Consumer complaints are pouring in about the new $25 skinny basic TV packages now on the market.
The CRTC mandated the packages, but consumers found that add-on the prices for extras and channels made the final price unattractive.
How do you get your TV? Streaming service? Antenna? Traditional cable or fibre-optic service? Here's how the conversation went:
(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the complete comment in the blog format.)
For some people, the skinny basic cable option works the best
"We switched to the skinny basic with one added theme pack. Apart from dropping out sports coverage, we're now getting channels we didn't have beforehand (theme pack) and are saving a little over what we watched on Shaw's personal TV channel listings. Saving $12 a month." — Ymmv
"I switched to the skinny package and reduced my Bell Sat bill from $92.50 to $29.95 per month! I added time shifting and get most of the broadcasters across Canada and both coasts of the US. I have no specialty channels or sports, which I don't watch anyway. I still have my PVR without addition costs so I can continue to watch shows on my schedule." — Peter Armstrong
"Took the opportunity when the skinny package came in to do a complete review of our TV watching. Opted to switch out current cable package for skinny plus a mix package. Saved enough money to pay for two-screen Netflix subscription and all the popcorn we could ever eat Worked for us and our cable provider (Cogeco) offered a decent choice on the skinny package." — Beagle
For others, skinny basic was no deal at all
"I've checked out the new 'basic' package offered by Rogers. It would cost me more to get the same channels I get now, and about the same to drop cable altogether but still receive unlimited internet and landline each month. So there literally is no incentive to change the package." — panache
"Here's why no one wants to buy this package: you have to forfeit all discounts and bundles to change to the $25 package. It's really something of a joke. Try explaining to someone how changing to less expensive plan will actually cost them $85 more a month." — Anonymous Telco Employee
"Just so everybody knows, we're instructed at Bell to not offer any deals. This package is ineligible even in the retention department. The skinny plan is universally known to be overpriced for what it can offer. Adding channels (and the first receiver which is not included), quickly causes the plan to outstrip its predecessors." — Bell employee
"I feel like people are maybe directing their anger in the wrong direction. The CRTC made this decision on the basis of lots of complaints about how basic TV packages were too expensive (which they are). The TV companies are the ones who took these rules and made these skinny packages unattractive and more expensive. As for me though, I have an antenna that works decently and gives me 10 channels on a good day and then I subscribe to Netflix." — M
Many people said they use an antenna and internet streaming
"Why are people still paying for cable? Grab a $20 digital antenna which gives you your local channels at a higher signal quality than cable and for everything else there's the internet. I dumped cable months ago and never looked back." — cmg30
"Between free over air antenna, Netflix and downloads we have all the tv we can watch for years to come. We cut the cable cord years ago and so should you." — Dwight
"I have an antenna on the roof that gets me free HD broadcast content from Toronto and Buffalo (CBC, CTV, TVO, Global, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, etc, etc, etc... then I get DVDs and streaming for the TV series I care about not on broadcast networks. This is fine with me I don;t feel the need to watch series the day they come out. If you are into sports then you have a bigger issue since Bell and Rogers have locked in that content. — deuxit
"I haven't been subscribed to TV since June. Every Canadian network has an app that allows you to view latest episodes on your phone or tablet, for free, with ads. Most of them work for Chromecasting or AirPlay to your TV, though it can be buggy. Sports like NHL or NFL have subscription services too if you want that. Netflix and Shomi have some series that update weekly, the day after a new episode airs on traditional TV." — MK15
"I use a combination of the internet, antenna and Netflix. Cut the cord four years ago and couldn't be happier." — oilers84
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