Étude de la capacité de payer et de l'intérêt public dans l'offre de chaînes de télévision en vue de la migration du signal de l'analogique vers le numérique (in French only)


Union des consommateurs




The addition of a growing number of specialized channels over the years has opened up a range of possibilities for consumers, but also creates a situation in which consumers may be encouraged to spend more than they can afford. In November 2000, the CRTC approved 283 new digital channels, a handful of which were already on stream in September 2001. The purpose of this study was to develop a position statement on the affordability of television services. It began with a historical description of the development of the cable television industry, and the evolution of the regulations that govern it. With regard to regulation, the analysis brings out tensions in the CRTC’s approach between decisions that involve costs for consumers, but the main purpose of which is to protect Canadian culture, and decisions designed to ensure the affordability of service. The study then offers an analysis of the effect on consumers’ ability to pay of the addition of channels in 1995, 1997 and 2001. It shows that CRTC decisions leading to a continuous increase in the number of channels has forced a technological choice: digital compression, the only available way of offering these channels and adding new ones. The technology generates costs for consumers, either through direct increases on their bills, or through a reduction in the channels included in the basic package.

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French only

OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC  H3N 1X1
(514) 521-6820
(514) 521-0736

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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