Mar 22, 2016

By Michael Kramer

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It’s still too soon to tell if Canadian TV service providers are respecting the spirit of the CRTC’s new basic cable regulation – often referred to as “skinny basic.”

That’s the assessment of Canada’s broadcast regulator.

But the head of the CRTC is hinting that the agency has a big incentive for companies to comply: renewals of their television licences.

Blais says most of the television service providers’ licences will be up for renewal in the near future.

Following a speech to the Canadian Marketing Association in Toronto, Blais said – enforcement action is unnecessary – when the companies’ licences are coming before the CRTC – which has been watching out for anti-consumer practices since the March 1st deadline – requiring all cable and satellite TV service providers to offer basic cable packages capped at $25 a month.

Companies must also allow consumers to add “a la carte” channels or pre-packaged bundles – and have to offer both of these options by December.

After cable companies rolled out their new offerings, some consumers expressed discontent at the packages.

The CRTC has gotten 600 consumer calls on the issue since March 1st.

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