Business·CBC Forum

Here's what you think a pick-and-pay model means for TV's future

Cable companies have less than a month to detail what their new, mandatory low-cost TV package and pick-and-pay options will look like. What do you think the pick-and-pay model means for the future of TV? Readers weighed in via CBC Forum.

2015 CRTC ruling forces cable companies to offer low-cost option starting March 1

TV providers will be offering a new 'skinny' basic package and pick-and-pay options come March. But CBC News found that many details remain secret for now. (iStock)

Cable companies have less than a month to detail what their new, mandatory low-cost TV package and pick-and-pay options will look like.

CBC News has found that none of the big TV providers have shared any details yet.

Last year, the CRTC announced a ruling that forces cable and satellite providers to offer skinny basic packages and pick-and-pay options to consumers by March 1, 2016. Industry watchers suspect the companies are remaining mum because the new rules are not in their best interest.

We posed a few questions to readers: What do you think the pick-and-pay model means for the future of TV? Why do you think cable companies aren't sharing details just yet? Is the pick-and-pay model a better option?

You shared your thoughts, comments and insights via CBC Forum, our new attempt to encourage a different type of discussion on our website. We've rounded up some of the best contributions to the forum discussion below.

Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the comment in the blog format.

There were a few thoughts on what the new model might mean for TV's future

  • "It will mean a lot less channels on the dial as the niche ones don't get subscribed to and lose what little funding they currently get and collapse." — Kaz Takagi​
  • "As soon as someone (Netflix?) starts providing live sports, all of the incumbents are dead." — R33P
  • "Pick and pay is going to wreak havoc on prices. Imagine you only paid road tax on the roads you used, school taxes on the classroom your kid used, etc. The system, buoyed by the idea of collectivism through taxation, would collapse." — Drew May​

Several were optimistic about the switch

  • "I think the adjustment to the 'skinny' package is a great option and the pick and pay works great for only getting the premium channels you watch." — Graham Alexander
  • "I am looking forward to the changes. I have not had cable for 10 years … My hope is that the individual pricing will enable me to get a few channels that I want and ignore the rest. If they do it right, they have a new customer."  Adam Dubé

Others took the opportunity to sound off about the CRTC

  • "This will be a true test of the relevance of the CRTC. Will the TV companies rig the skinny basic or charge crazy fees for the "good" channels? Will the CRTC protect Canadians or corporations?" — long-time listener
  • "This would have been exciting news 15 years ago. Not today. The real question is why is the CRTC consistently a decade or more behind the times? I want to read news about cheaper internet and mobile data today, not 15 years from now … this is far too late to make a difference." — Noah Stewart

Many had no sympathy for cable companies

  • "Cut the life support. Let the market economy rule. Maybe TV would be better if competition was more prominent." — Top Goyim​
  • "Don't be afraid to give cable companies the one-finger salute." — Dread Pirate Roberts

You can read the full CBC Forum live blog discussion on the pick-and-pay TV model below.

Can't see the forum? Click here