
    Broadcasters should not be allowed to turn off OTA transmitters as part of this new proposal. I do not agree that the CRTC should allow OTA to be removed, this is a choice that you would be taking away.
    As a low use TV viewer, I get my local news/weather and almost all TV programs I would want to watch.
    Also sports channels should be required to broadcast OTA, TSN and my local Sportsnet West channel, that would ensure local access to Canadian Content. 
    It is a shame that CBC is losing all of its sports coverage, what a wonderful channel to bring OTA coverage of local Canadian content.
    Allowing broadcasters to turn off transmitters is just another way to remove competition from the cable companies that are a monopoly in each area, this woould be great for them, but terrible for the casual TV viewer that has always been able to receive TV after purchasing the required Antenna.
    Thank you for your time.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 15:15 daveb
  38. OTA transmitters: the decision to operate or shut down OTA Transmitters should be left up to the discretion of the local station. They know their market and should be allowed the flexibility to respond to it without interference. This would not impact me personally since I never watch local programming or local channels. I have no interest in this programming.  I obtain my news, including local news,  from the internet.
    I don't watch or have need for children's programming. I occasionally turn on the TV in the daytime and it focuses on TV Ontario if I have set my DVR to record something overnite. I have watched a few minutes of that programming and it appears to be left wing brainwashing for kids. If there is a gap in the market for kid's shows someone will fill the gap as DHX Media in Halifax has shown it can very competently do. There is no need to get nanny-statish about this.
    The requirement to show Canadian programs at any time of the day is misguided. One thing that is clearly evident is that Canadian programming is sub-standard due to this protectionism. If Canadian programming were up to par then there would be no need to subsidize it. The one exception to poor quality Canadian programming is Business News Network (BNN) that offers almost 100 per cent Canadian quality, objective programming, the majority of it live.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 18:27 paul2d
    1. The decision to operate or shut down OTA Transmitters should NOT be left to the broadcasters. For may channels, the broadcasters are the same corporations that own the cable companies. They will shut down their transmitters simply to drive more business to their cable offerings.
      This has nothing to do with a 'nanny state'. We've already seen what a "light regulatory touch" does to the telecommunications sector. It currently epitomizes the very essence of what the CRTC is supposed to be protecting us from. A small number of very large corporations owning all manner of telecommunications media. We have media concentration going on in this country that makes it the laughing stock of the developed world. Even the US is better off. We call it vertical integration to make it more palatable, and someho less illegal.
      It's not like the US stations are turning off their transmitters any time soon. They have 10 times as many eyeballs on OTA than we do, and to them that's revenue. Perhaps YOU don't have any use for Canadian programming, or think it subpar, and your lifestyle may best be suited to BNN live. Must a good many Canadians aren't watching the stock market. They're watching their nickles and dimes get whittled away and eroded by the escalating cost of food, energy, housing. Driving more money from their purses and wallets into the coffers of Rogers, Bell, Videotron and Cogeco, which collectively forms an oligopoly controling the bulk of telecommunications in Canada, hardly seems fitting. Mandating that local stations broadcast OTA seems like hardly a steep price to pay to take part in one of the most lucrative, government-protected cable oligopoly landscapes in the world.
      If anything, cable companies should be required to pay into a fund that subsidizes the cost of OTA transmitters so that they remain cost neutral to those who are mandated to transmit. That seems far more viable an option. With the billions the oligopoly rakes in every year, I doubt it would make much difference. Dropping OTA will simply drive the least fortunate and the early adopters onto the awaiting US stations. All I have to do it turn my antenna 45 degrees due south.
      Killing OTA is a betrayal of the very core of our Telecommunicatins Act. It will never survive a federal court review anyway. Better to just continue the mandate, enhance if anything, and we can then leave you to your precious stock market tickers and DVR. Cheers.

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:25 dillyhammer

      1. Oh as soon as someone invokes "left wing brainwashing" and "nanny state" you know they are off in their own little "conservative" echo chamber. No need to offer counter-arguments at all, unless you enjoy refuting Ayn Rand line-by-line (which I grant can be fun when you're in the mood). I happen to think that we do need the free market to do most of the heavy lifting, but the market has not been free for a very long time so even with a commitment to competition we need to think in terms of undoing some of what has already been done, and that may take the form of re-regulation rather than de-regulation, into the medium term at least. A first step might be relaxing content requirements for OTA providers while simultaneously permitting and mandating use of subchannels to help them remain financially viable and also support local and/or Canadian content.

        Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 15:43 DarylK

  39. It is odd how the CRTC is tying to mandate Canadian content to its vewership on one hand yet on the other hand is considering taking away one of the tools necessary to do just that. In the end this decision will likley come down to dollars and cents and how heavy of a lobby the Cabble and Satalite providers can mount. Personnaly I dont agree with the fact that someone is now considreing mandating the fact that I will need to watch my teledvison viewing over cable and pay a monthly fee for it. They may set a low cost initialy to get this legeslation through but if experience is any indication, shortly we will end up paying through the nose. Then what option will you have? How is the CRTC supposed to know what each of us can and cant afford. At least with OTA, even with a modest antenna we can watch a few stations if we need to. In my opinion, like the railroad that joins our country together from coast to coast, OTA is another tool which defines or national identity and helps join us all together. I think that shutting down OTA woild be a very major mistake and short sighted.Please consider this carefully.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 18:53 F.G.T.
  40. Bell-Owned CKVR (CTV-2) in Barrie just launched TWO repeaters less than two years ago CHCJ in Hamilton and CKVP in Fonthill.  Why shut them off?  THAT'S a waste of money.

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 19:29 dkeast2000
  41. I do not want you to shut down over-the-air transmitters.  We rely on OTA stations to view local programming.  The cable companies charge too much.  We have no plans on subcribing to cable TV in the event that the OTA stations are shut down.  So if the objective here is to help out the struggling cable companies I do not see that it will entice me to pay for cable TV.  

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 19:32 Tim Murphy
  42. Please dont shut down OTA, I still watch stations in London Ontario from Canada and the US, there is a lot of people in London that watch OTA Thanks CBC shut down here, I think they should be put back on

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 20:52 pwconsulting
  43. Please do not shut down OTA. You just made the switch to digital and I, like many canadians, decided to get OTA since the switch and spent considerable money on an antenna and amplifiers. Keep local television affordable please.
     

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 21:19 fattony666
  44. Please keep over the air transmission. This free service is important and I believe Canadians should have the option, rather than paying the cable companies!

    Friday, August 22, 2014 - 21:37 Bchapman
  45. My household makes use of OTA, as do several families in this area. For many Canadians, this is the only television they can afford. Allowing broadcasters to stop thir OTA transmitters is a slap in the face to the most vulnerable portion of our population. This includes households with limited income, seniors and pensioners, veterans, and newcomers to Canada. For many of them, OTA is the only exposure to Canadian content available.
    For many Canadians who have grown tired of the scheming and gouging that the cable companies have been engaged in for decades, OTA is the only viable option to disconnect from the oligopoly. In such a highly uncompetitive landscape, Canadians must have some option to register their discontent with that oligopoly and opt out. OTA is the only way.
    The costs of maintaining the OTA broadcasting is nominal. One need only look at the massive profits posted by these companies, and by the cable companies, to understand that providing OTA is a drop in the bucket. If anything, cable companies should be charged a small fee to compensate OTA broadcasters for their costs, nominal as they are.
    Additionally, OTA is for many Canadians the only access they will have to any emergency broadcasting systems deployed in Canada. To shut OTA down is to expose the most marginalized Canadians to unnecessary risk and danger.
    In short, OTA is part of the broadcasting landscape in Canada and has been since the beginning of television. To regulate its loss now would be a giant misstep backward, and the onloy argument that can be made to do so would be to save a small number of extremely wealthy companies pennies while driving a growing number of Canadians into their clutches.
    The CRTC should in this exercise renew its commitment to maintaing OTA and express this commitment by ensuring that the current OTA regime is maintained, and additional OTA options explored and encouraged.
     

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 08:31 dillyhammer
  46. Im my house were about to cancel our basic cable it is to expensive for what you get, so where does that leave me, my only choce would be OTA.  I my opinion any chanels that have comercials should be free. I should not have to pay for channels that I don't  want and I think most of Canada would agree.
    There is many problems with the system we have now like why should I pay for an extra TV in my house when only one line comes in the house, Will this not effect TV sales?
    I agree with a lot of the comments here, I should not be shut out because I can't afford to pay for what these companies want for programing, and the cost to switch to digital does not stop at just the programing.
    I feel like I'm being bullied by these companies and forced to do it or I'm in the dark. For us who cannot afford the switch you would be sending us bark in time.  Delivering programing to all of Canada should be a priority for you at a cost they can afford, I already know many people with no TV and it will only get worst going forward.
    Regards
    Old sickman

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 09:37 Oldbear
  47. Local channel should not shut down their transmitter.
    Not everyone can afford cable, and not every place has cable.
    If there are now free ota service, why are we to take that away.
     
    Same with other, many i know rely on ota service as their only mean of watching local canadian content,
     

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 11:28 jimmyche
  48. Television stations licensed by CRTC should not be allowed to discontinue OTA broadcasting for the following reasons:
    1. Many Canadians are discovering the sharper higher quality picture that comes with OTA broadcasting received by antenna, much sharper than by cable or satellite.
    2. Viewers of OTA broadcasts see commercials and as such are not receiving free tv because they are seeing the commercials which help pay for OTA broadcasts. Cable and satellite companies dont like being cut out of this revenue stream!
    3. Many Canadians live near the border with the United States of America and are able to receive OTA signals by antenna from US broadcasters. If CRTC allows Canadian Broadcasters to turn off OTA broadcasting then Canadians will see only US OTA broadcasts. Does that foster Canadian Content? NO!
    4. Many Canadian Broadcast channels are owned by the same owners who own cable or satellite companies. This should not be permitted to continue. The owners of Cable or satellite companies should not be allowed to own OTA broadcast stations.
    5. The trend is that more and more Canadians are switching to OTA reception by antenna and this is alarming cable companies and satellite companies. I would hope that CRTC does not allow itself to be an instrument of these cable and satellite monopolies. 
    6. It is unreasonable to say that by shutting down Canadian OTA and leaving only US OTA would somehow increase Canadian content. This is absurd.
    Bottom line: Cable companies and satellite companies dont like the growing competition of OTA broadcasting as more and more Canadians discover the benefits of HD antenna reception of OTA broadcasts. CRTC shouild NOT allow itself to be used by these Cable and Satellite companies to increase their monopoly and reduce competition in the broadcast industry. Competition in broadcast media is essential to a free and democratic society. Concentration in ownership of broadcast media is counter to this goal.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 11:46 wavemaker_99
    1. I heartily agree on every point. Also, since these companies ultimately owned the majority of the video rental shops, and closed them to force people to use their cable and satellite services, the best signal you can get is OTA. Paying the big bucks for those 60-inch flat screens didn't buy a better picture from cable and satellite.

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 21:09 Alan01

    2. I strongly agree, especially to your points 4 and 5.  WHY is shutting down over the air broadcasts even being considered?  Follow that thread back to the CRTC allowing Bell to own CTV and Rogers to own Global.  The ostensible effect was solving the financial problems of the broadcasters but the secondary quiet effect was positioning them to be able to cripple their own competition.  My taxes shouldn't be paying people to conspire against my interests.

      For a period of time after Bell acquired CTV, Toronto's CFTO CTV tower went dark every midnight, just before the Daily Show.  I sent email to CFTO asking what was happening and was told that they were upgrading the tower to provide better service.  It was a Bell Media functionary replying to me.  I then asked what that better service would mean.  No reply.  Why couldn't those "upgrades" happen at 3am?  I can only speculate, and so far my speculations haven't been very flattering to Bell or the CRTC.  Now Bell is directly requesting the right to shut down that antenna.  Right after they upgraded it to provide better service...wanna buy some swampland anyone?

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 15:27 DarylK

  49. There are rural communites where you either use an antenna to get TV or subscribe to a satellite service because cable TV is not available there.  If you can't get cable you certainly can't get fibre optic TV. 
    Offering up the choice to broadcasters to end OTA would simply force these people to watch U.S. based TV or you're making them subscribe to satellite TV--which isn't always reliable in bad weather.
    Does anyone remember when Bell's local package was $9.00?  The real crime is charging EXTRA for HD content.  No one ever charged more when colour TV came out did they?
    DON'T EVER END OVER THE AIR BROADCASTING!

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 13:52 dkeast2000
  50. Local stations SHOULD NOT be allowed to shut down OTA.   If they do not wish to continue broadcasting OTA, CTV can turn in their licenses as they are no longer local stations,   CTV will end up doing local Winnipeg news from Toronto the next thing you know and still put their crummy signal overtop US channels.   As far as developing quality Canadian programming, not happening.   Bell will  just buy more US programming with the money saved by shutting down transmitters!
    Maybe ABC, CBS, NBC would like to expand into Canada and buy up the licenses CTV no longer wants?  KNRR Pembina could boost power to reach Winnipeg.  

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 17:20 kcbrk32
    1. At any rate, CTV is owned by Bell which already owns too many assets in this country and I do agree. I have a hard time calling a CTV station local since it's the same programming allover the country except for local news. Local programming should not be limited to news. As far as I am concerned they can either keep OTA transmitters on or just shut CTV down alltogether and turn in their licenses.

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 13:33 JF Bérubé

  51. THis web site link  shows that MOntreal can receive US broadcasts:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3dec2ffc70441a78

    This web site link shows that Vancouver can receive US broadcasts:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3dec2fde4d5f248d

    This web site link shows that Winnipeg can receive US broadcasts:

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3dec2fe5030a08ea

    Toronto, Montreal Winnipeg Victoria and Vancouver are examples of major Canadian Cities that can receive US broadcasts easily.   Most of the population of Ontario and Quebec and British Columbia would have only US channels OTA if the CRTC agrees to the  proposal to shut down transmitters.
    When England and France are heavily using OTA and the United States is using OTA why would CRTC want to limit OTA? Is it that concentration in ownership of Canadian Broadcast Media has been permitted to go too far? Does the ownership of the Canadian Broadcast Media have too much influence on the CRTC now? Has CRTC forgotten its mandate?
    IT is truly bizarre that the CRTC is even considering such a proposal to shut down transmitters. 

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 20:25 wavemaker_99
    1. True, I live in Vancouver and I get US OTA channels no problem.

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 20:48 Alan01

    2. They might as well encourage American broadcasters to sell advertising time in Canada :) In fact, shutting down Canadian OTA signals will do just that.

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:37 JF Bérubé

  52. 1. The CRTC can stop over-the-air TV broadcasts with a clear conscience ONLY IF THE CHANNELS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE ARE MADE AVAILABLE IN A BASIC CABLE SERVICE WHICH IS ALSO FREE OF CHARGE. Cable distributors and networks can prosper through the sale of specialty channels.
    2 and 3: the CRTC (and any other part of any government) should not control what I watch in my living room. STOP LEGISLATING MY TV! If Canadian content must be promoted, this can be done indirectly via funding agencies like the TV Fund. LESS CRTC, MORE TV FUND!

    Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 22:35 LaptopManny
  53. I do not agree that local stations should be permitted to stop transmitting OTA. I cut the cable few years ago and it was liberating to see I didn't need the hundreds of channels of nothing and to be beholden to these media giants. Cable was too costly and the amount of commercials on premium channels was unbearable.
    The commercially funded OTA model is a good one and I have many friends in the GTA getting back to basics and making the switch to OTA once they see the picture quality and the channels available. If local Canadian OTA goes away I will be done with Canadian TV, I will watch US OTA, get my news from the internet and maybe even pick up a book and get outside more. I will not go back to dealing with these large media monopolies.
    In regards to the Canadian kids programming - I have a 5 and 7 year old and I'm amazed at the quality of Canadian kids shows these days. The TVO kids programming is second to none. Whatever is being done now is working well.
     

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 08:22 andrew
  54. A few thoughts on local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters:
     
    a) are local stations and over-the-air stations being used as synonyms?   Stations like CKVR, CHCH, CKCO are local to Barrie, Hamilton, and Kitchener, but are their re-broadcast transmitters in other parts of Ontario also "local"?   And what about TVO?   It broadcasts from Toronto but its programming is entirely provincial.   Stations like CITS, CFMT, CJMT which are over-the-air but more specialized (eg. religious, ethnic programming) also fall into a gray area here.
    b) there are public local stations (eg. CBLT, CBOFT) and private local stations (eg. CFTO, CIII, CITY).   Perhaps they should be treated differently especially since public funds support the public locals.
    c) in th past there have been addiitonal rights and privileges for local stations on subscription services, such as prime placement on the dial and simultaneous substitution rights.  I realize that eveything is on the table at the moment, but in the end of this consultation, if any over-the-air elimination is allowed, stations remaining on the air should be given special considerations/rights to make the over-the-air a proper business decision and not simply not grant broadcasters a free opt out.
    d) the CRTC should make some consistent regulations about over--the-air networks.  For example, CBC is available over-the-air in Windsor, but not down the 401 in London.    CTV Two is over-the-air in Ontario but subsrciption only in Alberta and the Maritimes.  CITY is subscription only in Saskachewan.  Since many of the local sations in scope here belong to networks, there should be some consistency here.
    e) the CRTC dd a good job identifying mandatory markets for the 2011 digital television conversion.   Perhaps a mandatory markets for over-the-air be adopted.   It could be the same list of cities or some variation of it.   Over-the-air usage is HIGHLY REGIONAL.    It is relatively strong in some places and particularly weak in others, usually determined to the amount of over-the-air content available which usualy falls into line with population.   I'd suggest that  over-the-air broadcasting be retained in cities and surrounding areas (that is, the broadcast contour) of 300,000 people and the networks joining these local stations (example: CTV, CITY,  Global, CBC, SRC, CTV Two, etc.) have an over-the-air presence in all qualifying cities where that network has traditionallt had a presence.
    f)  the CRTC should be encouraging the broadcasters to use digital capabilities such as channel sharing to reduce the total number of transmitters is operating costs are a concern.   ATSC supports multiple channels on 6 MHZ of spectrum.  Two 720p channels have been successfully delivered from a single transmitter by several American local broadcasters.
    CRTC, please take these points into account when rendering your decision.   It addresses the broadcaster's cost concerns while still providing over-the-air services for those that still rely on it.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 12:17 OTA ATSC
  55. CRTC should make decisions for canadian public not for corporations. Distributing TV signal using OTA transmitter is the most advanced and economical way. Cable companies do not produce content, but they want the whole revenue from its distribution saying that they have high costs, so they charge a lot for distribution.
    Fortunately OTA is a better solution. People remember old NTSC TV, full of ghosting and interferences. New OTA transmitters guarantee the highets possible quality. Old NTSC transmitters interfered with each other, so there was no possible to have many TV channels in one reception area. This is no longer a problem.  30 OTA transmitteres in one area is present reality, and 50 is possibility. Since OTA can multiplex channels there is a possibility to have one high definition and two standard definition channels on one transmitter. That makes 150 channels in one area possible.
    Cable companies ara trying to compete with satellitte distribution by offering hundreds of channels. The quality of this broadcasting suffer, as they are multiplexing 6 or more programs in one channel. That's why they broadcast (even high definition) is lower quality that OTA.
    Cable distribution is very expensive. If CRTC will force cable companies to sell individual programs to the public, the "good", popular programs will became very expensive. This is  not the case in OTA distribution.
    The only problem is that the OTA is not popular enough. CRTC should look into regulations to make OTA more popular.
    Some companies should research antenna installation business on the large scale. For example all high rise buildings should have them professionally installed. All new building should be build with antenna installed.
    With OTA, TV program producing companies will also distribute they signal without middle man. This will mean stronger TV stations and more revenue for better programming.
     

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 16:51 Broadcasting Technician
  56. 1 - I don't watch OTA because there's barely any in my area, but I know a lot of people do so I don't think it's a good idea. Most of these "local" channels are owned by the big BDUs who simply don't want to give them away for "free" and would even like to charge for them. These companies have billions of dollars between them and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on content so to say they can't afford to keep transmitters active is wrong.
    2 - Most of the Canadian locals don't even offer children's programming so I don't see how it would make a difference. There are about a dozen channels that are children & family oriented, they offer more than enough of this programming. But if the intent is to get more children's content on OTA channels then I think that is good idea for those that are OTA only. Not sure the big BDU's would agree though.
    3 - I agree with reducing Canadian program requirements during the day, but not removing them altogether. Seems like most of the channels just offer crap that nobody watches for Canadian programming, all repetitive, just to hit the requirements. Maybe the better approach would be to require that the Canadian programming be new and original and not just cancon filler like we get. I do think the primetime requirements should remain and should be increased even more. If people want to watch CSI, they can watch it on CBS, same with other American shows. These companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on American programming then cry poor? Can't have it both ways. Bell wants to make locals specialty channels and to charge for them, why? They clearly don't have a problem spending money on American shows for CTV. 
     

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 20:13 vjose32
  57. Over-the-air television signals must continue to remain mandatory.  I rely on over-the-air signals. 
    If the CRTC moves forward with this proposal, it is acting not in the interest of television stations to save money, but in the interests of cable companies. 

    Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 23:08 otafan
  58. I still believe removing American advertising from American programing is an act of piracy.  Suppose "Hockey Night in Canada" was renamed "Hockey Night in America"?  A man makes a good or service and a man deserves to get paid for his/her effort.  Someone else wants to get paid, make your own goods or services.  Only parasites live off the blood of others.  Canadians are NOT parasites and Canadians will stop acting as parasites.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 00:06 Stringfellow573
    1. In fact, not satisfied with ripping Canadians off, our BDUs make a profit on the back of another country's broadcasters. Signal substitution is grand theft media.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 12:59 JF Bérubé

      1. Just chiming in here to say that it would be a mistake to think Canadian broadcasters are not paying for the right to air programming like the Superbowl within our jurisdiction.  And the reason they pay the NFL for the privilege is because they are able to turn around and sell the airtime. (i.e. cover the US commercials with Canadian ones.)
        Without the incentive to monetize their significant investment, why would a Canadian broadcaster even bother?  As a public service?  I think it would be a significant challenge to argue broadcasting the Superbowl, for free, is a Canadian "public service" necessity!
        So I guess what you're really saying is you'd like the Superbowl in its unadulterated form - commercials and all. I wholeheartedly agree.
        That would mean allowing Canadians the option of buying the feed directly from the NFL or a U.S. based BDU.
        And this is where Canadian BDU's are giving us the shaft and really should get out of the way.  The CRTC should absolutely, and without hesitation, disallow the practice of exclusivity, especially in cross-media situations, in content deals with 3rd party programmers.
        Give Canadians the choice. If the Canadian BDU option is better it will be obvious, and Canadians will flock to it.

        Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 13:09 philmaeers

    2. If Canadian companies want to advertise during the superbowl they should deal directly with the American broadcaster,  spend the same as American advertiser and match the quality of their ads. That's what makes the Superbowl what it is.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 13:15 JF Bérubé

  59. OTA is the only facilitity that work during emergency situation, it has a capability of informing people living on a remote areas.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 01:13 adja8
    1. Absolutely , thats the reason all broadcast towers were built in the beginning.

      Mario :)

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 23:39 Antenne Montreal

  60. During the ice storm last year I got clear signals from my OTA antenna. Both local and from the USA. I am retired (a senior) and the information that was broadcast concerning the storm over OTA stations was invaluable. I understood the breadth and scope of the immediate problem and found a great deal of comfort in that. My internet and phone was was down. Cable and satellite was out on the street for some time.

    OTA should be a required service because cable, wireless, fibre and satellite are not reliable in extreme weather related emergencies. OTA is a public resource. The CDN OTA transmitters should be considered mandatory for national security and emergency management.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 09:10 mp
    1. Circumstances such as construction equipment damaging cable lines could render a neighborhood or even a city without cable or internet service, depending where the mishap occurs.    Satelites are vulnerale to solar storms and collisions with space junk.   Therefore we need OTA.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 12:12 kcbrk32

    2. Cable requires even more infrastructure than phone. OTA is simple and cheap to maintain and operate and a lot less eager to be affected by all sorts of conditions.

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 12:43 JF Bérubé

  61. Simple choices for the CRTC to make regarding shutting down OTA signals.
    1 - Don't.
    Cord cutting has been gaining momentum and will continue to. There may be 8 or 9% of viewers getting TV signals off air right now but those numbers continue to rise each year. Table the discussion for 2 more years to see if these numbers increase enough to warrant looking at other viable options to keep both sides happy.
    2 - Allow OTA broadcasters to make these discisions on their own.
    Also legistate a carry fee for cable or Sat companies that wish to re broadcast them in their packages. Also create legislation /  rules to deal with who and how any TV signals can leaglly be rebroadcast via the internet, opening up doors for new delivery options for the consumer.
    3- Allow them all to be shut down.
    If choosing this option the CTRC had better have a plan to break down the semi monopolies we have to deal with right now. My cell phone, I have many, many choices of service providers and plans to choose from. If you are going to take away something from me, you had better have a whole lot of options for me to choose from to allow me to continue to receive television in my home.
    Saying I already have choices may be true, but not really. Beyond OTA in my area, I can only "choose" between Cogico (cable delivery) or Bell (Sat delivery). Not enough choice or competition for my hard earned money.
    The CRTC made Bell break things up in the phone service world many years ago. We have a number choices to get home phone or VOIP, many offering a variety of packages and pricing to suit most peoples needs. If we had these options in TV delivery the need to "cut the cord" probably would not exist.
    While I understand there are some out there that just cannot afford monthly subscription fees, there are far more that have posted here that can. For many it's not about paying for what you watch as it is paying way more than you should have to. Without good competition Cable and Sat providers have a captive audience that just accept the bill at the end of each month.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 11:41 sirroundsound
    1. I won't rely on the 8 to 9% numbers as I am sure they are estimating the numbers at CRTC. How can they know how many antennas there are in Canada. These are probably numbers from media companies. However it would be interesting to see even if the media cpmapnies numbers show an increase then even they would have ot admit it is growing. I suspect it is larger than those presented and I am sure the CRTC does not question the numbers for accuracy. 

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:31 bradOTA

      1. I agree bradOTA.   At least in the Toronto area, retailers sell out of the good antennas as soon as they get them.   Places like The Source and Best Buy have start carrying antennas.   This clearly quantifies over-the-air growth, and at least in areas where there are enough signals available to make it viable.
        The figures appear to count just homes, and don't include homes that have cable on one TV and antenna on 1 or more others.  Besides homes, there are:
        a) community centers
        b) churches
        c) schools
        d) businesses (oftern small business eg. waiting areas, staff lunch room - anyone who goes buy the commercial are south of Bloor Street between Kipling and Islington in Etobicoke ON will be amazed at the number of 4-bay UHF antennas on their roofs, all installled once digital over-the-air arrived)
        e) seasonal properties like cottages, RVs
        f) post-secondary student housing

        Monday, August 25, 2014 - 17:00 MikeToronto

  62. In regards to item 3:

    There are far too many repeats of Canadian shows on the specialty channels.   How many times must History/H2 put Weird or What on in the evenings?    Same with the various Mike Holmes on HGTV.    I liked them the first time, but some of these shows have been on since 2009!   I suggest programs no longer be counted for CanCon credit after the fourth round to encourage new Canadian programming.

    Quality or quantity.   I suggest less CanCon initially, but invest more into production value to avoid a lot of what is considered filler just to meet a quota.  

    With regards to time of day, there should be more QUALITY Canadian programming on local stations during prime time (I will use 7-10 PM Central).   We can still get CSI from CBS if we want it, CTV does not have to carry it to override the US version of the program.    The  more Canadian programming, the less opportunities for simultaneous substitution, and people will be more willing to subscribe to cable to get the US networks. 

    If will take time, but I suggest Canadian channels have Canadian programming.   Do away with watered-down versions of US services (e.g. FX Canada and HBO Canada- - just give us the real deal) and stop blocking services like TNT.     Offering more US and foreign services would be a good way to retain and attract more cable subscribers.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 13:40 kcbrk32
  63. Some of the issues for me have been discussed here but it seems there is an elementary problem in that there seems to be more incentives for American programming than the nurturing of Canadain content ideas. Have CBC turn to more of a subscriber based model like NEtflix CANFLIX. Turn the money spent on CBC into dollars for original programming. Get more of the Canadian content that is out there onto a web based system like HULU or NETFLIX. Let veiwers choose what to watch and when.  Broadcasters have pillaged this country far too long. Make them pay to keep the Over the Air broadcast open for those that donot have internet or cable. 
    Canada has tried so many tax models and incentive programs but have not stepped up to fully broadcast and promote programs from all levels. Give the lower indigenous projects, and alternative genre a window of opportunity for broadcast not just the clones of America programs. 
    We need to embrace our cultural through our media. If we have a prolific well supported content development and distribution system and web streaming presents other stream casters will start to acquire our unique programming. Canada can produce just about anything we have proven that so as a production entity it is a no brainer.

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 16:59 Mr DB
  64. CRTC Intervention re Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2014-190 August 21, 2014
    “Licensing Regime for Over-the-Air Stations” “Local stations would be permitted to shut down transmitters.”  As an OTA TV household, this part of the proposals concern us, and it is this part I would like to comment on.

    I read a lot about “only” 8% of Canadian households  access TV this way, so its time to shut it down.  I do question that number as many of the TV stations are owned by BDUs, who would prefer to charge a fee for what has always been available for free. However, for the purposes of this letter, I will take that number at face value and assume the number is accurate, and with that, I would like to make the following comments.
    • Taking the numbers from the 2011 census there are over 13 million households in Canada. (13,320,615) 8% of that is 1,065,649 households.  8% doesn’t sound like a lot, but over 1 million is still a significant number of households.
    • The 8% figure quoted is national. In some populated regions of the vast expanse that is Canada, OTA usage is no doubt practically zero, and perhaps an argument could be made for shutting down some transmitters in areas where there really is zero demand, but is should be noted that regions vary. In other regions/markets where there is currently a good OTA service, such as Windsor, Niagara, and my home in the eastern GTA the usage is surely much higher. I’m sure the same can be said for other currently well served areas of the country too.
    • People who use OTA are as diverse as Canada itself. Some are lower income groups and minorities, and simply cant afford cable, and would have no TV service at all if OTA is shut down.
    • Other people (such as ourselves) are people who watch TV, but not a whole lot of it, and find the basic free service is good quality and adequate for us.
    • During the ice storm last year, many of my neighbours who have cable were without service for several days, as trees brought down cables from utility poles. We and our neighbours who use antennas had TV service throughout, and were able to receive some news and entertainment from a small battery powered TV set – which was welcome relief from an otherwise dark and cold week. (phone and internet were also down for the same reasons)
    • Finally, an anecdotal observation:  A quick search of the internet and you will find a large array of businesses, products, and services geared toward serving the OTA market, which indicates there is a demand for this service, and the demand is being met.
    Thankyou for reading, I hope some of my concerns will be considered.
     

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 18:14 crajax
  65. Although the new basic cable package will be designed to promote Canadian content,  it should also include at least one PBS (American) channel.  PBS is a non-commercial broadcaster well regarded for its high-quality programming (e.g., Charlie Rose show, Frontline, Nightly Business Report, etc.).
      As some people will continue to be able to afford only basic cable,  the CRTC should take care that the channels included there are the ones with the most substantive and thought-provoking content.  People who can only afford basic cable should not be denied information available to others. For this reason, other channels I think should be included in the new basic cable lineup are BNN and BBC World.
     Lastly, I feel strongly that religious broadcasting should be eliminated from basic cable.  If people want to search out this content, they should be willing to pay for it. ( Canada is a constitutional monarchy that upholds the principle of the separation of church and state.)

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 20:55 Darren R.
  66. This comment is regarding section 16 of the proposal - Licensing regime for over-the-air stations.
    I strongly advocate that television stations meet the requirement to broadcast over the air for the following personal reasons that others may be able to identify with:
    1) I live in Southern Ontario and that location is very conducive to OTA signals. With an indoor antenna on the second floor I am able to receive 20 stations. I am not required to pay any monthly fees and receive a pure digital signal since the CRTC mandated upgrade a few years ago. Like many others I view a lot of broadcast content over the internet and pay dearly for high speed to the same provider I use for my phone. That amounts to over $100 a month. If I added cable that would be almost $2000 a year to my provider. Southern Ontario is not a cheap area to live and being an OTA enthusiast for the last 10 years has helped my finances. 
    2) From Point 1, at $2000 a year for internet, cable and phone this would exceed my combined cost for natural gas heating, electricity and water/sewage. I think this point says it all. Either strictly regulate the profit of these private corporations or continue to provide a free avenue for broadcast signals.
    3) I have an elderly mother who is on a fixed income and has been for several years now. She has been able to save by viewing her television via an OTA antenna. As the population ages a realistic and cheap alternative to cable or phone companies should be encouraged and not discontinued. Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw all enjoy more benefits and have no need for hard earned $30/month from a 75 year old widow. 
    4) In addition to the above, I view broadcast television chiefly for the morning and evening news. I also enjoy PBS programming such as Nature and Nova which is harder to find in our area, even in the libraries. 
    5) Digital signals are efficient. Several stations in the US broadcast using the digital sub stations. For instance PBS carries their main broadcast on the premier channel-1, but then includes other broadcast options such as World, Think Bright on subchannels-2 and -3. If Canadian broadcasters such as TVO or CBC chose that, how much more content would be available over the air and how much more would that benefit their local audiences.
     

    Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:14 OTA is Fair
  67. CanCon requiremnents should not be lifted, especilly for networks that rely on Americian programming for ratings and even advertise them as their own. If they can buy American shows, they can produce Canadian shows, they just need to be more innovative and flexable.
    I do believe that Canadian chidlren's programming is a priority, but I have to point out that the latest crop of children's shows, excluding those currently airing on TVO, are generic and lazy. For example, recent original shows on YTV are very repetive and lack originality. Someone needs to remind these producers that there are other genres besides comedy.
    I don't belive local stations should be allowed to shut down transmitters. Without analog, over the air TV is all some people have left. On a related note, I am opposed to Bell Media's proposal of treating television stations as local specitaly services. While the idea that stations, like CHCH, can take on a certain format of programming besides general-intrest and be considered a specitaly service is interesting, it's obvious that Bell Media is taking advatage of it's many television stations, all of which are general-intrest, to make more money than they should.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 09:02 KidKira
  68. Broadcast is Best.  Simply put.  I wish Canadian broadcasters embraced digital broadcasting they way they have in the U.S.  Diginets are what occupy many different television stations in many U.S. markets on a station's sub-channel.  A family run station came on the air in Buffalo in April (WBXZ) and they have FIVE sub channels!  One of the benefits of sub channels has been pointed out in this forum like Omni 1 on 47-1 and putting Omni 2 on 47-2. (CFMT & CJMT in Toronto)
    Diginets offer more vareity in programming to those who do not subscribe to cable or satellite.  They either show old movies, old tv shows, kids shows, heathy life-style programming...this list goes on and on.  A state of the union address pre-empted a new episode of "House" on Fox one night, but it aired on 29-2 in case those not interested in what the president had to say could still watch the pre-empted show.
    In Canada it would be nice to have sub-channels offer regional or major league sporting events.  If CFTO carried a Leafs or Jays game on 9-2, but still televised it nationally on TSN or SportsNet I highly doubt they would lose loads of money by offering the game free over the air locally within CFTO's coverage area.  The NFL is a good example of this.  Your local NFL team is always available on a local station.  This fall Thursday night football games will be offered on NFL network AND CBS.
    Sub-channels should also be available to offer local sporting events as well as other local events, allowing community colleges and universities the opportunity to gain experience in this field.  Let the students run a digital sub-channel.  They already get to run campus radio stations. The CRTC and we as Canadans should be embracing this new digital technology and using to its full putential, rather than giving up on it. 
    Again, Broadcast IS Best! Don't ever shut off my Canadian OTA stations.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 14:09 dkeast2000
    1. Universities could have subchannels. What the students at Concordia in Montreal did in the summer of 2012 during the protests shows great possibilities. What if they were carried OTA on a subchannel of Télé-Québec or another broadcaster? Broadcasters seem to want to throw away a bone that still has a lot of meat around it while chewing endlessely on one that only offers them limited possibilities for the future. The US has developped it. Why not us?

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:00 JF Bérubé

    2. CFTV in Leamington Ontario uses subchannels sort of like you outline.   Guess what?!  It ISN"T owned by Rogers, Bell, Telus, or Shaw.
      From Wikipedia:
      Channel  Label  Format  Programming
      34.1  CFTV-DT1  480i  Independent/Community
      34.2  CFTV-DT2  480i  French independent (6AM-6PM)/Spanish independent (6PM-6AM)
      34.3  CFTV-DT3  480i  Caldwell/Kettle Point/Stoney Point First Nation and special needs/described video programming
      34.4  CFTV-DT4  480i  Leamington and Essex County council meetings/Local news

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:39 MikeToronto

      1. That's EXACTLY what we should be doing!!! Now that's Local TV.  

        Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 15:57 dkeast2000

        1. Force Rogers, Bell, Telus and Shaw to exploit them or rent them to other groups. If not used, those subchannels are a waste of resources.

          Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 00:36 JF Bérubé

  69. OTA should be kept as is. I don't buy the arguement that it cost so much. This is just greed over values. Not all Canadian families can afford to pay monthly cable subscribtions and with OTA at least children and parents can be exposed as to what is going on in the world. I get the feeling that besides money their seems to be a pust to non-educate our population , where-as they are apt to believe anything that is told to them by politians and the like. CRTC , I am pleading with you to choose intrigrity over greed. Keep OTA in tack.

    P.S. There will be much more hardship for many Canadians if the OTA industry is shut down. Many work within this field and a negative ruling would simply transfer the salaries needed to substane many Canadian families for the prurpose of big coporation to make an extra couple of bucks. Doesn't seem right to me , doesn't sound too Camadian.

    Do the right thing.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 16:21 mikejlavigne
  70. I am upset by the suggestion to allow local broadcasters to shut down their OTA transmitters.
    I am one of the working poor, working 35 hours per week at minimum wage.  I have never subscribed to cable.  I don't own a computer, or even a mobile phone.  I'm making these comments on a public computer at the Ottawa Public Library.
    A few years ago, I had to buy a converter in order to receive over the air programming on my old TV after the switch to digital.  I certainly don't want to be forced to subscribe to cable just to get the few Canadian networks that I want.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 17:02 e_barclay
  71. I am glad to see that there is so much support for continuing OTA broadcasting. I am not alone in the cable-cutting wilderness! Let's hope the CRTC takes notice.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 21:23 Alan01
  72. 1. No, OTA local transmitters should not be permitted to shut down. Canadian broadcasters have just recently installed new transmitter equipment with the switch-over to digital transmission in the summer of 2013. It makes little sense so soon after the switchover to mothball this new infrastructure. Perhaps in 10 years time when the current infrastructure begins to become outdated, but not now.
    I appreciate that shutting down OTA is a way to get some of the 10% of households in Canada not currently purchasing cable or satelite TV back as paying customers, and so Bell, Rogers, and Telus would no doubt be keen to shut down OTA service. However, as an OTA household, I can assure you that if OTA is shut down, we will not be signing up for "basic service" even at $20 a month. As we watch next to no local TV any longer, if OTA were shut down, we would simply rely on local radio and internet for our local news. So, if Bell, Rogers, and Telus think shutting down OTA is a cash cow, I think they are mistaken.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 09:11 Gerry1
  73. OTA signals should NOT be removed at all. What the CRTC needs to understand is that some of us didn't move from subscriber based to OTA only due to cost rather customer service. There hasent been one solid month where Rogers did not break a promise, make a mistake on my bill and have me transfered a dozen times to people who have no more power than the other to fix the issue. If I am a paying customer there should be no reason why large corporatioons as such should offer such poor service. That was a big reason why I left Rogers. So if the BDUs and CRTC think that by capping the basic channels will bring me and a lot of other back, they are sadly mistaken. Rogers/Bell/Telus have done nothing but abuse their customers.
    Moving to OTA was likely one of the best decisions i've made. As a matter of fact, I have more viewing options after cutting my Rogers services. I get local content via OTA (Why would I or anybody want to pay for that in the future anyways?), and I can access TV Shows that I LIKE through other means via IPTV. In fact, the CRTC should engourance the growth of the OTA infrastructure. If they removed the OTA signals, it would just made a lot of Canadians really upset and further develop the growth of IPTV, not a subscriber base with Rogers/Bell/Telus. So when the CRTC can come back with a $20 package that makes more sense for Canadian's and a complete redesign of BDU billing systems and regulated training requirements on how to treat customers, then bring something like this forward to Canadians.
    Rogers/Bell/Telus will make the money another way such as charging a ridiculous fee for their Digital boxes, or charging a silly amount per channel. Have you thought about what this could actually mean? A company called VMedia already has pay per channel services where they charge anywhere from $1.50 to $2.35 per channel. Imagine you even wanted 10 channels that you like, you would be paying $30 for the basic service plus call it $20 for the speciality channels for a total of $50? Plus you'll be paying likely a higher price for the cable box which brings us to $60+tax for a handful of channels compared to the same today for that and more? How does this make any sense? The economics behind this is ridiculous.
    Canadian's arent stupid, they are rational, logical and have the right to demand what they pay for including service. These proposals offer no value proposition for Canadian's at this time.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 15:51 SS81
  74. OTA broadcasting needs to stay for a number of reasons:
    - Cogeco cable does not offer their services on my street; it's all around me, but not here; I live in a forest on a one-lane dirt road, so there are not many services available here at all.
    - I am a retired senior on a small pension, consequently, I really don't have a spare $50-$80-$100/month to pay for TV, and why would I want to pay for some of the horrible programs that are being offered.
    - I watch a lot of PBS of which I am a member and they listen to what "we" want to watch and provide decent, quality programming.
    - I also watch a lot of TVOntario - super programmes!
    Restricting Canadians to a "package" that contains a certain amount of Canadian over U.S. programs potentially is very wrong.  A lot of times the U.S. programming isbetter done and some Canadian programs are corny and boring.
    I don't agree that we should buy batches of TV (Basic, Specialty, Movies) - if I were to buy TV (which I won't) I would want to choose channel by channel for my personal selection.  So if a package currently offers say 20 channels, then I should be allowed to choose my choice of 20 channels for that same price, not necessarily priced per channel.
    I bought 3 new digital TVs when OTA when digital; I get a super picture; I receive lots of channels - for example, I get both Channel 7 & 28 from Watertown; I get 3 PBS channels 18.1, 18.2, 18.3 whereas on paid TV you only get one PBS and its from Detroit rather than Watertown.  Watertown is local as it's a 1-hr drive from my house.  When they give a weather forecast (Channel 7 or 18) it's just down the road, so the weather is the same as here.
    The commercials on TV are far too many, far too often and very annoying.  I tend to mute the TV while they are on and as I usually have 4-6 minutes before the program resumes, I pick up my book and read it.  I get 20 minutes of reading every TV-hour!!  I certainly would not want to PAY for TV and for those gross commercials.  That's just as bad as buying a magazine - you buy the advertisements and they throw in a story or two - YUCK.
    If I'm watching OTA broadcasting, and because it's free, I'll put up with the commercials but if I were forced to pay for TV programming, then I would expect absolutely NO commercials at all.  It's my money then, and my money does not want commercials.
    Looking forward to continued OTA broadcasting for decades to come!
     

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 18:48 CountryLady
  75. First, I want to say I am disgusted to hear that CRTC would even entertain a proposal to shutdowm OTA transmitters.  Who does the CRTC work for? The big telecom companies or the the Canadian people? Last time I looked CRTS were funded by the Canadian tax payer NOT Bell/Rogers/Shaw. 
    I live in Ottawa and enjoy receiving 14 local stations and 6 US stations OTA.  These channels are not free. The commericial stations raise their funding through selling advertizing space, the goverment run stations (PBS and TVO) are directly funded by the respective taxpayers.
    So why do Bell/Rogers/Shaw want to shutdown these OTA transmitters.  The answer is obvious, they can force another 6-10% of viewers (depending on whos numbers you believe) to pay $30++++ a month to watch the same material -- and at the same time prevent even more households from "cutting the cable".
    As a government agency,  the CRTC should be vocal and active in protecting Canadians from abusive practices of the telecom cartel.  Instead, with this proposal, the CRTC are acting as if they are puppets of this industry. 

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 20:26 Chris
    1. Disgusted is a good description. I wonder more and more what we get for the taxes we pay.

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - 18:47 Alan01

  76. Now is not the time to end OTA broadcasting. The recent conversion to digital makes OTA again a viable option for Canadians, even for those served by cable or satellite. As others have pointed out, we already pay for the bulk of TV services by virtue of having to tolerate ads. Therefore it is not equitable to be required to pay a provider (most the same oligopolies who own most broadcasters) again just to get a signal. Like many others I am considering "cutting the cable". I can understand why the cable/satellite providers would like the CRTC to put a stop to what looks like a trend.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 20:26 thomsopg
  77. I am gratified to see so many comments strongly in favour of not allowing OTA transmitters to be shut down and the stations keep their licence.    I most emphatically endorse these sentiments.   My local area is in northern BC and has only one local TV station to cover an area covering hundreds of square miles.  Incidently, this station was recently acquired by Bell and if this proposal was allowed; I am sure we would lose our only local signal and source of local TV news.    I very much doubt if Bell would put the small savings realized into more local programming.  In fact, I believe the opposite would happen and there would be fewer viewers and less local programming.      The only money they would save would be cost of renting antennas and transmitters on TV towers owned by CBC.   
    We have had two surveys done in Northern BC, in the last 3 years, and over 80 per cent of the respondents voted in favour of the importance of OTA TV signals.   In fact, about 20 per cent of the population still uses only OTA TV signals and no satellite or cable.
    We also have a number of non-profit societies that provide additional OTA TV channels to several areas in Northern BC.    People in this area gladly pay a few dollars a year in taxes to have this option, as they see the value in OTA television signals.   When asked in a referendum, if these signals should be shut down, the repeated overwhelming answer is always no ( including last year ! ).

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 03:45 arhsbc
    1. Northern BC rocks!

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 20:36 JF Bérubé

  78. OTA tv is critical to Canadians.  It is a basic service that we need to keep.  The broadcasters have a monopoly and make big dollars from this business.  The government should be protecting this OTA tv service for us. Cable and internet is not available everywhere and is costly for many who are poor. OTA tv is easy to receive if a transmitting tower is near.  Thanks for keeping OTA tv.[

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 09:42 riley
  79. Here in Quebec we have a dangerous francophone manipulator and brainwasher called Pierre Karle Peladeau who is owner of a local french TV station (TVA) , local newspaper (Journal de Montreal ) and a cable company (Videotron).
    He is now a politician at the service of the parti Quebecois and wants to make Quebec a country so he can have complete control over telecommunications in Quebec.
    He would love to close his CFTM TVA  OTA transmitter located on the Mount Royal mountain so he can force everyone to buy a package of channels on his cable company called Videtron.

    Please be cautious in your rulings  and do not close the light on your less fortunate & loyal French Canadians.

    Mario Trottier
    WatchHDFree.com
    HDGratuit.com

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 10:23 Antenne Montreal
  80. I make exclusive use of OTA broadcasts in the Ottawa area, as do a number of colleagues that I work with.  There are a variety of reasons why we have chosen not to utilise cable, satellite etc, options but one common theme that is identifed by all parties is that if OTA is lost we will not subscribe to a Canadian provider, rather we will access internet sources which are free or paid services like netflix.  The net result is that we will view much less Canadian content such as Canadian news programming and Canadian shows like 'Murdoch' and instead be watching blockbusters like 'Breaking Bad'.  OTA content in general has a much higher proportion of Canadian and local content in comparison with the overall content available from cable and satellite packages and the suggestion that savings can be used to boost local content will likely be pointless as less viewers will be watching. I am strongly opposed to this idea.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 12:56 mkmcd
  81.  
     
    Fostering local and Canadian programming 1. No shutdown please! Used OTA since 1970 had Bell TV from 2002- 2010. Now back on OTA. Never watched local station with Bell, local channel lost in all the choices. Constant price increases no additional feature went from $12 month to$60 in 8 years. OTA one time investment $1000 and no bill ever. Cable/ satellite is bad for my local providers. Now I am a viewer again. A shut down will just mean I will watch US channels. Outside of urban communities no OTA will mean choice of 2 providers, monopoly sat providers with similar pricing, anti-competitive. 2. No, Let market forces decide otherwise just worse ‘no one watching’ programming. 3. Yes and remove all restrictions. OTA cannot compete with providers when rules not the same, let them swear, show boobs any time any show Canadian or otherwise. Canadian programs are mandatory in evening? You would not know that when u look at the line ups. Looks like US shows to me. Ether the Canuks should do all their own shows and no US and let the market forces decide or let then do as they want all market driven. Basically Canuk networks are currently US feeds with Canadian logos. Without OTA the poor will be forced to do with out or sacrifice other necessities. Fixed income /disability folks will also have same choice to make. Attack on the poor! The hungry children in this country will also be deprived of TV. The big players have bought up all the industry assets starving OTA of product preparing to bone us all with pay only options.. TV will become like oil companies and big banks too few too little competition. Having free TV will keep providers working on value added rather than charging me for something I get free now. Hello USA feeds! Don’t mess with Free TV! The providers have been keeping secret the OTA option for many years force them to advertise like they do for pay tv again not a fail playing field for OTA. No one want a bill when they can choose not to. Add supported tv is always best. Another idea is to decrypt all network feeds on all the providers and let the OTA users use generic set top boxes to watch ‘free tv then I would say yes to shutting down OTA. This works well in Europe. A booming market in US for sub channel networks is stifled in this country as the major players don’t want it preventing more content at no cost!

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 14:31 twinntech
  82. Further to my previous comment, I must say I'm really quite upset that the CRTC is even contemplating this. Stations broadcasting OTA, from what I see in Vancouver haven't even considered the option of using a lower bit rate for their channel and adding more channel availability to their signal with either other broadcasters, colleges/universities, small private stations or municipalities. (SFU/UBC/BCIT could share a channel as well as say the City of Vancouver and Tourism Vancouver telling people of the attractions in the city)
    There's your extra local programming right there and the signal providers get paid too. Should the CRTC foolishly decide to enact this proposal, it will be challenged and also the very nature of the CRTC itself!

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 15:37 globalguybc
    1. I've been yelling this on the rooftops in French and English since the CRTC opened this forum page. Broadcasters are wasting resources.

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 20:28 JF Bérubé

  83. I am strongly opposed to a shutdown of broadcast television in Canada.  If my local stations stop broadcasting, I still won't subscribe to cable.  So these stations will lose me as a viewer.  Over the air viewers in Montreal, Toronto and Windsor would continue to watch US stations that they would still recieve, and simply do without Canadian programming.
    Broadcast television is available in virtually every country in the world.  In 2011, Canadian broadcasters spent millions of dollars on infrastructure upgrades to broadcast over the air in high definition.  It would be premature to abandon this infrastruture while it is still used by millions of Canadians.
    The net effect of a shutdown of over the air television broadcasting in Canada would be to remove a significant proportion of viewers from the Canadian television system.  Expecting these disenfranchised viewers to sign up for pay TV, even at a reduced rate, is wishful thinking.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 15:50 ralph_sinclair
    1. "If my local stations stop broadcasting, I still won't subscribe to cable."

      Same here on the west coast. I would just watch more of the US OTA programs.

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - 18:26 Alan01

  84. OTA stations should NOT be shut down.  CTV would probably take the money saved by shutting down transmitters (as one poster said) and buy more American programming.  Make the practice of simultaneous signal substitution come to an end 100% and encourage CTV & Global to create and produce more Canadian content as well as local programming specific to their city/region of license.  If a smaller company such as Channel Zero can buy CHCH in Hamilton and make the station profitable, then why is CTV & Global not able to do the same?  The whole "Save Local TV" campaign was (still is) a farce.  Getting rid of the "Local Programming Improvement Fund" (internal CTV & Global code for purchasing more American programming) was a step in the right direction.  Elimination of simultaneous signal substitution would be another step forward.  Getting rid of OTA transmitters is however a step in the wrong direction and it goes against the CRTC's goal of fostering quality local and Canadian programming.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 17:06 613_matt
    1. With regards to CHCH and Channel Zero:  I'm glad CHCH broke ties with CanWest and went to a mostly news format during the day. It's THE MOST watched station in our house.  It would be nice to see more locally-run OTA stations across Canada

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 17:35 dkeast2000

      1. So you are sure that the Local Production Improvement Fund was really done away with? Why, then, does Cogeco still refer to it in the fine print of its mail advertising in Quebec? Wierd!

        Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 20:21 JF Bérubé

        1. I thought I read or heard that it was going to be 'ended' because I remember thinking that they would just keep taking the money and put it towards a new 'service charge' or something

          Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 21:57 dkeast2000

          1. Read this article and it will answer your question:

            www.newswire.ca/en/story/1009149/-consumer-cable-bills-to-be-adjusted-with-phase-out-of-fund

            Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 22:51 613_matt

            1. 404 - not found

              Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 23:47 JF Bérubé

              1. Let's try this link:
                digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=149381&page=2
                Post #26

                Friday, August 29, 2014 - 08:26 613_matt

                1. Ah! LPIF will be history by the end of august, which is this sunday. :)

                  Friday, August 29, 2014 - 13:35 JF Bérubé

  85. I disagree with your proposal to allow local TV stations to shut down transmitters. Not everyone has cable/satellite TV and this forces people into buying overpriced (and lower reception quality) cable/satellite TV for a service that used to be paid through commercials (which will still exist). This also puts Rogers, Bell, Shaw, Cogeco, etc. as gatekeepers of an important field of telecommunications (news, weather, tax-funded CBC programming, etc.).
    Where I live, Rogers digital TV costs a minimum of $45.20 a month (plus sales taxes) and Bell Fibe TV costs $48.95+. Why should canadians be forced to pay $600/year to multi-millionaire corporations to continue receiving what they once could for free. (Of course the price will go higher as people no longer have a free alternative).

    Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 19:00 bubbles96
  86. I am strongly against allowing local stations to shut down OTA transmitters. This move would actually inhibit viewership of local content as opposed to promote it. More people are adopting modern, digital OTA antennas in order to cut the cord, look no further than the success of the Mohu Leaf antenna, for instance. Since many major Canadian markets, such as Vancouver, are near the US border, people using antennas would migrate to watching more American content in the event that this proposal is implemente, because most of the OTA channels that remain in operation would very likely be affiliates of big American networks.

    In addition to causing a disruption in viewership of local networks, certain Canadians who rely on OTA antennas for their minimal viewing needs would be forced to subscribe to a monthly cable subscription. This would be much more costly for those who view minimal TV programming in order for them to continue watching at all. Even with a possible implementation of pick-and-pay TV, which may indeed do some good, this move as a whole would be a clear step backwards because now there would be fewer alternatives to cable and satellite providers. In the name of providing Canadians with more choice, I don't believe lessening competition at all should be the approach taken by the CRTC heading forward.

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 01:40 TrueCanuck92
    1. [Minor sp. correction: *implemented]

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - 01:46 TrueCanuck92

    2. I totally agree. The performance of digital TV (ATV) even with marginal signals finally allowed OTA to be competitive with anything on cable, and now the CRTC wants to kill it?
      Leave us with a choice please.

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - 04:20 Algymantas

      1. I totally agree with TrueCanuck and the others who oppose allowing local stations to shut down transmitters. The performance of digital TV (ATV) even with marginal signals finally allowed OTA to be competitive with anything on cable, and now the CRTC wants to kill it?
        Leave us with a choice please.

        Friday, August 29, 2014 - 04:23 Algymantas

  87. "1. Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters? Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why? How would this affect your TV viewing habits?"
    NO, OTA should REMAIN as is. Have OTA and Satellite currently and Shaw signal goes out every rainstorm, snow storm etc.
    I would rely on U.S. OTA signals in my area if you drop Canadian OTA and I would drop Satellite from Shaw completely.
    OTA provides a low cost, reliable alternative in rural areas and areas where satellite and cable are not feasible, (CRTC's proposal of 20-30.00 for basic cable/satellite is too much).

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 10:06 djenning
    1. And the same unreliable service happens in urban areas like mine, too.

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - 18:20 Alan01

  88. I am very much against the proposal to allow stations to shut down their OTA transmitters.  OTA is the only option available to custmors to be free of the oligopoly of TV service providers.  Currently due to virtical integration broadcasters are making money directly and indirectly from customers at at least three different levels: 1) from tax credits for producing Canadian Content, 2) From advertising (selling stuff to us) and 3) Ever increasing Service fees.  OTA is the only way to avoid this.  Alternatively ban any and all vertical integration and allow real compition.

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 10:41 scolavit
  89. OTA transmitters should be maintained.   The fact this is even a discussion is disturbing.  

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:33 mpa
  90. OTA is the only option I have for TV in my rural PEI community. When the cable company ran lines in ouir neighbourhood they did not install any on our small section of road because there were satelite dishes in several of the back yards. Well none of those people have satelte any longer and fibre cable is just a dream for rural PEi. So OTA is the only way to get local content unless you wan to sit in front of yout laptop and get spasmotic steaming video from the CBC. Foster Canadian Identity with streaming video from the CBC - not likely!

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 12:27 Rural Islander
  91. Local stations should NOT be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters.
    Maybe the licensing costs and regulations to own and operate OTA transmitters should be eased. Broadcasters throughout the world have proven it's a viable market why is it so stifled in Canada? If you want local programming then make it easy for new local startups.
    If the incumbents are allowed to shut down their transmitters then the market should be opened to foreign ownership.

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 13:21 visualpoint
  92. Go ahead if you feel thats the best thing to do, as the CRTC is in bed with the cable and satellite companies! Yet you say you want 80% Canadian content? Thats right the USA have OTA as a major service and mandate allowing rich and poor to watch tv as an essential service, but what does the CRTC do? Fund subscription. Well guess what happens, we Canadians find a way around this monthly bill just because the CRTC says we have to have a bill we must pay for a monthly bill. Well myself and my family will have OTA and get the US channels, and stream all other content! This is all you have done, so where is our 80% Canadian content that the CRTC is sopposed to ensure that we all get as Canadian citizens. What gives you the right to make us pay a monthly bill. Lets see how long this post lasts here as the CRTC dont believe in freedom or free speech! But you cant control and bully people and make them pay for something that all other countries even the USA, UK allow people to view for free and it's a basic right just basic plain good family content. No the CRTC wants to make us pay for it and make satellite and cable companies rich. What kind of a governing body is this?

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 14:36 karimdelacreme
  93. When I saw this topic posted by CRTC, I almsot fell out of my chair.
    After reading all the user comments, my heart is filled knowing so many of us think the same way! 
    Take a look at the following link.
    Looks to me like the CRTC is trying to erase the writting on the wall? 

    Friday, August 29, 2014 - 18:00 HeroHoward
  94.  
    Should local stations be premitted to shut down over the air(ota) transmitters NO!!
     

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 11:44 I love ota
  95. OTA needs to stay, Canadians that live in rural communities that do not have access to cable need a source for channels and content that is viable for everyday needs. 

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 12:27 mpaul04
  96. I hope we don't  hear the CRTC sayng next week that there is no opposition to shutting down OTA. Wouldn't be surprised though. The comments on this board say different.

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 15:05 mikejlavigne
  97. Perhaps if the big cable and satalite companies want to shut down their transmitters , which is paid for with advertising , then maybe the CRTC should make a ruling that any station re-broadcast on cable or satalite should be commercial free. See how they like them apples. Why should anyone be expected to pay for a television feed and have to endure commercials.

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 15:23 mikejlavigne
  98. One final statement today. The CRTC is itself in jeaporidy of becoming redundant. They are allowing thr big cable and satalite companies to run the show. Perhaps the CRTC should be shut down. It would certainly save the Canadian taxpayer. After all , if they are not prepared to protect OTA and Canadian content , what is their purpose ?

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 15:29 mikejlavigne
    1. The CRTC should be shut down, we should lobby, what are they doing for us and who is funding them. They are just here to cause us to pay more money and we are helping to fund them. What happened to Canada the true north STRONG and FREE. CRTC goes against the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms they should be deported!

      Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 10:55 karimdelacreme

  99. Without OTA my family will not be able to view Canadian Television.  

    We are a single income family and have done everything we can to reduce our monthly expenses.  Our internet, phone and cable package was at one time $170 per month, by eleminating cable tv, installing a simple OTA andtenna, reducing our telephone and internet services to a suitable level we have reduced this amount to just over $80 a month, much of which came from eliminating cable TV.  We are not using Netflix or any other substitute.  Our kids watch TVO on Saturday mornings and love it.  I get to watch the NHL games and my wife continues to enjoy Murdoch Mysteries on CBC. 
    Should OTA services be cut, living in the Niagara Region I will still have options (Buffalo Broadcasts), but not the one I prefer.  I grew up in rural Ontario and know what it's like to have only 2 stations to watch.  My kids however won't be able to enjoy the quality programming from TVO and that would be very disappointing.

    Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 20:56 theraymondguy
  100. Why doesn't the CRTC clearly define the objective of the proposal to shut down transmitters. I doubt the CRTC or the Government would allow the airwaves that are currenlty being used to carry OTA broadcasts to remain unused if the transmitters are shut down. They would sell off those airways for other uses such as wireless. So why not call the proposal what it is, the broadcasters only want to shift their exisiting airwaves to the wireless divisons of their parent companies. This would be the obvious conclusion if OTA broadcasts are no longer using the airwaves. This is being masked as a transfer of funds to "local" programming but in reality it woud be a big benefit for their wireless divisons to aquire these air waves instead of having to transmit OTA. 
    The prooblem is not OTA broadcasts costs it is the fact cable does not pay for the feed they retransmit. Funny Aereo tried this same thing and got shut down but cable and satellite companies do the exact same thing in Canada with the CRTC blessing. Simply make these comapnies pay for the feeds they are rebroadcasting since this is the problem according ot broadcasters. Shuttting down the transmitters does not resolve the non payment issue by Cable etc so simpley fix the problem. Don't mask this cash bonus to cable and satellite companies as being a benefit to local programming becuase the current model doesn't work blah blah blah. These notions are being put forward by the local stations parent companies but they really are just looking for selling points to justify their real goal of access to these ariwaves for alternate uses.  Also this proposal is only a subsidy to offset what the cable compnaies don't pay. 
    This will affect over one million Canadians and yet no media outlet has covered this story as being what it is a grab by the local stations parent companies to use the broadcast airwaves for alternative uses than their existing broadcast license allows. Why should the current license holders decide what future generations may want to do with OTA. Why is the CRTC giving the question should we allow transmitters to be shut down when the real question is should we allow current broadcasters to loose their broadcast license if they want to no longer broadcast? The clear answer would be yes if a broadcaster stops broadcasting then that license is availabel to others that want to broadcast OTA. Imagine radio stations doing the same thing and saying they want to only stream on the interent or on satellite through subscription, they want to stop using their transmitters but they don't want to have any other company to get a radio broadcast license to broadcast on those airwaves. 
    If these OTA ariwaves do get reused by wireless comapnies after the transmitters are shut down then there is no correcting this mistake because the current OTA ATSC tuners are set to those frequencies. 

    Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 13:17 bradOTA
    1. Those companies already own frequencies they don't use for the sole purpose of killing competition in the cellphone industry. Yet another shameful waste of resources.

      Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 15:18 JF Bérubé

  101. My husband and I, being seniors and on a fixed income, basically only watch TVO and the news and weather on the local stations.  So, we definitely don't think local stations should be permitted to shut down over-the-air transmitters...  Most of the rest of what is on tv doesn't interest us.  There is so much reality tv.  Not worth payng for... 

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 08:40 Lucy Allwood
  102. I watch local programming via OTA and would not subscribe to basic cable or IPTV to get access to local programming if OTA was shut down - there is little choice in the market (to be expected) and the offerings do not represent significant 'value added'. I do not support allowing OTA to be shut down.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 10:24 Nomis88
  103. On BDU-Programmer Relationship - I have generally found current 'pick and pay' options fairly expensive - I would support provisions to increase 'pick-and-pay' options and prevent unreasonable terms. I understand that there is likely some degree of cross-subsidisation between more popular and less popular channel options, so suspect individual channels will be more expensive than packages. I also ran in to issues with adjustment of channel packages which removed channels I preferred to watch from the package I had subscribed to - I don't like that - a cynical person might suggest that was a way to increase the number of channel packages a household subscribes to. In general, content appears to be getting increasingly dilute - poorer quality, less compelling content spread over more channels, presumably chasing after fewer advertising and subscriber revenues.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 10:42 Nomis88
    1. It was the Rogers' adjustment to a channel package that was the very last straw for me: I had been thinking of going to OTA TV for several months, and then I received a letter from Rogers advising I would no longer receive BBC Canada in my package: I would have to pay an extra dollar each month to continue viewing BBC Canada. The day after receiving that letter I contacted my OTA antenna guy and asked him to instal the OTA antenna. I then phoned Rogers and told them I was cancelling the cable. The sales associate, in a snarky voice, told me I had to give Rogers 30 days' notice (which I was already aware of). I smiled and told her that the phone call was me giving Rogers 30 days' notice. Even then, Rogers "forgot" to cancel my cable, and continued to charge me. They only reversed the charges when I could prove that I had given 30 days' notice.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 14:25 Alison_G

  104. Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters? Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why? How would this affect your TV viewing habits?
    OTA transmission should be kept.  Why is this service not being promoted (no public interest on behalf of CRTC?)? Many I talk to are not aware that HDTV quality is available for free with rabbit ears.
    Many rural people in Canada have no alternative other than purchasing a satellite dish/provider.  Why amplify the differences between geographic situations or financial classes by making TV accessible only if you pay $300-$400+ per year?
    If OTA service is cut the cost savings should go to making TV more accessible rather than local content production.
    If OTA is cut, my family would move to internet based TV and movies.  We would rely on local newspapers and magazines for 'local content'.
    ===========================
    Do you agree that Canadian children’s programming should be considered high-priority programming, like the way dramas, long-form documentaries and music and variety shows are today? Why? How else can the CRTC and broadcasters support Canadian children’s programming?
    Children's programming can be kept for a couple of morning shows and seasonal specials.  How have children's TV habits changed?  Most are raised at daycares (without TV) now.  Saturday morning cartoons are hard to compete with.  Evenings are videos, electronic games and sometimes a TV show...
    How about channeling funds to support an internet based server with Canadian content for children (shows/games/etc)?  Ask the bigger question - "how have children changed how they use radio and television compared to other media?" and, "what is the time of accessibility to different media and learning situations?" and, "how should the federal government respond?".  You are constraining your thinking to only 2 media and a historical context.
    ==========================
    Do you agree that requirements to show Canadian programs during the day should be lifted, while requirements to show Canadian programs in the evening are maintained? Why? Would this affect your viewing habits? If so, how?
    Agree to lift daytime requirements and maintain the evening.  I don't suspect daytime TV does a lot to shape society.  Most TV owners have recorders and can record a show if they are interested in viewing it at a preferred time. I may alter my evening viewing to accomodate a TV show, never a daytime show.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:05 Tom
  105. It wasn't so many years ago when the government and TV stations made sure that everyone knew that all  OTA channels were going digital, and that you must up-grade your system in order to continue receiving the programming.  Many of us did, at some expense.
    What has happened since then, I only heard about this proposal to do away with OTA on a RADIO station, mentioned in passing.  Nothing at all has been mentioned on any of the stations I watch over the air.
    I would take this as an indication that 'Big Business' is once again trying to have something passed with as little public input as posible, obviously this would greatly benefit them and their bottom line, and leave the public with nothing.
    It amazes me that the CRTC would even entertain such a dillusion that any savings would be spent on local TV.  It's not that shutting down OTA would make smaller stations  profitability, it would just increase there profit margin, there gain our loss.
    This could set a dangerous precedent, when a governments loyalties side with big businesses profits over the public's welfare and rights.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 15:46 Woodlawn-home
    1. Good point about the lack of notice - or at least poorly broadcast notice - about this CRTC review. I saw an item about this on the CBC internet news in August. This review apparently began last year. 

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - 17:46 Alan01

      1. Let's all remember that the CRTC forced stations to broadcast notice about the 2011 conversion to digital broadcasting, and even incited heated regulatory exchanges with Bell/Rogers/Shaw/CBC when the broadcasters claimed they were technologically and logistically unable to air region-specific PSAs -- pfff, what a crock!!
        What's the almight CRTC gonna do this time around, mandate PSAs to inform the public that "sorry, we're shutting down all OTA, so like it or not, it's time to subscribe to Bell/Rogers/Shaw!"?? It was bad enough when CTV aired spots about the NTSC-to-ATSC switchover, that included blatant fear-mongering attempts to get people to go to The Source (also Bell-owned) and sign up for Bell TV, instead of just explaining how OTA was actually improving with HDTV signals. It wouldn't surprise me if this time around, representatives from Bell/Rogers (and to a lesser extent, Shaw & CBC) smugly use a custom smartphone app to instantly remotely switch off all their OTA transmitters, right at the end of the CRTC hearing, followed by clinking champagne glasses.

        Monday, September 1, 2014 - 19:43 Taxpayer_Revenge

  106. 1) Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters?
    No. Absolutely not. Hard to believe this question is being considered! Reasons for OTA, in no particular order:

    • OTA provides better image quality. Cable/satellite/IPTV providers are now heavily compressing HD channels in order to provide more channels. (Such as five (5) TSN channels.) Watching a hockey game OTA verses Telus IPTV, OTA provides a better quality image.

    • Important for households on a budget.

    • Emergency communications.

    • Time-shifting device choices. I can record over-the-air with my living room PC.

    • Provides competition to cable/satellite/IPTV services, or at least provides consumers an option.

    • Innovation – the first place I could get an HD signal was from CBC over-the-air. It took some time before HD became available on cable. The cable company has now encrypted all digital content, requiring their set-top-box and preventing me from time-shifting programming.

    Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why?
    I am disappointed that the BC Knowledge Network is not available OTA. I would like to see more OTA channels, not fewer. As BC Knowledge Network's Internet streaming video quality is low, I could make a case that this forces consumers to subscribe to cable/satellite/IPTV services.

    Stating “redirected to local content production” without being specific, sounds like an opportunity for the local stations to turn off their transmitters, but “struggle” to deliver desirable local content, saving them money and benefiting the consumer, not at all.
    How would this affect your TV viewing habits?
    Dramatically. At present, shutting down OTA would result that any TV watched in our household would be streamed over the Internet, borrowed from the library or purchased on bluray. Goodbye local news.
    2) Do you agree that Canadian children’s programming should be considered high-priority programming, like the way dramas, long-form documentaries and music and variety shows are today? Why? How else can the CRTC and broadcasters support Canadian children’s programming?
    I miss Theodore Tugboat. While it borrows from Thomas the Tank Engine, it was certainly Canadian content.

    It is probable that children's programming should be high priority, however it is possible children are already watching too much television, while their iPads are recharging.

    3) Do you agree that requirements to show Canadian programs during the day should be lifted, while requirements to show Canadian programs in the evening are maintained? Why? Would this affect your viewing habits? If so, how?
    While Canada is a separate country from the USA, there should be some regulatory requirements for some Canadian content. Canadian requirements should also foster the content production industry in Canada. Our household doesn't watch much television during the day, so this probably has minimal impact on our viewing habits.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 16:21 jmrickerby
  107. Do you agree that requirements to show Canadian programs during the day should be lifted, while requirements to show Canadian programs in the evening are maintained? Why? Would this affect your viewing habits? If so, how?
    I don't know what is meant by "during the day" or "in the evening." Does that mean no morning news? 5 pm news? What about weekdays versus weekends. This is a poorly crafted question.
    For retired people like me, eliminating morning or noon news programs would be terribly inconvenient. Unfortunately, there isn't much else of interest to me during the day. I would prefer to see daytime Canadian programming expanded and improved.
    If these news programs were removed, I would be limited to viewing news at dinner time, if Canadian programming during that time period was maintained, or seek my local news elsewhere if it wasn't.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 17:59 Alan01
  108. This past Saturday and Sunday, the daytime OTA broadcasts from CKVU-DT and CHNM-DT (OMNI) in Vancouver were shut off. Doesn't that violoate their licence?
    Is this just a coincidence, or a provocation given the current discussions about shutting down local OTA broadcasts?

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 18:58 Alan01
    1. Usually transmitter maintenance is scheduled during overnight hours so it affects the least number of viewers, and even then, usually they just temporarily reduce power output, but ever since Bell/Rogers/Shaw assumed ownership of the entire media landscape, they outsource sloppy maintenance regimes so they have more money for shareholders and executives. Staff at most conventional OTA stations often don't even know they broadcast terrestrially, so complaints about signal reception aren't taken seriously, and certainly don't get relayed to management, furthering their misguided belief that "nobody" watches OTA anymore. It's a cynical thing to suggest, but probably in your case, Rogers wanted some 'proof' that nobody noticed when they went off the air, to present at the CRTC hearing, as if that can be extrapolated to primetime.

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - 19:26 Taxpayer_Revenge

      1. I have made my complaint known to City TV Vancouver (via their website). Waiting to hear an explanation as to why the signal was down. Will see what they say.

        Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 01:08 globalguybc

  109. Please don’t take Canadian TV away from me.  I understand that one of the proposals under consideration would permit broadcasters to shut-down their local Over-the Air (OTA) transmitters.  The result of this proposal is that I would lose access to Canadian TV.

    I used to subscribe to Rogers Cable TV.  In 1997, I dropped the service because I was not watching enough TV to make it worthwhile.  Instead, I used an antenna to access the little TV that I watched.  This was before digital TV broadcasting was available and hence, the picture quality was poor and viewing hours were very low.

    In 2009, I discovered OTA digital broadcasting and was amazed at the picture quality and the fact that 25 different channels from both Canada and the US were available.  Now due to improvements in my antenna and new channels, mainly from the US becoming available, my channel count is now about 35, of which 11 are Canadian.

    I still however, do not watch much TV.  Maybe 3 or 4 hours per week.  And hence, if all of the Canadian Broadcasters were to shutdown their local OTA transmitters. I would simply lose access to the 11 Canadian stations but still have two dozen US channels to choose from.  Would I miss the Canadian channels?  A little, particularly the CBC. Would I miss them enough to subscribe to a Cable, Satellite or on-line service? Probably not.

    Hence, the end result of this proposal if implemented would be to deprive myself, and other Canadians who have chosen not to subscribe to a Cable or Satellite service for their TV, access to Canadian TV.

    Monday, September 1, 2014 - 21:35 johnsabiston
    1. The CRTC should be shut down, we should lobby, what are they doing for us and who is funding them. They are just here to cause us to pay more money and we are helping to fund them. What happened to Canada the true north STRONG and FREE. CRTC goes against the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms they should be deported!

      Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 11:06 karimdelacreme

      1. The CRTC is working for the CABLE-SATELLITE MAFIA , not you or me. I have no doubt that some people at the CRTC are receiving kickbacks from the CS Mafia in screwing the public. The motivation for what they are proposing must be money. I don't believe they are that stupid.

        Friday, September 5, 2014 - 17:27 ClearChannel

    2. Again the CRTC fails to help Canadians the CRTC mandate is to ensure we have and watch more Canadian content then US content, guess what they are proposing now, so we will watch more US content. Canada the true north STRONG and FREE. we need to deport the CRTC as they violate the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. What are they doing for us Canadians? We have no Freedom with these body trying to control what we can and cannot do! We should be lobbying to have the CRTC shut down as what i hear they propose is just so unbelievable i cant believe what i am hearing!

      Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 11:11 karimdelacreme

  110. Here is some more evidence that OTA TV is slowly but steadily on the rise in Canada.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 12:30 ds514
    1. Your link is exactly what I was referring to in my comment above. The digital transition was only 3 years ago. We don't have enough data points at this time to establish the trend for the "new post-2011 OTA" in Canada to make a decision. All the trends mentioned and presented were based on a timeperiod of mostly analog OTA service which was essentially a dying technology but not a dying medium. Digital OTA technology is now technologically on par with cable and satellite and is a completely different story, and I don't see very much data on that given how recently it was implemented.

      For all we know, if we leave the OTA system as-is it may grow back to its late 1990's level over the course of a few years.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 10:44 Antenna Dude

  111. 1. In regards to the first question, let me tell you a story. Back when I worked as an audio-video salesman, I had a customer who was absolutely horrified to discover that we not only had started selling vinyl records, but they were selling very well and at a reasonably high price. "I had a huge library of those," he told me, "it was worth thousands of dollars. But five or six years ago I dumped all of them in the trash. I never imagined they'd ever be worth anything again." No joke: vinyl sales saved our bottom line that year, because people were rediscovering the high quality and value in that format. The situation with OTA broadcasting is much the same: adoption of this form of reception has GROWN since the digital transition several years ago as people are discovering its true value. In virtually every other country in the world, OTA is still recognized as the fundamental backbone of television broadcasting, and it continues to be the basis for developing new broadcasting formats and platforms, such as Freeview systems in the UK and Australia. It is the only way that many Canadians are able to watch television at all, and I honestly believe that the development of a “skinny basic” package is nothing more than a ploy to force Canadians to pay for something that broadcasters have traditionally been obligated to provide for free. If anything, more services such as youth broadcasters and educational services, should also be encouraged or even expected to make their services available OTA by multiplexing off of existing towers. Do not throw away countless opportunities for growth and innovation by destroying Canada’s OTA broadcasting system. You don’t want to be the guy who threw away a small fortune in vinyl records.

    2. Youth programming should absolutely be considered priority programming. Any basic package offered by cable and satellite providers should include at least one youth broadcaster, and public broadcasters should be expected to give it some degree of emphasis and exposure. While I am opposed to a “skinny basic” package, the proposal would be improved considerably if at least one youth broadcaster were included. Most of these services should be encouraged to offer their programming OTA as well.

    3. I honestly don't know what kind of difference adjusting requirements during the day versus at night is going to do. The situation is a bit different between specialty services and local broadcasters. For services only available on cable and satellite, I don't think that Canadian content quotas have any kind of positive effect at all. As long as those stations are putting money into productions, it shouldn't matter when they show them. For local/network broadcasters, there probably should be more effort to get them to show Canadian programming in prime time. If the goal is to get these networks to run more scripted Canadian programming, not allowing news or reality programming to count within the quota will probably be an important step forward. Eliminating simultaneous substitution and placing the US networks in a separate package which needs to be purchased separately would also give local broadcasters freedom to schedule programming without having to adhere to the timeslots on US networks. I think that kind of change would have a much greater effect.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 16:12 jbetteridge
    1. One big change that has to happen with youth broadcasting: the commission strongly needs to consider making Treehouse TV available on whatever Basic package they concoct. Educational channels and CBC should also be expected to provide similar programming during the daytime hours. While I feel it's also important to have regular youth channels like YTV and Much in basic as well, the commercial-free programming for toddlers provided by Treehouse is something that parents shouldn't be forced to pay extra for.

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 14:01 jbetteridge

  112. In response to the proposed questions:
    1. I disagree whole heartedly at the idea of allowing local stations to shut down over-the-air transmitters. I do not subscribe to cable, and I have no plans on ever subscribing, I watch the local OTA channels and supplement with Netflix and/or streaming off the internet to watch anything I want to watch. If the local stations shut down the OTA transmitters, I will simply move to 100% streaming content over the internet.
    That said, I would be very upset to lose my local channels, the ability to watch local news and CBC content is very important to me. I don't say that I watch these channels for "free", because I do not. I am a tax paying citizen of the country of Canada, I pay income tax to both federal and provincial governments, and property taxes to municipal governments, along with who knows how many other taxes. These taxes are how I pay for my local TV content. CBC is directly tax payer funded, and to remove my ability to watch what I have paid for is ludicrous, if this is allowed can I simply stop paying taxes? "The cost savings could be redirected to" anything I want, a trip, something else. You can't simply take away what I am paying for, and tell me if I want it back I get to keep paying what I used to pay, plus a whole lot more because you created a monopoly. Basic service in a town you want to charge $30 a month, so $360 a year, which I know I don't have to spend, I don't know about others. And what if you are not in a town? Where I come from people have cabins in the wilderness, but they can still get the local news. What will a basic satillite subscription run us? How much do you want us to pay for something that is "free"?. I disagree with this entirely.
    2. I believe children's programming already is considered high priority, at least on the "free" local stations mentioned in part 1. Every morning/early afternoon is generally filled with programming directed at children. However, I believe if children's programming is given priority, it should be given its own channel, along with an adult channel. Right now there is so little documentaries, that forcing one channel to also prioritize children at evening times would result in a single person enjoying about one show a day.
    3. As said above, I only subscribe to the local channels so that is all I can comment on. With regards to that, I think the Canadian content for TV channels should be maintained. I enjoy the Canadian content anytime during the day. If I want American TV I will stream it, it is very difficult to stream any Canadian content.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 18:36 swds54
  113. As far as allowing local stations to shut down over-the-air transmitters, there are a few cases to consider here:

    a) cities/areas that have only digital transmitters
    b) cities/areas that have only analog transmitters
    c) cities/areas that have both analog transmitters and digital transmitters


    Case A:    These are generally the cities that the CRTC named as mandatory markets for the 2011 digital transition plus a few others like Peterborough ON which has all of its surviving transmitters digital now.   These transmitters are in most cases just 3 years old.   Digital over-the-air viewers had to purchase equipment (converter boxes, some bough HDTVs with ATSC tuners, some needed new antennas).   Turning off over-the-air service to these people after such a short time would be grossly unfair.  This would also be unfair to Global/Shaw that has been upgrading its transmitters to digital in cities that CBC abandoned and CTV has left stagnant since the transition.

    Case B:   Since CBC (English and French) and TVO (in Ontario) shut down their remaining analog transmitters in July 2012, there are several places with only a single analog transmitter remaining.   In many cases, the lone survivor is CTV.   If the CRTC is allowing public broadcasters to not service these areas, I can understand CTV's point of why should a private broadcaster be forced to operate a transmitter there.   In this case, it might make sense for the CRTC to offer some relief to CTV in places like Wawa ON, Wingham ON, etc.

    Case C: These are generally the cities that the CRTC did not name as mandatory markets for the 2011 digital transition but have digital transmitters for a variety of reasons - place like Kingston/Belleville, Sarnia/Oil Springs, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, and Timmins in Ontario.  Again the bulk of the analog transmitters belong to CTV.   For these cities, it would be fair for the CRTC to allow CTV to shut down their old analog transmitters if and only if they could make an agreement to get carriage on an ATSC subchannel from another digital broadcaster in each market.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 21:18 OTA ATSC
    1. Everybody seems to have understood that the sole purpose of shutting down transmitters was to force everyone to subscribe to a BDU. Perhaps the CRTC should clarify its intentions. Point 16 lacks clarification and we probably all got it wrong. Could someone from the CRTC shed light on this issue?

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 17:38 JF Bérubé

    2. A private broadcaster has an obligation to serve the public, this can be excepted as a cost of doing business or it should not be allowed to do business at all. 
      No transmitter should be shutdown. New ones should be mandated new channels added and the public should be informed about OTA.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 08:03 gregconnon

  114. Regarding question 1, I disagree to have OTA transmission shut down.  To save up some money, I voluntary decline to pay for cable. I watch very little tv (mostly CBC or Radio-Canada for the news and some documentary) and all the program currently have lots and lots of publicity which should cover the cost of the programming. If OTA transmission was shut down, I won't subscribe for cable and I will use the internet to get my news. The only way I could see subscribing to the cable would be if the cable programming would be ''adds free''.

    Regarding question 2, I do agree kids programming should be a priority on early week-end days and in general long documentary and drama show. However, I don't see the importance of having lots of kids programs since most of the family movies can be easily rented in the cornerstore or watched online.
    Regarding question 3, I usually work during the day, so I don't really care if the program is canadian or not at that time. For the evening, I would prefer to have canadian programs.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 01:20 Melina
  115. I will have more thoughts to share later, after digesting the discussion document further, but as to the consideration to allow OTA transmitters to be shut down I emphatically do not agree.
    Along with many of the eloquent points made by others here I would also add that I feel it is unfair to effectively compel Canadians to enter into a business relationship with a private cable/satellite provider if they want to continue to receive television service which has been, hitherto, provided for free.  It strikes me as straightforward, state-sanctioned coercion.  I'd be more in favour of nationalizing television and radio signal distribution altogether.
    The solution seems simple enough to me.  An OTA transmitter shutdown should *only* be allowed in the context of compelling cable/satellite providers to carry and provide Canadians with the station(s) they would be losing via OTA, for free, on the BDU distribution system(s).  That is to say, before a transmitter is shut down, each exsiting household, (and future-build household), within the broadcast coverage area, should be supplied with the means to receive that signal over cable or satellite at *no cost* to the homeowner - inperpituity.  Further, the cost(s) to upgrade change or alter that feed would remain the obligation of the entity who seeks to remove the OTA transmitter.  This obligation would, of course, be passed along to any subsequent entity that purchases the channel/signal.  The signal owner, in any case, may not prevaricate their obligation to provide free service.  This includes 'shutting down' a service and simply restarting it under a different name to escape the obligation.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 14:21 philmaeers
  116. Cost:
    I've set up an OTA system (antenna, preamp, rotor) because we couldn't afford the high priced providers and being charged for channels we don't watch. So a lot of people would be very upset if they take this way (if they are in the same situation as I am).
    Add more channels?
    If anything should be done there should be more channels added rather than just the mains (CTV, CBC, Global, City, etc.). Like for example the Americans have their main networks and a lot of idependent channels. Something like that should be in Canada.
    Or at least give us a weather channel (example Weather Nation for the USA OTA market, The Weather Network for Canadia OTA market)
    Quality:
    OTA has an amazing quality due to the lack of compression in the video feed.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 10:16 robman50
  117. I am emphatically opposed to removing OTA services! When I moved up to this rural location 40 years ago, I gave up TV - had no time and there was no antenna tower on this property. After my family died, I needed TV and purchased a newer set and enhanced rabbit ears, which allowed me to see CBC, a local station (since taken over by CTV) and CTV, occasionally other stations when conditions were right. I missed TVO. Then, CRTC shut down analog transmission and I lost any signals.
    I will support complaints that notice of these changes has been hard to find. The loss of analog caused me to join Digital Home forum and start to purchase (on a fixed income) high powered antennas and a used DMX tower (required by local bylaw). I still have to get the tower up and aligned. So I am to lose this investment before I have use of it? The cost is still below a number of year's subscription to satellite tv. and I cannot justify committing a portion of my income to TV. I have made the choice before to subscribe to internet and not to TV - I can't afford both.
    I live in Ontario's "tornado alley"; I eventually located Shaw's LTSS and acquired  that service, but satellite in this area is subject to breakup during storms. My experience confirms my choice to pay for DSL over satellite internet. My OTA neighbours say that their service does exist during storms. Last winter, the blizzard of Dec. 2013 caused the satellite dish to lose contact, and I could not ask any serviceman to deal with 8' drifts to fix the problem, so TV service was lost until this summer. Thank heavens for radio which in the winter can be the only outside contact available.
    If OTA service is discontinued, I will return to CBC Radio 1 (which I use during the day) and try to bring in the new classical station at 102.9FM. I will depend on my internet service (I pay as a moderate to heavy user) to watch CBC sporting events such as the Olympics. I may even continue with my antennae and DMX tower, since I am reasonably certain that I will be able to see Buffalo TV stations. I have previously written the CRTC with my opinion that there are 4 sporting events which have national import - The Queen's Plate, the Stanley Cup, the Grey Cup and the Briar  - which should be available to all Canadians on public channels.
    On a more general view, the government has been trying to increase competition and bring subscriber costs down. A promotion of OTA services, even in urban areas, would achieve their purpose. It is disconcerting to say the least to be told by Media companies that OTA no longer exists or will be discontinued! A robust OTA nation-wide system with public towers and shared access would provide that competition and improve local service. We have seen the results in the US. I strongly support the CBC and public stations and would like to see our public broadcaster with guaranteed financing (endowment?) so that they are not subject to the whims of the government of the day.
    If the money is to be transferred from OTA service, it shoud be given to the CBC radio service  which is our lifeline in times of emergency.
     
    I have little to say re children's programming except to say that as a teacher, I was aware that most students knew US legal practice over Canadian, knew US history over Canadian, and generally were more American than Canadian in culture- that may have changed, but I doubt it. I am of the opinion that the place to start correcting the above situation is with children's tv.
    I seldom watch "prime time tv", but do watch late afternoon programming, so Canadian content is important to me at that time.
     
    Thank you for the opportunity to leave input into your decision.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 12:07 MJTW
  118. Hello,
    I would like the CRTC to keep over the air channels. Prices for cable television are too high - I cannot justify paying them. Netflix is able to provide a lot of content for $8/month. Even $20-$30 per month is still a lot to pay for channels that are currently available over the air. In the past when I have been unable to access over the air channels due to interferrence near my home, I have simply streamed television online instead. Bell, Rogers, etc, are some of the most hated brands in Canada for a reason - they have inflated prices and horrible customer service.
    I understand that it costs more to create Canadian content and I am happy to pay for this through my taxes. I would prefer if the regulations returned to placing a higher priority on drama than on documentary, reality tv, etc. Reality tv is cheaper to produce than drama so putting them on the same footing incentivizes reality tv over drama.
    Thank you.
    Melissa Gruber
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 12:22 mgruber
  119. I believe that Over-th-air (OTA) trasmitters needs to continue.  To elimiante this TV viewing option we will lose even more Canadian viewers.  Cabel options are too expensive. I do not see it necessary to increase the number of OTA channels, just maintain what is presently available. 

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 13:20 Jackson213
  120. For question # 1:
     
    Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters? Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why? How would this affect your TV viewing habits?
     
    No and absolutely not. Most of the Local stations are owned by Bell, Shaw, Videotron and Rogers, this is a just a way for them to cut cost and to increase their subscribers base of their basic cable, satellite or IPTV services. I will not subscribe to the new services if OTA is cut.
    I will get my local stuff from the Internet and I will continue watch fine OTA programming from the USA.
    Shame on the CRTC just to propose that OTA could be cut. The CRTC should protect low income Canadians instead of the big Telecom companies.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 14:28 intravino
  121. I am against the proposal to allow local stations to stop transmitting over the air. Local stations INCLUDE CBC, CTV, CITY, and Global.
    After years of paying the exorbitant charges of Rogers Communication for cable TV, I finally saw the light and purchased and installed an over-the-air antenna. I currently watch mostly CTV and CBC from Toronto; primarily the evening news. Sometimes I will watch CBC sports on a weekend afternoon. That is all I want from television.
    I will NEVER return to a service provider for television. My experience with Rogers (and my friends’ experiences with Bell) has taught me that Service Providers are so focussed on making money that they will not establish procedures to help their customers. It is not until a customer actually stops being a Rogers’ customer that Rogers will offer a reasonable rate for its services.
    In addition, I think about the people in this great land of ours who are not well off. While I could pay the fees of the service providers, and I simply choose not to, there are many who are not in the position to pay a service provider’s fees. Wouldn’t it be just, in a free and democratic society, to NOT remove the free access to television that people currently have? In order to reduce the fees to people who can afford a service provider, you would be removing the access to television that people without a service provider have.
    While I understand that costs to local stations can be high for transmitting, I would far prefer to pay a government fee to watch television, than have that money go to a service provider. A government fee to watch television could be used to subsidize local stations so that they may continue to transmit their programs. This proposal of mine contains the caveat that people below a certain threshold of income would be exempt from the fee. A precedent for fees to watch television is in the United Kingdom, where citizens are charged to watch television: £49/year for a black and white television, £145.50/year for a colour television or video recorder.
    If local Canadian stations are permitted to stop transmitting, I fear that my only source of television news will be coming to me from across Lake Ontario: NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox television. That is scary and not acceptable. The CBC reports that “roughly eight per cent of Canadian TV viewers get their content using antennas, without paying a service provider to deliver programming.” CRTC's proposal, as it read April 24, 2014, (Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-190, paragraph 67) stated “few Canadians receive television signals over the air.” I would argue that 8 per cent of Canadian TV viewers does not qualify as “few.” If there are 10,000,000 subscribers to service providers, then 8 per cent of TV viewers would represent 800,000 households that watch over-the-air TV.
    Service providers would love to see the demise of over-the-air TV, as it may force viewers to become customers again. This, in and of itself, would reduce competition.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 15:14 Alison_G
  122. To answer the questions in order:
    1) I do not subscribe to cable television any longer.  The only way I get local news, and more importantly emergency broadcast information is via over-the-air transmissions.  By allowing local stations to eliminate OTA the CRTC is forcing those that may not be able to afford $20-$30 per month to purchase basic cable and continue to provide monies to the cable operators even where the individual wants nothing more than emergency broadcasts.  Even for this rate I will not subscribe to cable, nor make payments to the cable companies that have so long been protected by the CRTC to charge extremely high rates for a non-existent service.  Therefore, should the OTA option be removed I, and a number of your fellow Canadians, will be left withou emergency broadcast information.
    2) Children's programming should not be considered high priority.  Firstly, it is well understood that children should not be consuming large quantities of television and that they should focus on getting more exercise etc..  Doctors agree that children should minimize television and internet consumption. 
    3) as for requirements to broadcast Canadian content this is not a basis for a free society.  Forcing content of any kind onto a population is tantamount to indoctrination and propoganda and has no relevance in a free country.  By forcing Canadian content the CRTC uses money that could go to programs that can be self supporting and provides funds for programs that hold no interest to the average viewer.  Better to remove the Canadian content requirement entirely and allow programs to "sink" or "swim".   One of the reasons I left cable television was the Canadian content requirement, the ability for Canadian broadcasters to supplant US broadcasts and the fact that there was little consumable product and no value provided by the cable companies.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 16:10 embalmdk
  123. 1. Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters?

    You're joking, right? Hasn't OTA been used for over a half-century? And now that channels are in digital HD, OTA is at its best yet. I am very much against shutting down OTA transmitters.

    I'm in a rural area near the GTA and only use OTA for tv. I don't see the point in paying for satellite cable. The microwave internet out here isn't fast/reliable enough for streaming. Internet from a Bell turbo stick works great, but the price for data is absolutely ridiculous.

    I love OTA. If there was no more OTA in Canada, I would NOT get a cable subscription. I would keep my antenna aimed at Buffalo and only watch American OTA tv, which seems to be thriving with all the new and different sub-channels all over the place. Though, I would definitely miss the Canadian channels. Canada's less strict censorship laws make OTA in Canada that much better than the US. You can't find an uncensored movie or tv show on American OTA tv. And of course there is local news and weather/emergency alerts.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 16:37 OTAorNothing
    1. Corruption in the construction Industry? What about corruption in the TV Industry? Is the CRTC a willing partner in this corruption or the Mastermind behind it ? I think it's time for wholesale changes at the CRTC, it appears that they are pro Cable-Satellite to come up with the idea of shutting down OTA, the original "Wireless Service".  Free choice is being taken away, now they want to gouge everyone with many stupid useless channels that you would be forced to pay for. They want to take away free choice in this country and the first person to blame is Prime Minister Steven Harper

      Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 20:26 ClearChannel

      1. Perhaps we need a federal investigation commission on the links between government and the broadcast/cable industry? Just sayin' :)

        Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 17:20 JF Bérubé

  124. Who's bright idea was it to allow broadcasters to be bought buy Pay TV providers ? The pay TV providers are in a conflict of interest as they are now responsible for the paid and the free programming. Shutting down the transmitters will leave the public at the mercy of the Cable- Satellite Mafia. I am on pension as are many others. Other people have tight budgets and can't afford to throw money away to these vultures. TOO FEW CONTROL TOO MUCH in this country. At The/La Source stores, there are no outdoor TV antennas on display, why? The salesman tried to sell me on Fibe TV.  At Future Shop the salesman tried to sell ma a satellite receiver at a discount when buying a new tv. No antennas there either. The general public has been kept in the dark about OTA 's superior picture quality deliberately. Is the CRTC a friend of the Cable-Satellite Mafia ? Is the CRTC there to protect the public or big business?

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 19:31 ClearChannel
  125. I just want to say that a lot of the problems we are having right now stems from the CRTC. If the CRTC had not allowed the BDUs to also be broadcasters we would have a much different cable landscape right now. And things would likely be more competitive between the different BDUs. Also if the CRTC hadn't allowed the BDU's to become so big by allowing them to buy so many networks then again things would be much different and much better.
    Vertical integration is killing all the little guys and screwing all the consumers. It screws consumers because subscriptions continually go up and up and because certain BDUs refuse to carry certain channels and bicker with eachother over adding eachothers channels like they are school children.
    Things could be quite different right now and a lot better had the CRTC now allowed 3 companies to get excessively large. And you allowed Bell to get even larger earlier this year and as a result so did Corus/Shaw. Enough is enough. The 3 vertically integrated companies should not be allowed to buy anymore of their competition nor should they even be allowed to apply for any more channels.
    In fact they should also be forced to turn any licences that they are sitting on because clearly they have no interest in launching those channels or else they would have by now.
    Furthermore when it comes to choice I believe all providers, especially the big ones, should be mandated to offer at least 1 foreign language service for every language available. I say this because Shaw offers about 20 South East Asian and Chinese channels, and a few others, but nothing in Portuguese for example. It would only be fair to all of their customers.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 22:27 vjose32
    1. It's called Vertical Integration and it is the cancer of the Canadian broadcasting system. Unfortunatly we have also seen recently by the approval of the acquisition of Astral Media's assets by Bell that the CRTC is in total denial of the desease and still thinks it's in our interest that all those assets be in the hands of the same few players. I dream of the day the CRTC decides to do away with this stupid idea and force a major split involving other players apart from Bell, Rogers, Shaw et al. We need more smaller players and we need the big ones to go on a diet. Their obesity is unhealthy for us as customers.

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 03:18 JF Bérubé

  126. One more comment, CRTC should make sure cable companies are making available HD feeds of local channels. Seems like many companies are still lagging in this department. Especially in regards to ICI Radio Canada. In fact Shaw cable only carrys ICI HD Winnipeg because I complained to the CRTC. They do not offer this channel anywhere else, even though the CRTC requires it. I know there are other similar cases with other providers and channels. Another one for Shaw is Hope TV Winnipeg, Joy TV Vancouver, HD available only OTA, should be made available to all.
    And as I mentioned, I believe if a channel is must carry on basic, it should be the same for HD and I believe that CBC News Network should be must carry as well as it is a part of our public broadcaster. And if RDI is mandatory then so should CBCNN.

    Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 22:37 vjose32
    1. In addition to what vjose32 mentioned about ICI HD, I would like to know why Shaw does not have a HD time-shift of the CBC English available.    Shaw recently added HD Vancouver feeds of CITY, CTV, and Global, why not the HD CBC feed from Vancouver?  

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 13:36 kcbrk32

      1. Because shaw wants CBC off the air. Buy an antenna for 20 dollars and you will get CBC in fantastic HD

        Monday, September 8, 2014 - 07:48 gregconnon

  127. On this website under "Home Service TV Options" there is no mention of over-the-air or of TV antennas, just the 'Pay TV" services. The CRTC is actively promoting cable and satellite and pretending that OTA doesn't exist. Is this a form of corruption ? They say that only 8% of Canadians watch TV over-the-air, no wonder when there is little to no advertising, the big electronic chains are owned by companies like Bell keeping antennas and OTA "Out of Sight, Out of Mind". I run a convenience store and I have a Sony Bravia 40 inch connected to an antenna on the roof. Customers to my store are amazed at the picture quality and are shocked when I tell them it's just an antenna and them assume it must be illegal because it's free. The general public have largely either forgotten about antennas or for the younger generation never grew up with them. Some customers give me blank looks when I say "antenna".
    It's 3 years on since the digital transition with more channels available, the best HD picture to be found anywhere and what is the CRTC doing, promoting the Pay TV services !  Major changes are needed in the mindset of the CRTC and they're needed now !

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 06:52 ClearChannel
  128. "Out of Sight-Out of Mind" appears to be the working policy at the CRTC when it comes to OTA and TV antennas. Whole apartment buildings and condo complexes could be using over-the-air antennas but they're not, they are being handcuffed by cable. Why? I remember seeing antennas being used by apartment buildings but they are few and far between now. If they shut down OTA, I will NEVER give money to the cable and satellite bloodsuckers ! I'll watch the American channels and listen to radio. Maybe radio is the next medium the CRTC wants to eliminate, they seem to dislike anything connected to an antenna. There is no real competition as long as the cable-satellite mafia owns and controls everything and getting a helping hand from their partners at the CRTC. Corruption all around !

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 07:20 ClearChannel
  129. Hello, I do not agree with allowing TV networks to arbitrarily shutdown their over-the-air broadcasting stations for unknown potential and unconfirmed cost-savings.
    To be honest, we should leave the Canadian OTA transmitter network as-is for now as I don’t believe we have enough data to make an informed decision on its current potential, its value to Canadians, let alone its long-term future.
    It appears all data collected (such as the CRMI/CRTC reports on this website) and trends over the past ten years show a decline in OTA use in Canada. This is true. However, most of these figures are in line with what would have been expected given the technological limitations of OTA broadcasting in Canada pre-2011, namely that it was ANALOG.
    With the advent of high-definition TV and HDMI-ready flatscreens in the 2000’s, it was fair to assume Canadians would be less interested in analog TV service, therefore leading to a decline of analog cable subscriptions and of course OTA viewership pre-2011. The only HD providers at the time were pay TV service providers such as digital cable and satellite. It would be expected that Canadians purchasing a new TV would choose a Pay TV provider for programming due to the large leap in picture quality and convenience (i.e. using DVRs for smart recording capabilities, HDMI interfaces to sound equipment, etc).
    However today Canada is brimming with HD and purely-digital OTA signals, especially in the major urban Canadian TV markets. The post-2011 OTA DTV system is better and easier to use than its predecessor as it provides digital signal correction, on-screen program guide info (PSIP), time stamps and signal strength meters. New antennas have hit the market that are more compact and less cumbersome. New OTA set-top products are now available to Canadians such as state-of-the-art OTA PVRs that work on antenna input, OTA tuner cards for computers and various other products that allow an antenna to connect to a home network for OTA viewing on mobile devices and tablets, both in the home and away. Therefore, it is only until recently (less than 3 years) that OTA TV has become up to the latest industry standards in terms of quality, accessories and supported via multiplatform devices.
    In my neighbourhood, I have seen many new DTV antennas (not old hulking rusty ones) go up on roofs in the past year. I have seen new digital antennas and OTA products being sold out at local stores. It seems that broadcast TV is making a slow comeback that may increase in future years as word spreads of the 2011 digital broadcast upgrade. It would not be in Canadians’ best interests at this time to allow this new technology to die in its infancy. It has only been 3 years since the digital transition, and we need to wait a bit longer to see if a set of free local digital OTA channels becomes a preference to Canadians, given that it now has the same benefits as the technology delivered by pay TV.
    My suggestion would be to leave OTA as-is for now and continue collecting data such as: OTA broadcast penetration post-2011, new Canadian antenna sales, channel selection for OTA users in urban areas and such over the next 5 years. Then with this data in hand, we can all revisit the issue in 2020. It takes several data points over several years to see a clear trend. We need more of these post-2011 data points to make the right decision about OTA and the implication on Canadians and their viewing habits. There has been too many recent changes in broadcast technology and as a result Canadians have not reached a steady state in terms of OTA viewership in its new digital form. This is the only logical conclusion we can make at this time, given the data we have.
    Therefore, considering that the TV playing field has only recently become level (i.e. OTA broadcasting is offering the same quality and convenience as pay TV, unlike in the pre-2011 days) I don’t believe taking time to collect more data and postponing any modifications is an irrational plan. A rash decision today will impact over one million Canadians who currently use some form of OTA as well as a whole new generation of Canadians that are just rediscovering local broadcast TV, and also their local broadcasters.
    Thank you for your time and consideration of this comment.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 10:25 Antenna Dude
    1. The only reason that they want to stop OTA now  is because it has become a real and serious threat to the cable and satellite monopolies (cable-satellite mafia). The CRTC is their adviser similar to what was seen in the "Godfather" films. OTA technology is equal or superior to cable and satellite at the very attractive price of $0 dollars per month and that is the ONLY reason they want to stop it. In California and other areas of the U.S., 100 channels or more are available free over the air.
      Installers there are putting antennas on condos and apartments again.
      The only reason that they want to stop OTA now  is because it has become a real and serious threat to the cable and satellite monopolies (cable-satellite mafia). The CRTC is their adviser similar to what was seen in the "Godfather" films. OTA technology is equal or superior to cable and satellite at the very attractive price of $0 dollars per month and that is the ONLY reason they want to stop it. In California and other areas of the U.S., 100 channels or more are available free over the air.
      Installers are putting antennas on condos and apartments again. That hurts the bottom line of greedy cable and satellite. The CRTC here doesn't 't give a damn about the consumer, just big business.


      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 13:35 ClearChannel

  130. WOW power to the people. It is quite clear based on comment we all feel the same OTA HERE TO STAY!!!

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 12:34 twinntech
    1. Provided this consultation page is not just "make-believe" and the CRTC does what it should do.

      Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 17:09 JF Bérubé

  131. I found this article on the internet today.   It raises many good points and debunks several myths about over-the-air television in Canada.
    http://average-joe-consumer-product-reviews.blogspot.ca/2014/09/canadas-...
    Also interesting how over-the-air usage data all ends in 2006 before digital over-the-air signals arrived and the term "cord cutting" have never been uttered.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 13:06 OTA ATSC
    1. Thats' a great read. thanks

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 13:57 Alison_G

    2. Excellent blog post reference; very well written!!
      I particularly like the screen capture from CTV/Bell's atrocious misuse of mandated PSAs from the 2011 DTV switchover. This was intended solely to scare people into subscribing to Bell TV (and doing so at Bell-owned The Source, no less) instead of informing them of how to continue watching OTA TV:

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 14:02 Taxpayer_Revenge

      1. I remember those PSAs as well. Bell was scaring people into buying their cable while Shaw was offering free dishes with CBC/Radio-Canada on them.

        Friday, September 5, 2014 - 14:11 JF Bérubé

        1. You know what's even more disgusting? The website address that Bell/CTV aired during the 2011 PSAs, bell.ca/digitalconversion, now takes you directly to the Bell TV homepage -- ahh, right... why bother removing a redundant URL when you can just redirect it to your profit-generating subscription TV website?
          For those who missed them, all the PSAs from three years ago are neatly stitched together in a single clip, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoM4rxNT2RI
          Interestingly enough, Shaw/Global is still in the process of converting all its stations to digital transmission -- I wonder if they'll have harsh words for Bell/Rogers being so whiny/greedy, given the lengths Shaw has gone far beyond Bell/Rogers, when it comes to investing in OTA. All the noise about costs are farcical; this kind of infrastructure is the cost of doing business, and the expenditures are supposed to be amortized over decades of service life.

          Friday, September 5, 2014 - 14:24 Taxpayer_Revenge

          1. Purely obscene greed!

            Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 17:06 JF Bérubé

        2. I remember when I called Bell to cancel satellite in 2010, ‘oh no Mr. Stupid there is no more TV with antenna they are shutting it down’.

          Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 18:33 twinntech

    3. Wow great article! Thanks so much for posting this!

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 22:21 Antenna Dude

  132. The mere act of considering whether to allow TV broadcasters to shut down antennas has to rank among the most ill-advised initiatives by the CRTC ever in its history.

    Perhaps the CRTC needs a crash course in Canadian demographics. If they were to take such a course, they would learn that 90+% of all Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border. If we were to shut down TV antennas in Canada, that means that those Canadians -- myself included -- would simply watch US channels. So much for the organization's mandate to support Canadian content.

    Perhaps the CRTC also needs a refresher course in the role of state media in supporting a democracy and what promoting a well informed populace actually entails.

    The organization seems to be equally unconcerned with public safety.

    It is clear that by considering this initiative, the CRTC is siding with the monopolies and not with the Canadian public. Surely there is enough room in Canada to allow consumers to choose between OTA and other delivery modalities. It should also be noted that we all pay for the television programming we consume through advertising.

    The CRTC needs to get back to supporting Canadians and freedom of choice.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 13:18 otaordeath
    1. The reason for wanting to shut down OTA is greed pure and simple. The people that own pay tv now also own the networks and the transmitters. Many tens of thousands of people if not more that are on basic cable and satellite packages would benefit by switching to OTA. The technology now exists that has made over the air vastly superior to what it was in the past.
      Sh

      Having tens of thousands switching to OTA would hurt their bottom line. My old satellite provider Starchoice now Shaw Direct charges $53 dollars a month for a basic package. Compare that to OTA's basic package of $0 dollars per month and you can see that they are worried. I have been seeing more antennas popping up lately here in Montrea. There would be a small benefit to shutting down OTA here. It's not only the CRTC's fault but also their dance partner, Industry Canada. These two government bodies work together for the benefit of big business and tl the detriment of the consumer. Industry Canada decided which channels a tv station can transmit on. They put the English CBC here on channel 21. Guess what, there is a CBS station operating on channel 22! So the CBC channel causes adjacent channel interference to the American station. They could have put the English CBC with Radio-Canada on 19.2. The ABC station in Vermont moved from channel 22 to channel 13. Dumb move there since there is a CTV affiliate CFCF on channel 12. More adjacent channel interference. If OTA were shut down here, then there would be perfect reception of those American channels. These decisions by Industry Canada were calculated to try to force people off OTA and onto the pay services. When the channels were moved from Lo-VHF to UHF, cross-border reception wasn't taken into account. People that rely on over the air antennas were never given any consideration. As I have stated before, some areas in the U.S. have 100 or more OTA channels. Many areas have dozens of channels in the range of 60 to 80. There are about 60 million Americans watching tv by over the air antenna according to the National Association of Broadcasters. I wonder what they think of the lunacy going on here ?

      Friday, September 5, 2014 - 22:00 ClearChannel

  133. It was the Rogers' adjustment to a channel package that was the very last straw for me: I had been thinking of going to OTA TV for several months, and then I received a letter from Rogers advising I would no longer receive BBC Canada in my package: I would have to pay an extra dollar each month to continue viewing BBC Canada. The day after receiving that letter I contacted my OTA antenna guy and asked him to instal the OTA antenna. I then phoned Rogers and told them I was cancelling the cable. The sales associate, in a snarky voice, told me I had to give Rogers 30 days' notice (which I was already aware of). I smiled and told her that the phone call was me giving Rogers 30 days' notice. Even then, Rogers "forgot" to cancel my cable, and continued to charge me. They only reversed the charges when I could prove that I had given 30 days' notice.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 14:23 Alison_G
  134. 1-Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters? Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why? How would this affect your TV viewing habits?
    No, OTA transmitters should definitely not be permitted to shutdown.
    I have major concerns and disagree for these reasons:
    -my only access to tv is currently OTA
    -video quality of OTA is better than other modes
    -growing numbers of people I know are using OTA
    -the “few” OTA users that has been mentioned are really not so few in numbers
    -the OTA system is an important national asset developed over many years and should not be discarded
    -many people cannot afford cable or satellite
    -this change is not in the public interest, but only in the interest of private companies who would gain more control of the broadcast system
    I would definitely miss the Canadian channels and end up watching US OTA or maybe Netflix.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 16:09 PeterM
    1. Absolutely correct assessment ! None of the proposed changes are in the interest of the public but the CSM.

      Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 22:09 ClearChannel

  135. [Quote]Should local stations be permitted to shut down over-the-air (OTA) transmitters? Local stations would continue to be available on cable or satellite; just not OTA. Cost savings could be redirected to local content production. Do you agree? Why? How would this affect your TV viewing habits?[/Quote]
    Local stations should be permitted to shut down their OTA transmitters as long as they provide those same channels via cable or satellite at no cost to the consumer and that the cable or satellite provider be directed, as they currently are, to follow the letter and spirit of the Canadian Broadcasting Act.  The question "Do you agree" must be answered "Maybe".
    My opinion is that by shutting down OTA transmitters, no savings would be realized and if there were, they would not be redirected into local content production.  Without a compelling financial reason to do so, I find it difficult to imagine the current major BDUs would do the 'right' thing and consider 'Canadian identity and cultural sovereignty' as a priority.  I understand that, in order to provide their customers anything at all, they deserve to make a profit but currently most of that profit is made by lower cost distribution of content rather than actual content production or broadcasting.  I fail to see how this would change if OTA transmitters were shut down.
    I do not currently subscribe to a cable or satellite service and use OTA exclusively even though in my area I could choose from 2 cable and/or 2 satellite providers.  My opinion is that cable and satellite are already overpriced for what they deliver and I am currently unable to put together a 'package' that has the content that I want and none of the content that I don't want even if I did want to pay for it.  I also fail to see how this would change if OTA transmitters were shut down.
    If OTA transmitters were shut down, I would consume the majority of my content via non-Canadian streaming services or OTA from the US.  I don't believe that this is the result anyone at the CRTC should strive for.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 16:57 Red Knave
  136. On the cost of OTA:
    I am curious to know which is most cost effective:
    1) launching and maintaining satellite
    2) building and maintaining a cable network to millions of subscribers
    3) installing and maintaining OTA transmitter

    A quick search shows the most likely winner is 3). According to Wikipedia the cost of the digital transition in Canada is comparable to just launching one satellite.

    The middle man (the BDU) of course whats to control all the traffic of information and be able to charge monopoly fees for the service. Of course they would prefer the two more expensive technologies since it gives them full control.

    It will be in the interest of both people and TV broadcasters and producers to cut the middle man out, and find a way to transfer the viewing fees directly from the viewers to the content producers and broadcasters.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 19:09 nikiml
    1. Now this guy knows what he is talking about!

      Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 18:47 twinntech

  137. City TV's OTA signal in Vancouver is out again (was out most of last weekend also) Rogers is really pushing it. They haven't responded to my emails or tweets. Seems customer service at their TV stations are as bad and their wireless division!
    OTA has so much potential, but you're not going to see that promoted by Shawgers Bellus! CBC is being squeezed by the government and there are only a few other smaller stations.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 21:31 globalguybc
    1. The people who monitor stations' general email inbox and Twitter accounts are ignorant and only selectively reply -- you need to telephone the station and speak to a real person who can't easily dismiss your questions. Failing that, try to find someone responsible for engineering using clever LinkedIn searches, and email them directly by guessing firstname.lastname@rci.rogers.com or something to that extent.

      Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 08:32 Taxpayer_Revenge

  138. OTA should be expanded for basic service.

    Friday, September 5, 2014 - 22:28 mpa
  139. On Optional OTA
    "Canada needs a strong and diverse broadcasting system. We work to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality Canadian programming in two ways:
    Each part of the broadcasting system must contribute to creating and presenting Canadian programming;
    Broadcasting distributors must make carrying Canadian TV programming services a priority."

    CRTC Website
    When I worked at Rogers Cable we refered to cable as "narrowcasting", that is, there were regional,. local, and targerted differences to the programming. There was no mandate to have a Pan Canadian voice except to carry those who already bradcast that voice. The Cable system is not Pan Candian but also fragemented. 
    If we need  "a strong and diverse bradcasting system" how does making radio broadcasting optional support this?
    I can see all programming centalized to Toronto for "cost savings" and the great diversity of our country becomes the voice of the big smoke. 
    Where will it all end? The Canada Post is not delivering letters and CBC will not be broadcasting. I suppose the Canadian Pension Plan will be the next optional extra followed by optional healthcare. 
    The demographics do not support these wrongheaded moves as  the population is peaking at 62 years of age not with 19 year old internet junkies.
    The slippery slope is being approached. As others have said, the CRTC is quickly making itself and the Canadian Televison Industry non-essential. That seems contrary to the mission. 
    I enjoy 40+ channels of OTA in Windsor. I expect some of the 5 million viewers in the Detroit market  are watching Canadian programming as well. Certainly they will not receive that on local US cable/Xfinity or Uverse. Understanding our border partners works both ways.  
    I suspect the CRTC will expect that Canadians will not object because they are too busy watching Netflix. 
    Interent is not broadcasting. Cable is not broadcasting. Though. if you squint your eyes and drink the koolaid one might believe anything. 
     

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 00:10 Bruce G
  140. With the aid of a pair of Channelmaster drop amps, I have 6 televisions running off of one antenna. I could easily add 6 more and even provide my neighbours on either side of me with Free TV. There is a lot of new equipment available that makes OTA more practical, desireable and economical than in tie past. Many new models of antennas are available, many new designs, drop amps, pre-amps, high quality coaxial cable such as quad shield, rotators, and antenna mounts.
    A TV station can transmit up to 6 channels where only one was possible under the analog system, even the non-HD channels are crystal clear. Why? Because this new digital technology makes the use of sub-channels available, a main HD channel and 5 non-Hd channels or even two HD channels and two non-HD or SD as they are commonly known-Standard Definition. The use of sub-channels is quite prevalent in the United States, why not here? The Pay TV providers don't like that as that would hurt their bottom line.
    Motels, Hotels, Condos, Apartment Buildings and residential homes could all be wired to Free TV with the new equipment available and enjoy high quality pictures and sound and diverse programming at the best monthly cost of $0 dollars every month! This IS THE REASON why there are NO ANTENNAS visible at Future Shop, Best Buy, The/La Source, The Brick and many other independent electronic stores. OUT OF SIGHT-OUT OF MIND is thw working philosphy of the Pay TV providers with some help from their friends at the CRTC and Industry Canada.
    The new technology makes OTA better than ever but it's use has been RESTRICTED here and now even threatened with extinction ! TOO FEW CONTROL TOO MUCH in this country that we like to be proud of and it HAS TO STOP !

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 07:55 ClearChannel
    1. It's no secret that retailers get a tidy kickback commission on every new customer they signup for cable TV/satellite service -- that's the reason why OTA antennas have disappeared from franchise stores.
      Don't forget that digital OTA now also provides electronic program guide information, too -- a further improvement from the old analog days that "nobody" is promoting.

      Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 08:30 Taxpayer_Revenge

    2. A small pirate OTA BDU :) Watch out! Did you ever hear about a startup in the US called Areo? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aereo

      Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 16:47 JF Bérubé

      1. Bah! It's all been done before. At the dawn of the new millennium, a Canadian start-up tried to do exactly what Aereo did, but nobody seems to remember its failure. Ever heard about iCraveTV? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICraveTV

        Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 21:09 Taxpayer_Revenge

  141. Once again the media is not giving the full story about OTA being shut down. Here is a star article that talks much about pick and pay but onlu gives one sentence about OTA being shut down. http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/09/06/pickandpay_on_shaky_ground_wi...
    It is interesting the article states "a proposal critics say should only be enacted once digital services are fully rolled out to all regions of the country" who are these "critics" clearly they are not the OTA users who are saying do not stop OTA. It goes to show the media is only talking to cable companies, producers etc but not to the public who use OTA. I doubt our voices are being heard as I suspect the comments here on this forum will never see the light of day at the CRTC hearings. This is to give the illusion of public input. The media wants to keep the public uninformed about he benefits of OTA and how HD OTA is better and no subscription fees only advertising you watch unlike calbe where you get subscription fees and advertsing. 

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 10:09 bradOTA
    1. Its true, anytime this process is brought up in the media the shutdown of OTA is not mentioned and the reason is pretty clear. The media is owned by the same companies that will make hundreds of millions of dollars by forcing about 3 million people to buy a basic cable package to get the same thing that is free and in HD right now.

      Monday, September 8, 2014 - 07:31 gregconnon

  142. I've been a Bell satellite TV subscriber ever since it was introduced. Programming has been whittled away over the years while the monthly cost increases, all to drive the consumer to upgrade their subscription. I resent this practice to the extent that with every price increase, I've been dropping programming until I'm almost at the Basic level.  I'm at the point that I'm going to give OTA a try with a view to suspending my sat. service through the summer months - it's all repeat programming from May-October anyway. Much as I enjoy HBO, I'm not willing to spent $20/mo to watch one or two series then repeat after repeats the rest of the year. Now that I'm able to access Netflix & BBC IPlayer, that's where I'm spending most of my viewing time. I can even listen to music/radio via TuneIn.
    How does the CRTC intend for those who don't live in major cities or have access to cable TV to be viewers? We/ve never had cable or DSL where I live (10 minutes outside Kanata) because Robellus doesn't find it cost effective to run services into our 30-year old subdivision. So it was either satellite or OTA. We now have the option of streaming as wireless internet providers have come into play in our area in the past few years at affordable rates
    Cable/Satellite TV, IMO, has come down to value for money and I'm not finding much value in what's being offered. I'm not alone in this as I have three family members (two urban, one rural), who have done the same thing plus several neighbours.



    Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 11:50 BarB
  143. JEAN-PIERRE BLAIS SHOULD BE FIRED FOR GROSS INCOMPETENCE for allowing Broadcasters to be bought up by the Pay TV providers and STEVEN HARPER along with him ! They want to take away OTA but on the contrary we need more OTA not less or none at all.The idea that maintaining a transmitter is expensive to maintain is a lame excuse to rope in more customers and increase their profits! The government and the media in general have not promoted OTA, have not explained how it works or have shown the picture quality that can be obtained with an antenna. The equipment required for OTA is largely hidden away from view and can only be seen on-line for the most part. There is no advertising in the major newspapers and letters to the editor promoting the benefits of OTA are rarely printed. There are no commercials about OTA products on radio or TV nor any educational programming explaining the digital transition and it's benefits. Information on OTA is largely passed along by word of mouth. Sub-channels that are used extensively in the United States are practically non-existent here. The technology is not being fully utilized here. Over the air television has existed since the 1930's-1940's with the principle of signals being transmitted freely over the airwves to be received by antennas designed specifically for that purpose.
    Many people with limited means rely