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Ottawa, 30 May 2013
To: Ann Mainville-Neeson, Director, Broadcast Regulation
TELUS Communications Inc.
Re: Follow up to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-672, Complaint by OUTtv Network Inc. against TELUS Communications Company alleging undue preference and disadvantage
In Decision 2012-672, the Commission found that TELUS failed to market OUTtv in a manner comparable to other similar services on its Optik TV distribution service and subjected OUTtv Network to an undue disadvantage. The Commission thus directed TELUS to file a detailed plan demonstrating how it would remedy the undue disadvantage/preference. Specifically, the Commission requested “a detailed marketing plan that highlights how [TELUS] intends to market OUTtv and/or the ‘Lifestyle Extra’ package, including the amount of financial support it will provide for the promotion of OUTtv and/or the ‘Lifestyle Extra’ package.”
On 8 February 2013, TELUS submitted its plan. OUTtv provided comments on this plan on 14 February 2013.
TELUS submitted three proposals:
- the implementation of certain marketing initiatives; and
- the launch of a channel selection tool.
With respect to the first two proposals, while on their face, such marketing efforts would appear to go some way in addressing the concerns raised in the above noted decision, the Commission is not satisfied that these steps will be sufficient to address the historical undue disadvantage/preference, nor has TELUS provided enough detail regarding these changes, such as the period of time that they would be in effect or how they would be implemented (for example, with respect to the training of Customer Service Representatives). The Commission considers that TELUS could have proposed more specific measures, such as discounting rates to subscribers for a determinate amount of time or showing free previews, among other potential marketing efforts. In addition, TELUS should demonstrate that any specific marketing initiative will not unduly disadvantage any other Category A service.
The Commission also notes that TELUS has not proposed any marketing or promotion initiatives for the OUTtv service itself nor indicated how it will measure the effects of the initiatives that it has proposed to ensure a successful result.
With respect to TELUS’ third proposal, the channel selection tool, the Commission notes that this tool was developed as part of TELUS’ general customer service strategy, rather than to specifically address the undue disadvantage and preference experienced by OUTtv Network. The Commission further notes that, in any event, the parties have failed to come to an agreement regarding the use of the tool. Therefore, it is uncertain whether OUTtv Network will ever benefit from the channel selection tool and as a result, it cannot be considered a remedial measure in this case.
In sum, the Commission finds that TELUS’ proposals fail to adequately remedy the undue disadvantage and preference with respect to the marketing and promotion of the “Lifestyle Extra” package and OUTtv. Moreover, additional details are required before the Commission can accept TELUS’ plan, including details on how TELUS will measure the success of its initiatives.
The Commission notes that to this point, there has been no collaboration between TELUS and OUTtv Network regarding any joint-marketing efforts. The Commission is of the view that this would be a necessary step and that both parties should cooperate to ensure that the “Lifestyle Extra” package and OUTtv will be promoted and marketed in a satisfactory manner.
Accordingly, TELUS is required to:
- Within 15 days of the date of this letter (20 June 2013), provide OUTtv Network with an updated and more detailed plan regarding the marketing and promotion of the “Lifestyle Extra” package and/or OUTtv and initiate consultations with OUTtv Network with a view to developing a mutually acceptable plan; and
- Within 30 days of the date of this letter (12 July 2013), file (copying OUTtv Network) the updated and more detailed plan along with a summary of the results of the consultations with OUTtv Network in regards to the plan.
(Original signed by)
Cc: OUTtv Network Inc.
Brad Danks, Chief Operating Officer
- Date modified: