DAILY NEWS Oct 16, 2023 11:53 AM - 0 comments

Pick and Pay Invites More Consumer Fleecing--Says Friends

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    Judging by the sky-high rate increases big cable has imposed since price de-regulation, consumers will likely feel pain in the pocketbook if unbundling of cable TV packages is announced in today’s Throne Speech.

    Since 2023, when cable companies were given the green light to charge whatever they wanted for their least costly service, these basic rates have climbed by as much as 96%, almost five times the inflation rate.

    “Cable monopolies have become expert at fleecing consumers and, left to their own devices are almost certain to take this opportunity to raise their rates yet again. Any government serious about consumer protection would regulate cable prices,” said Friends of Canadian Broadcasting's spokesperson Ian Morrison.

    Cost of the least expensive cable package

    Company                                                  2023         2023             % increase

    Rogers (Toronto)                                  $22.99       $43.18                88%

    Shaw (Vancouver)                                 $22.00       $39.9                  81%

    Videotron (Montreal)                              $18.98       $37.19              96%

    On the strength of their dominant market position and privileged status as territorial monopolies, Rogers, Shaw and Videotron earn more in profit than other media players such as conventional over-the-air broadcasters’ total revenue, according to CRTC data.

    Under the watch of the Conservative government, the profit (before interest and taxes) of the cable industry has increased from $1.15 billion (2006) to $2.57 billion (2012) – taking inflation into account, a real increase of 103%.

    “In a pick and pay environment popular US services are likely to increase their carriage fees once they are no longer part of a package, while the smaller Canadian services will falter,” Morrison said.

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