Decision CRTC 2001-487
Ottawa, 10 August 2001
Ms. Pamela Dinsmore
Vice President, Regulatory
Rogers Cable Inc.
333 Bloor Street East
Fax: (819) 994-0218
Dear Ms. Dinsmore:
Re: Channel Realignments in Barrie, Pickering and Richmond Hill
This letter sets out the Commission's determinations regarding the recent channel realignments in the Rogers Cable Inc. (Rogers) systems in Barrie, Pickering and Richmond Hill. In these systems, Rogers (a) removed MuchMusic from basic service, and (b) began charging for TreeHouse TV, which had previously been distributed free of charge as part of basic service. Rogers decided to charge the same amount for TreeHouse TV as it had previously been charging for MuchMusic. Hence, the overall monthly fee for basic service remained unchanged.
Rogers submitted that it was not required to file a notification of a fee increase because there was no overall increase in the basic monthly fee. The Commission finds that Rogers' channel realignment consists of two separate actions that must be considered individually: (a) the removal of MuchMusic from Basic, requiring a rate decrease, and (b) a rate increase for TreeHouse TV equal to the amount previously charged for MuchMusic. The Commission notes that passing through a rate increase is subject to subsection 53(1) of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the regulations), which requires that the licensee comply with subsection 54(1) of the regulations.
With respect to customer notices, the Commission notes that, although total fees charged remained the same, customers lost a service and were unaware that they were now paying for TreeHouse TV. The notices were therefore deficient. In future, the Commission will expect customer notices dealing with channel realignments to more fully take into account the subscribers' interests and to clearly describe the nature of the rate change.
By majority vote, the Commission will not disallow the proposed rate increases described in your letter of April 27, 2001. However, the Commission notes that, should Rogers decide to pass through additional increases up to the approved rate for TreeHouse TV, those increases will be subject to the rate increase obligations described above. More generally, the Commission points out that, in future, Rogers must notify the Commission of rate increases as provided for in sections 53 and 54 of the regulations.
Date Modified: 2001-08-10