Battle looms over TV pick-and-pay pricing
OTTAWA - Industry insiders say forcing cable and satellite TV providers to offer pick-and-pay pricing could result in some television channels disappearing.
And, they say, the move likely won't mean lower prices for consumers.
Industry Minister James Moore says the Harper government's throne speech today will outline plans to mandate an unbundling of TV offerings.
The Conservatives are expected to instruct Canada's broadcast regulator to require that cable and satellite TV service providers offer a form of a-la-carte pricing.
Industry watchers say the move will be "evolutionary" for Canada's broadcast sector.
But content producers are worried.
Michael Hennessy, president and CEO of the Canadian Media Production Association, says some channels rarely watched by viewers will certainly disappear as a pick-and-pay system comes into place.
But that could take months or even years.
As well, observers say consumers may not benefit from lower prices because service providers could raise prices for on-demand programming if they see revenues decline, or begin to charge more for individual channels in markets where there is little competition.