Tuesday March 01, 2016

What pick-and-pay TV packages will mean for you

Bell is telling employees not to promote its new, cheap basic TV package, according to an internal company document obtained by CBC News.

Bell is telling employees not to promote its new, cheap basic TV package, according to an internal company document obtained by CBC News. (Galit Rodan/Canadian Press)

Listen 12:37

"Big, unwieldy, and expensive." That was how the CRTC described the cable packages you've been shelling out for.

And starting today, TV providers have been forced to offer up a cheaper option — what's being called "skinny basic." Essentially, it's a handful of channels for $25, with a focus on Canadian and local networks.

That'll be followed by a second stage in December where you can add other channels and pay à la carte. When it comes into full effect, some industry insiders worry jobs will be lost and channels could die.

The new TV packages may look like a deal. But according to CBC News, in many cases, when customers add on extras and pick-and-pay channels, the price can soar to even more than what they're paying now.

Steve Faguy, a Montreal media blogger and writer for the Montreal Gazette, gives us the skinny on the brave new world of cable.