So, it’s been almost five years since my last post on the whole TELUS vs. Shaw topic. You’d hope that five years later, both companies would be now offering consumers significant choices;
- Lots of bandwidth options – sadly, this is not the case. While Shaw and TELUS both offer up to 100Mbps plans, availability is extremely limited depending on where you live.
- Lots of television options – again, this is not the case. All service providers were forced through the CRTC last year to begin offering, as of March 1st 2016 basic (skinny) television programming packages starting at $25.00 CDN. While all have complied, they do not market and have even told in house sales staff to not promote these packages and only acknowledge them if asked by the customer.
Further, the CRTC has also mandated that by December 31, 2016 the providers must offer an ‘a-la carte’ option that enables customers to pick and choose only the channels they wish to have.
I believe that the CRTC is completely out of touch with reality – both in terms of what customers really want and also in terms of technological capabilities.
How do you create a ‘competitive’ environment and really create a disruption in this space? My thoughts. Let the Apple’s, Google’s, Netflix, Amazons and Roku’s of the world have unrestricted access to provide services to Canadians. Let them redistribute content and take out the broadcaster middlemen – the Globals, the CTVs and the CityTV’s, which incidentally are mostly owned by cable companies. While this may affect the ‘Canadian’ content that may exist, I would rather Canadian content be on my viewing options based on the merit of that content and not based on a Government body mandating my choices.
A good example of quality Canadian content is that new series, Schitts Creek, which recently won nine Canadian Screen Awards. This series has made itself onto Netflix for streaming. On a side note, I have to say that it was really great to see Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara back together and even greater to see Norm MacDonald, the Canadian Screen Award shows host propose that the awards should be named after that Canadian comedic great, John Candy.
I digress. My point being, if Canadian content is that good, then it will be on various streaming services. The whole business model in this space has to change. It needs to evolve.