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September 28, 2022 11:58 am  #1


Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

I almost could not believe this when I first saw it on the CRTC website. The commission is asking Canadians how they feel about an application by a "group of television service providers" to raise the price of the basic TV package from $25 a month (frozen at that rate by the CRTC) to $28 (with yearly adjustments thanks to inflation.)

I remember the excitement when the CRTC announced it was going to force cable companies to introduce a so-called "skinny basic" package, with mostly only over-the-air stations you could get with an antenna. In theory, it sounded great. In practice, there was so little in it, almost nobody went for it. 

But those who did were at least somewhat happy with the $25 a month price, far below what you'd pay for most cable/sat packages. 

When, in the history of commerce, has anyone ever said "please raise my rates?" Really, what do they think the response will be?

This is surely one the strangest requests I've ever seen from this Commission, which too often seems to be in the pocket of the big Telcos. Which is why I fully expect those who fill out the online form to say no, and the CRTC to writhe about in distress before finally granting the increase. 

The companies behind this eyebrow raising price raiser: Bell Canada (no surprise), Cogeco, Eastlink, and Saskatchewan Communications. Surprisingly, Rogers is not one of them, although I suspect if the price hike is granted, they'll benefit from it, too. 

Request for a rate hike

Intervention comment form

Canadians invited to share their views on application to raise basic TV package rate

 

September 28, 2022 8:44 pm  #2


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

It is never "crazy" when input from the public is requested.  https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/angel.png


Of course the CRTC expects any interventions to be negative on the increase.  This gives them some ammunition to not allow the $3 increase or limit it to a lesser amount.  What is crazy about that exactly?

 

September 28, 2022 8:53 pm  #3


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

I fail to understand the issue.
When the minimum wage (in Ontario) was $6.85/hr, cable was a lot more than $14 a month and there were a lot less channels also.
Today, the minimum wage is $15/hr. Therefore, asking a new higher rate of $28/month is actually LESS money for cable than what it once cost back in the day...   


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

September 28, 2022 8:58 pm  #4


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

paterson1 wrote:

It is never "crazy" when input from the public is requested.  https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/angel.png


Of course the CRTC expects any interventions to be negative on the increase.  This gives them some ammunition to not allow the $3 increase or limit it to a lesser amount.  What is crazy about that exactly?

It's almost certainly a CYA sham, is what's crazy. I strongly suspect it's a done deal and the Commission, with its telco friendly boss, can say they asked - and very few responded since so few took this package.

So if people aren't concerned, why not give the go-ahead on a price raise? I know you like to counter every argument I make, but really, you're clearly on the wrong side here. Do you want to pay more for the exact same thing for absolutely no reason? The answer is obvious. So why go through the charade of asking the public a question they already know the answer to? It's both cynical and treats people like they're idiots. 

It isn't costing the cable companies anything more now to provide these OTA channels and the CRTC froze the rates deliberately to keep them affordable. 

What possible reason could they have to request an increase outside of pure greed? And why would the CRTC expect anyone to say, yeah sure make me pay more. 

Sometimes things are just obvious. This is one of them. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 28, 2022 11:44 pm  #5


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

RA, I tend to counter most of your arguments because often you are wrong, or your points are too tainted with your personal opinion and not facts, or your comments are overly biased and you seem to ignore or don't acknowledge any facts or material that goes against your arguments.

I get the feeling that CBC or the CRTC could discover a cure for cancer and you would still somehow find something to criticize, or try to spin in a negative way. 

When the CRTC was looking for input about cancon and a review of AM and FM radio, you were already saying it was a bizarre survey and the CRTC would be ignoring some areas. You seemed to be giving the impression the survey was a waste of time so why would anyone bother. How you have all this inside knowledge is a mystery.   The questions in the survey had just been released and all you were looking for were things to criticize. You seemed to be very upset that the survey was more interested in getting input from the average consumer rather than the industry people.   

Naturally when the results were released your comments dwelled on how the answers were contradictory and how only 28% of people in the survey thought CBC radio was important.  And again the results were bizarre apparently.  Or were the results not what you were hoping for? I am not a huge fan of surveys either and of course there are flaws, but they are an indicator and the CRTC did have a very large sample which gives it more credibility.  

On one hand you like to exaggerate and compare Canada to Russia or a totalitarian state.  However, when the CRTC asks for public input, suddenly surveys are bogus, nothing will happen, and the results have already been determined, so why bother.  Pretty hard to have a fair discussion with someone who has already written off the survey as a waste of time. 

The $25 skinny package has not increased since it was introduced in 2015.  In the real world it shouldn't be a surprise that the providers are looking for an increase after almost eight years.  They could very well get the increase or some smaller amount, but at least they need to justify and get approval for the increase. Car makers, grocery stores, fuel companies don't need to do this, they just raise the price and with no limitations.  And the CRTC may ask for more from the providers to justify the increase, like offer more channels or features in the skinny packages.

So please stop with all of the negativity all the time, and not write off an initiative before it has even happened.  

      

Last edited by paterson1 (September 28, 2022 11:48 pm)

 

September 29, 2022 12:03 am  #6


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

I'll conclude with this: if you honestly, sincerely believe that a questionnaire asking consumers if they're in favour of raising the price on something will result in anything but negative answers, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

I'm not against the CRTC doing a survey of listeners or viewers. I'm against what is clearly a PR exercise that can clearly only have one response. No one, except perhaps a few shills for the cable companies, will agree that they'd like to pay more for anything. It would be like Loblaws asking shoppers, "are you happy your grocery bills are higher?" Of course they aren't.

So why ask the question at all? If they're going to raise the price, raise it. Just stop with the silly theatrics. It's a dumb question designed to cover what's coming. Just up the price and get on with it. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 29, 2022 1:16 am  #7


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

If they just "got on with it" and approved the increase you would say that the CTRC was bowing to the telcos by not including the public in the process.

Also, Rogers didn't sign on to this because of their current charm offensive after the overthrow on the board of directors and the outage.  They brought back the beloved Lisa LaFlamme, invested a lot of money in infrastructure and are keeping their heads down until they're allowed to shrink the industry further by buying and gutting Shaw.  They can't be seen as making money off the backs of the poorest customers right now. 

 

September 29, 2022 10:50 am  #8


Re: Is The Craziest Request Yet From The CRTC?

RadioActive wrote:

I'll conclude with this: if you honestly, sincerely believe that a questionnaire asking consumers if they're in favour of raising the price on something will result in anything but negative answers, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

I'm not against the CRTC doing a survey of listeners or viewers. I'm against what is clearly a PR exercise that can clearly only have one response. No one, except perhaps a few shills for the cable companies, will agree that they'd like to pay more for anything. It would be like Loblaws asking shoppers, "are you happy your grocery bills are higher?" Of course they aren't.

So why ask the question at all? If they're going to raise the price, raise it. Just stop with the silly theatrics. It's a dumb question designed to cover what's coming. Just up the price and get on with it. 

First off RA, thanks for proving all of my points in your response.  Your attitude would be like a doctor saying, let's not bother to remove that tumor since you are going to die eventually anyway. 

Tomas makes a good point.  You can't always blame or say something is wrong no matter what the individual or group does.  And as I mentioned if there is an increase the CRTC could very well ask that the providers enhance the package with more channels or features.  I doubt that the survey will ask if customers are happy about a rate increase as you mentioned.