clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Canadian government: 'We want to unbundle television channels'

New, 120 comments

The Canadian government will soon require that consumers be allowed to buy cable and satellite channels on an a la carte basis, according to Reuters. "We don't think it's right for Canadians to have to pay for bundled television channels that they don't watch," James Moore, Canada's Industry Minister said on television. "We want to unbundle television channels and allow Canadians to pick and pay the specific television channels that they want."

Some Canadian cable and satellite have already begun unbundling. The chances of the same thing happening in the US, meanwhile, aren't good. The government hasn't made a peep about taking on the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable on this issue. Competitive pressure is the only way to force US cable and satellite companies to unbundle, and that's where there's some hope. Netflix, Aereo, and Amazon offer attractive alternatives to traditional pay TV, and experts have said that if cable and satellite want to prevent more customers from cutting the cord they will offer them the ability to buy the channels they want.

They have also said that if HBO ever sold HBO Go — the cable channel's online service — without requiring a cable subscription, it would make a pile of money. HBO has already unbundled in Europe. Such a scenario in the US, if it ever happens, is undoubtedly a ways off.