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Pay TV comes to Canada

The Story

Cable TV just isn't cutting it any more when it comes to home viewing options for Canadians. Thanks to Anik C, the latest Canadian satellite to be launched, a batch of new movie channels (among them First Choice and Superchannel) are coming, and their promoters are pushing them hard. But there's a recession on and a subscription doesn't come cheap, ranging from $25 to $50 per month. In this 1982 report for CBC's The National, a skeptical Terry Milewski demonstrates the hardware and hears the pitch from companies that stand to get rich from pay TV.      

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Dec. 5, 1982
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Terry Milewski
Guests: Ed Cowan, Bill Lambert, Colin Watson
Duration: 4:32

Did You know?

• Pay TV was not a success in Canada. The Globe and Mail reported that within months of the launch of six channels, subscriptions reached a plateau of 500,000 -- just half of the level needed for pay TV to be viable. The two French-language channels merged, two went out of business and the two remaining divided Canadian territory: Superchannel west of the Manitoba-Ontario border, First Choice east of it.  


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