Calling cable bundles large and expensive, Canadian regulators are breaking them up, big time.
In what was billed as a World of Choice "roadmap," Canada's version of the FCC, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), will start requiring MVPDs to offer a la carte programming options and will not allow blackouts during carriage disputes between programmers and distributors.
By year-end 2016, viewers will be able to subscribe to the low-cost basic tier, which will have to include all local and regional television stations, public interest channels such as the Cable Public Affairs Channel and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, education channels, and, if offered, community channels and the services operated by provincial legislatures, then, rather than having to add bundled tiers, they can "pick and pay" among other channels, or add "small, reasonably priced" packages of service.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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