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All those damned cable and tv tax commercials


Argus

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Really sick of seeing and hearing all the commercials about the cable/satellite tv tax the CRTC has imposed. They're all so self-righteous and deceptive, and treat us all like morons they can easily manipulate into supporting their side.

As I understand it, the government imposed a tax on the cable/satellite companies some years back, but then it expired. The cable/satellite companies have continued to charge us, however, and pocketed the money.

Now the crtc has imposed another tax, with money to go to local television operators. Now from where I sit, both sides are crooks and screwing us over.

The TV stations have lived on a model of selling advertising to pay for their services. That model has not changed. None plans to stop selling ads. But now they've managed to convince the government to steal some more money from us by saying the cable companies ought to pay for carrying their channels. But all the cable companies are doing is helping people get better reception of an existing channel. I mean, it doesn't cost the TV stations anything, and, in fact gets them more viewers. Of course, now that we're going all digital - again by government mandate - you won't be able to get any of them without cable/satellite. By what right do they claim the cable companies ought to be paying for carrying their stations? Suppose the cable companies said "Fine, we won't carry you any more". That would pretty much wipe out any station now, right? Does that mean the cable companies ought to be able to charge the TV networks for carrying their shows? Of course, the government again insists cable/satellite carry these stations.

The Cable/Satellite people. They snivel about the new tax, while still charging us the old one, and claiming it's for "infrastructure improvements" or somesuch. Lying bastards. They have promised to pass along every cent of the new tax (and probably more, knowing them). And if this tax is temporary, as the CRTC says, will they ever stop charging us?

For my money, instead of contacting the CRTC we should be calling our local MPs and giving them an earful for increasing our taxes to help increase the profits for these people. Wasn't getting rid of all this regulation one of Harper's pledges?

Edited by Argus
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Suppose the cable companies said "Fine, we won't carry you any more". That would pretty much wipe out any station now, right? Does that mean the cable companies ought to be able to charge the TV networks for carrying their shows? Of course, the government again insists cable/satellite carry these stations.

It is the cable companies that require content and the TV stations that require distribution. Even if the CRTC wasn't involved, you would probably need some oversight to watch for uncompetitive behaviour.

The natural instinct for both parties usually is to gouge the consumer while offering very little that that can be defined as Canadian.

The country would probably benefit from a complete review of the industry to determine what Canadians want and how best to deliver it. At the moment, people are opting out to pluck the signals from the satellites in an effort to screw distributors, broadcasters and producers.

At some point, something has to give.

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Just another of those things people suggest the government do....how much will this one cost?

The cost of doing nothing probably entails that people take their signals free and that distributors, broadcasters and producers don't make any money and stop the signal.

Not sure that is what anyone wants but there is where we are headed.

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We would just be better off if we could opt out of paying for it in the cable bundle, I would love to drop more then half of "local" channels in my bundle. I have 9 "Local" CBC channels from across the country, about the same for CTV channels, and a bunch of global ones. Out of all of them I only would like to have and pay for 2. I don't mind if the cable companies have to pay them to carry the channel, but I would like that reflected in my bill, if they have nothing I want to watch, I should be able to drop them from my channel list and bill.

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A simple start would be to drop the monopoly positions of cable companies in many Canadian markets and invite competitors, including foreign competitors. Toss the phone systems into that mix too.

The costs to consumers for both are ludicrous.

Their is competition and it is increasing currently we have cable and satillite, soon we will also see tv signal offered through the phone companies as well as it is already starting in some markets in Canada. compitetion is here, now its just to get the crtc out of the way.

Edited by Alta4ever
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A simple start would be to drop the monopoly positions of cable companies in many Canadian markets and invite competitors, including foreign competitors. Toss the phone systems into that mix too.

The costs to consumers for both are ludicrous.

How do you suggest that for cable companies in Canada? Monopolies on cable lines exist in other countries too.

It is possible that you can let in U.S. satellites but I doubt that Canadian ones would continue operating.

Likewise, the phone companies could be taken over but how does that improve service?

The debate in Canada is not unique in Canada when it comes to consumer choice.

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Their is competition and it is increasing currently we have cable and satillite, soon we will also see tv signal offered through the phone companies as well as it is already starting in some markets in Canada. compitetion is here, now its just to get the crtc out of the way.

Even if the CRTC was gone, uncompetitive practices would continue. Cable companies that own TV stations often give those stations preference on the dial. Sometimes, they try to eliminate competing signals.

I get my TV from the phone company. It doesn't mean it is all that much more competitive.

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How do you suggest that for cable companies in Canada? Monopolies on cable lines exist in other countries too.

It is possible that you can let in U.S. satellites but I doubt that Canadian ones would continue operating.

Likewise, the phone companies could be taken over but how does that improve service?

The debate in Canada is not unique in Canada when it comes to consumer choice.

I don't understand your insistence on assuming your 'options' are the only choices. Canadian satekkites? US satellites? Few satellite TV providers anywhere own or operate satellites, they purchase and resell staellite time/access.

Cable companies? Just open the streets to installation of wires. Simple.

Take over the phone companies? why not just allow actual competition for dial tone and wireless service? Our consumer costs are nuts compared to the US or Europe, particularly for wirelss services.

Mr Massive Strawman, I never implied the debate was unique to Canada.

I do wonder why we pay so much more than other countries for telecom services.

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I'm on Rogers in Toronto. I get probably 100 or so undupicated channelsand for some reason, 300 channels that are dupicates (how many discovery shannels do you need all carrying thensame feed?) every thng in red I pay for unwillingly...

Here;s how I view my line up...

2 TVO

3 Global

4 Omni 1 (rerun TV)

5 TV Guide

6 CBC

7 City TV

8 CTV

9 CTS (reruns and religious crap

10 Rogers

11 Hamilton Global

12 Radio Canada (french0

13 TFO (French)

14 Omni 2 (rerun tv)

15 SUN (rerun tv)

16 American

17 American

18 American

19 The shopping channel (crap) They should pay me for this

20 Barrie (rerun tv)

21 More shopping

22 Sports

23 Weather

24 Cable Pulse (CTV)

25 YTV (Top 3 for my kids)

26 Newsworld

27 Wimmin TV (rerun tv)

28 American

29 Crap Music

30 Sports

31 A&E (mostly reruns)

32 Spike Mostly (reruns)

33 CNN

34 TLC (mostly crap0

35 Tele latino ( I don't even speak latino)

36 Crap Music

37 BBC

38 Crap Country Music

39 Showcase (Bad reruns)

40 Bravo (Hiss Booo)

41 Slice (Crap)

42 Discovery

43 History

44 Comedy

45 Teletoon (Top 3 for my kids)

46 HGTV (Idiotic interior decorators making sterile spaces)

47 American Rerun channel

48 TCM (Movies)

49 Crap Music

50 Space ( mostly crap)

51 Disney (top 3 for my kids)

52 Crap music

53 Sports

54 Tvopolic (rerun channel)

55 AMC Movie

56 Food (The Nigella Lawson Channel!!!)

57 BNN

58 Outdoor life (crap)

59 Rogers

60 Vision (reruns, crap and Wooster and Jeeves)

61 Public Begging Station

62 CTV Cable News

63 Fluff TV

64 Treehouse (former top 3 for the kids)

68 Beats me

70 Aboriginal TV (reruns Crap)

95 Montreal (WHat? No Habs?)

96 Radio Canada Cable news

97 CPAC

With all the crap I'm getting, now they want me to pay for channels I can get with an antennae?

and so on....

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In my town we have had a local television station from the early 50's, CHCH ch. 11. Serving the southern Ontario market it was quite the trendsetter, with local productions and often scooping the major networks on first-run movie premiers. It offered a fabulous newsroom, which was important in my area 'cuz TV is dominated by Toronto stations, who can't even spell Hamilton let alone ever report any news from here.

The past few years the traditional business model of commercials paying for the station has been breaking down. Advertising revenue has dropped so much that it's hard even for the networks to show a profit. Local and independent stations are hurting even more.

CHCH was bought a few years ago by those Westerners, CANWEST COMMUNICATIONS. They morphed it into their "E!Network", featuring heavy entertainment programming. Imagine 24/7 programs about Paris Hilton and the love life of Brad and Angela. Many of us were revolted and watched the station ONLY for the local news!

The issue with the cable companies is that they pay all the cable only specialty channels but local stations they just pick up for free and rebroadcast. The local stations have always resented this. After all, the specialty channels have a commercial base as well.

Things have gotten so bad that a number of local TV stations across the country have gone bankrupt and closed down. Their communities have been left with essentially ZERO local TV news. Our local channel was in danger of shutting down for some months.

CHCH fortunately was sold by CANWEST and promptly dumped all that "E!" crap! They run straight news all day long, classic movies through prime time evenings and "silver screen" classics (30's and 40's) all night. I love it! The movies are great fun (a few Japanese "Glutamoto the cheese monster flicks in particular!) with young Jimmy Stewarts and Edward G Robinsons. The local news has tremendously improved.

I hope their new formula works! Lord knows the old revenue stream was suffering. If TV ads are not as popular as they used to be then new revenue streams will have to be found if the industry will survive. Meanwhile, it's not fair to blame the cable companies for making us take all those "Watch grass grow!" specialty channels in order to get the movies and sports we want. The CRTC MAKES them do it! It guarantees politically correct channels that no one would ever buy if given the choice a noticeable market share, at least on paper. Obviously, the cable channels would love nothing more than to let us buy only the channels we want. However, under the Canadian "nanny state" they have no choice.

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With all the crap I'm getting, now they want me to pay for channels I can get with an antennae?

You are already paying the cable company for them, the stations want their cut. I guess one way would be for the stations to stop transmitting over the air and force the cable companies to buy their feed, just like they have to with other cable only and US stations.

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You are already paying the cable company for them, the stations want their cut. I guess one way would be for the stations to stop transmitting over the air and force the cable companies to buy their feed, just like they have to with other cable only and US stations.

WE DON'T WANT TO PAY ANYONE FOR THEM THE CRTC won't let us opt out.

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WE DON'T WANT TO PAY ANYONE FOR THEM THE CRTC won't let us opt out.

I hear you regarding the CRTC and the lack of competition in Canada but in this case I guess the question is, if the cable companies are making money using local stations product, do those stations deserve to be compensated? I kind of think they do, particularly if those same cable companies are compensating their other sources.

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I don't understand your insistence on assuming your 'options' are the only choices. Canadian satekkites? US satellites? Few satellite TV providers anywhere own or operate satellites, they purchase and resell staellite time/access.

Think I said there are a few different delivery options but each has its limits economically. Think we have seen that even satellite radio in the U.S.

Cable companies? Just open the streets to installation of wires. Simple.

I can't see that working anywhere even if it was allowed. So no. Not simple.

Take over the phone companies? why not just allow actual competition for dial tone and wireless service? Our consumer costs are nuts compared to the US or Europe, particularly for wirelss services.

Even with additional bandwidth, Canada's rates have not come down.

As I said, uncompetitive business pratices abound.

Mr Massive Strawman, I never implied the debate was unique to Canada.

I do wonder why we pay so much more than other countries for telecom services.

Geography, smaller population, regulations and uncomptitive business practices are to blame.

Some Canadians are just opting out all together and taking what they want. Unfortunately, that could kill the industries that create content.

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I hear you regarding the CRTC and the lack of competition in Canada but in this case I guess the question is, if the cable companies are making money using local stations product, do those stations deserve to be compensated? I kind of think they do, particularly if those same cable companies are compensating their other sources.

You could just as easily have the cable companies complaining about the need to carry these TV stations, and demanding that the stations pay them for this free service.

The real issue, of course, is the CRTC, which decied we needed all these specialty stations - without regard to whether they could possibly attract enough viewers to be financially succesful. We NEEDED them, so the CRTC insisted that we pay for them - whether we wanted them or not.

For the most part, there is nothing coming out of "local" stations which is local other than news and sports. But we have to have them anyway - It's for our own good. Somehow, having them all helps us be "Canadian".

Here's my ideal lineup.

CTV

CBC

GLobal

ABC

NBC

CBS

ITV

BBC (the real one, not the international version with crap on it)

CNN

MOD (movies on demand)

That's it. Ten stations. I currently get about 160 or so, most of which are crap.

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There is one other option....just say the hell with TV all together.

I have gone thru, Western Cable, Delta Cable, Shaw Cable, Roger Cable, Star Choice Satellite and finally Telus till I finally said enough was enough and allowed my service to lapse. Apart from missing the odd bit of breaking news, I have not missed it at all. The old Telly now sits there gathering dust and if I do want to watch a programme, it can usually be found on the web somewhere.

Come to think about, I did the same thing with my Crackberry mobile, let it lapse and went with a simple pay as I go mobile.

Edited by Sabre Rider
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I hear you regarding the CRTC and the lack of competition in Canada but in this case I guess the question is, if the cable companies are making money using local stations product, do those stations deserve to be compensated? I kind of think they do, particularly if those same cable companies are compensating their other sources.

It would be a very simple solution for the CRTC, make the cable companies pay the local stations, but allow the consumer to opt out, one way or the other the consumer will pay, and in this case if the consumer is going to pay allow them to decide if they want local stations part of their cable package, its fair to every party.

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Here's my ideal lineup.

...

That's it. Ten stations. I currently get about 160 or so, most of which are crap.

For a guy who says he hasn't watched TV since Barney Miller went off the air, you seem to have a strong opinion on the subject...

For the most part, there is nothing coming out of "local" stations which is local other than news and sports. But we have to have them anyway - It's for our own good. Somehow, having them all helps us be "Canadian".

You don't see local news as being of any value?

I hear you regarding the CRTC and the lack of competition in Canada but in this case I guess the question is, if the cable companies are making money using local stations product, do those stations deserve to be compensated? I kind of think they do, particularly if those same cable companies are compensating their other sources.

That's my feeling as well.

I actually do watch the local news sometimes. The only local privately owned TV station (operated by Global) is hanging on by a thread and was already scheduled to be killed off once. I'd be pretty disappointed if my only source of local news was CBC radio and the local newspaper (which is itself hanging on by a thread.)

-k

Edited by kimmy
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You don't see local news as being of any value?

I actually do watch the local news sometimes.

-k

Yep...local news in the morning...traffic, weather, fires, crime and the latest high fibre low fat pork chop recipes.

Local TV is also an incubator for young talent....producing those community based shows...gaining the kind of experiance that will one day take them far away from the hell hole they are stuck in...oops, sorry....we may not find them to our refined metrosexual tastes (and I'm thinking of your Argus) but your local retailers love them...as they reach who they want...

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It would be a very simple solution for the CRTC, make the cable companies pay the local stations, but allow the consumer to opt out, one way or the other the consumer will pay, and in this case if the consumer is going to pay allow them to decide if they want local stations part of their cable package, its fair to every party.

As for every other station on cable. Pick only the stations you want and just pay for them. I don't know that you would find it any cheaper however as the cable company will have to pay for all it's feeds one way or another whether you subscribe or not. As far as I am concerned, local and regional news coverage is the most important thing on TV, followed by national and international news, the rest of network television is pretty much just entertainment.

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I actually do watch the local news sometimes. The only local privately owned TV station (operated by Global) is hanging on by a thread and was already scheduled to be killed off once. I'd be pretty disappointed if my only source of local news was CBC radio and the local newspaper (which is itself hanging on by a thread.)

In this market, Global carries more news than the other networks. Neither CTV or CBC has local morning or noon news coverage. Global does and it is high quality IMO.

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As for every other station on cable. Pick only the stations you want and just pay for them. I don't know that you would find it any cheaper however as the cable company will have to pay for all it's feeds one way or another whether you subscribe or not. As far as I am concerned, local and regional news coverage is the most important thing on TV, followed by national and international news, the rest of network television is pretty much just entertainment.

If they did it it would probably remove some of the crap stations I tried of paying high prices to have the same show running on 20 different channels at the same time, whats the point of haveing a hundred channels if a quarter of them run the same show from one us network, another show is aired by another quarter of the stations from a different US network. to get the 9 channels I watch and the three the kids watch I have to take 8 diffent packages from the provider. I don't want the rest.

I want history, discovery, space, fox news, cnn, Fox network, comedy, cbs, military channel, Family channel, ytv and teletoon

If you think local news coverage is the most import thing on then you pay for it, I am happy getting my local news from other medias like the radio and the newspaper.

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