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Speciality channels cost and commercials

Flavour1
I'm a regular

The cost of speciality channels example: CP24, Discovery Channel, Food Network by their self can cost between 4 and $7 a month extra or included in a package of a lot of unwanted channels, the cost may be factored in depending on provider. Also most of these channels have commercials or ads like network channels. And with some providers the cost per channel can be as low as $1.75 per channel. Other than regulations by the CRTC you would think that by paying extra for Premium or speciality channels that they would be free of commercials and ads. Likely most of us recorded the programs or shows  from these channels and watch them that way, but we are still paying extra.

 

 

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Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

mebe
I'm a trusted contributor

When I watched the Family Channel years ago, the commercials only appeared before and after the programmes (to reduce children's exposure to commercials). I assume it's still done today.

I agree that without Flex option and smaller, cheaper packages, it does seem rather restrictive and expensive.

Although I'm in the minority, I just use the Starter pack (which the CRTC has frozen at $25 plus tax).

My cost only rises when I add channels or theme packs (currently under $60).

Throw in all the free previews and free Internet content, and I have too much to watch.

The tricky part for me is to replace FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) with JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).

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Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

RogersTony
Moderator
Moderator

Hello, @Flavour1 

 

We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback.

 

The content on the channels and the commercials are all provided by the broadcaster so we do not have any control over the commercial advertisements. We receive the signals from the broadcaster and deliver them to your home.

 

We will pass along your feedback regarding the pricing of standalone channels to our product managers to review.

 

RogersTony

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

Rogers and any other provider I am sure negotiate contracts and prices are set with broadcasters of speciality channels. Like some of the streaming services - Discovery+, Netflix, Prime, CBC Gem, Crave etc. the consumer has the choice to purchase with ads ( commercials). Consumers are paying extra ( a la carte) or an included price in a bundle (Theme Pack) and being offered a choice. If there is a regulation with the CRTC with the licence with these speciality and pricing, this fall into a category as the streaming services, the consumer is paying extra for these channels. Rogers purchases the channel from a broadcaster with a negotiated price then passes the price onto the consumer. Network work TV has always been free with ads or commercials especially when received over the air and now via the internet, example CTV, Global, CBC Gem, Yes Tv and City TV.

Rogers charges for example $7 extra a la carte for the Discovery Channel yet some other providers charge as low as $1.75. 
With the use of the internet as another source now for the broadcaster I believe in the next 5 years or less the internet source will open the door for the consumer to have much more choice rather than depending on a tv provider to provider at a much more reasonable price example - Discovery + with a combination of channels with the choice of ads or ad free.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

wayner92
I'm a reliable contributor

Specialty channels have always had ads, even the most expensive specialty channels like TSN.  And that has been the case since pay channels were launched in Canada in 1984.

And linear cable TV is dying to a large extent.  Sports is one of the few reasons to still subscribe.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

Hi Wayne92,

There is such a variation in pricing from provide to provider Rogers charges for ei. Discovery Channel a la carte $7 a month, V Media is as low as $1.75, that is a big difference. A lot of sports channels have their own apps like TSN+, SportsNet +,  Fubo etc..Yes likely with ads. But at least with streaming services you have a choice ads or no ads - Prime, Netflix, Discovery +, and Crave,  you have choices. But if I am paying extra on top of our regular channels like CBC, CTV, Global TV, City TV with Rogers which are free OTA and have always had commercials or ads and that is how they are supported. 
As many of the speciality channels in Canada are owned Rogers, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Blue Ant Entertainment. I think as they are charging extra for that channel they could be a little more discreet with the number of ads per program. I was watching something on History 2 one evening and there were 10 commercials in a row. TVO, PBS, BBC Earth, Love Nature are good examples of how a speciality channel should be. TVO and PBS are most likely government supported and grants but have ads at the beginning and end of a show it is done very discreetly to not effect the program or going to the movies done at the beginning of the movies.

as more and more are turning to using an APP like most news channels are available  l that Rogers offers ( for a subscription those the same app is free and content is free. The networks have their own app free and content free.

I know Rogers will say that they only supply the signal which is partially right but they negotiate with the speciality owners and set a price and they pass that on to the subscribers. 
So it maybe time for the CRTC to step up and with all the new technology  apps, IPTV, streaming services and the speciality channels to offer more reasonable pricing and limit the pricing cost and number of commercials per hour that a speciality channel can put in that time slot, or the speciality channel offers the subscriber the choice of no ads or ads. Streaming services do, Discovery + Crave, Prime, Netflix and CBC Gem.  Though I have find shows or programming on speciality channels through On Demand that have no Ads. Let’s give the subscriber some choices.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

I haven't watched commercials since the late 1970s when I purchased my first VCR.  I record everything I watch that has commercials.  If I don't wish to wait until the programme is fully recorded - for example F1 on a Sunday - I start watching say a half hour after the start. If I catch up to live, I'll watch something else recorded, or come back later and finish.  My time is far too valuable to watch something I don't want to.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

Flavour1
I'm a regular

I think it is the principle behind it. They could offer ads or no adds. We to record most shows as you do. But in my mind it should be a Choice. If others can do so can all the speciality channels. Rogers offered Flex Packages until November 1, 2023 existing customer can remain but new customers can’t get these packages anymore allowing the subscriber their choice.  And again Rogers have gone back to these big packages ( Popular and Total) of a lot channels in these packages subscribers don’t want paying for. ( but you are stuck with them). I thought the CRTC back in 2016 made it quite clear to all TV Providers to start and give subscribers CHOICE.??

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Flavour1 wrote:

I know Rogers will say that they only supply the signal which is partially right but they negotiate with the speciality owners and set a price and they pass that on to the subscribers. 


The costing and pricing of a TV channel is complicated.  Part of the negotiations of how much a TV channel costs has to do with content rights.  It's interesting to look at Start.ca 's channel lineup and costing.  They generally try to differentiate themselves with lower pricing, but a lower price also comes with restrictions... so they at least say whether a channel can be paused, recorded to a PVR, whether it can only be viewed on your home Wi-Fi, and whether Restart and Lookback are available.  For On-Demand, I think you need to use individual TV-Go apps.

 

With Rogers, when you Restart a program, you can use Fast Forward and Rewind.  You cannot do that with Bell Fibe TV, and almost certainly cannot with the low-cost service providers.

 

Rogers also delivers their programming with a higher quality -- higher resolution, higher bitrate and shorter encoding delay.  (With some providers, the encoding delay for a channel is 1-2 minutes, so your 6:00 news may start at 6:02.)

 

Rogers is also not a charity or a non-profit.  They are a large corporation with higher operating costs, and their shareholders demand a return on their investment.  They need to be competitive.  They do not want to lose customers.  They charge a higher price but they also provide a higher-quality service.  If you find their pricing too high, do not like the service that they deliver, or do not think that they deliver sufficient value, feel free to switch to a competitor.  There are cheaper alternatives out there but beware that you get what you pay for.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Flavour1 wrote:

I think it is the principle behind it. They could offer ads or no adds.


No, they cannot.  Rogers is a BDU -- a Broadcasting Distribution Undertaking.  By definition,

 

Broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) provide subscription television services to Canadians. They distribute conventional television, discretionary and on-demand services.

 

To put it simply, they receive signals from channel providers and deliver those signals to their subscribers.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

Yes Rogers only distributes the signals from speciality channels, but the speciality channels themselves could offer ads or no ads to you. Discovery Channel does this with a lot of their programming through On Demand shows. And Rogers could starting pricing these speciality channels comparable to their competition. 
big difference between Discovery Channel $7 a month with Rogers compared to V Media $1.95

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Flavour1 wrote:

big difference between Discovery Channel $7 a month with Rogers compared to V Media $1.95


Actually, to be fair, you should be comparing VMedia's individual channel price of $5.95 for Discovery to Rogers' $7.

 

BDUs will typically receive source signals through an SRDU or a TRDU, sometimes direct from the broadcaster... but they all broadcast the same content for any given channel.  The commercial-free experience will typically only be offered through the channel's own streaming service -- a premium service at a premium price.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

I am sorry to disagree with comparison of the news not starting 6:00 but start at 6:02. I have done comparisons no differences on CBC Gem, Global TV, CTV, Yes TV, at News time.through the broadcasters app. As far as quality goes through an app no difference, we have a year old Sony OLED 55 “ With the naked eye I don’t think anybody could tell the differences. Please let Rogers know that Choice in Packages has been taken away dropping the Flex platform, the cost of individual channels is unreasonable high,  Rogers charges for timeshift channels the network broadcaster of those channels offer them free through their apps. And Rogers offers every network channel from Toronto to us except CFTO CTV Rogers tells me it is a timeshift channel.

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

mebe
I'm a trusted contributor

When I watched the Family Channel years ago, the commercials only appeared before and after the programmes (to reduce children's exposure to commercials). I assume it's still done today.

I agree that without Flex option and smaller, cheaper packages, it does seem rather restrictive and expensive.

Although I'm in the minority, I just use the Starter pack (which the CRTC has frozen at $25 plus tax).

My cost only rises when I add channels or theme packs (currently under $60).

Throw in all the free previews and free Internet content, and I have too much to watch.

The tricky part for me is to replace FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) with JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

Thank you, You are the first to respond with a good response. You pay extra for something then you should get a choice. We all understand Rogers or any other provider negotiate with provider for these speciality channels then pick them up and send them out to their subscribers. It’s easy to say OH ! I will just record them and flip past them. There is a dollar factor and choice involved with this. 
pit’s time these speciality channels start to offer choices

Remember over the years many speciality channels have gone defunct or rebranded 

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Flavour1 I don't think that anybody is disagreeing with you.  With broadcast TV, the business model and the industry itself are hopelessly broken.  The last time that TV was exciting for me was in the 90's when we got new specialty channels and then when broadcast quality improved with the advent of digital TV and HD channels.  The industry started its decline when Allan Waters died and CHUM's media assets got sold off and acquired (primarily) by Bell and Rogers.  Then even more consolidation followed.  Now we pay a ton of money for 200+ channels, half of which carry nothing but tired old reruns and the others inundating us with unwatchable, low production value reality programming.  The question then becomes, is there enough watchable content to justify the high cost of the TV services that exist today?

 

The TV business becomes unsustainable when subscribers cancel their services, ad revenues drop, prices get increased even more to boost companies' bottom lines, and even more subscribers continue to leave.

 

Netflix and Prime Video were great for a while.  Then greed started setting in and the studios and media companies launched their own streaming services, keeping whatever content they can to themselves.  Now, like TV, they too are losing subscribers, and trying to boost revenues with advertising and/or increasing the price of their services.

 

@Flavour1 You are clearly frustrated, and you are not the only one.  TV and streaming services are all suffering from platform decay.  (I will add Internet Service Providers, especially in my area, to that list as well.)  Sadly, the only fix is to vote with your wallet:  Cancel services that do not perform and do not deliver value.  Cancel any services where the price keeps going up and the quality keeps going down.  The only sustainable business strategy is to deliver a good service at a fair price.

 

Edit: fixed "broken" link

Re: Speciality channels cost and commercials

Hi G, You hit the nail on the head!!! Yes Roger is only the supplier of the signal not the content and same with any other TV Provider  but they do pass the cost of a speciality channel onto their subscriber. We were a digital subscriber for years PVR died too many unwanted channels on the Premier Digital Package 12 kids channels ( not needed) don’t watch sports, so we counted how many we would watch we cut about 80.

I wrote Rogers and copied CRTC, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Blue Ant Entertainment about the quality and garbage on their speciality channels they were

broadcasting on them. The CRTC, Blue Ant Entertaiment and Rogers wrote back ( actually wrote to the CEO of Rogers he never responded but the Office of the President, but Bell Media or Corus Entertainment have never responded to this day He knew we weren’t very pleased. ( Rogers Office of the President) He did send out some different scenario’s with Rogers Flex Ignite. On the Premier package we had were well over the $200 mark per month.  He asked if we were satisfied with our Home Phone ( opitional ) Mobile service, and internet. So it is strictly the TV correct he said. So we don’t fix or exchange PVR’s anymore if you stay with Rogers you will have to switch to Ignite we did our choice was Flex 10 along with the basic network channels less the U.S. Buffalo channels and Stingray Music channels. ( $3 each a month) we since cancelled Stingray Plus save $3 a month and now use the app. The Office of President worked with us for a week or so before we agreed.

 

So this basically tells us that Bell Media and Corus Entertainment aren’t interested in your Feedback .CTV Comedy, CTV Life, CTV Drama, and CTV Sci- Fi aren’t worth a cent a month ( old re runs) same worth Corus Entertainment channels. ( we don’t subscribe to any of them)

Maybe it’s time the some of these speciality channel become part of the defunct list of channels in Canada.

 

We were sorry to hear the Flex platform has been discontinued to new customers but existing customers can continue to keep their package.  

And why Rogers would go back to these “ New and Improved” Popular and Total packages” with so many channels likely a lot of subscribers never watch.

We use certain Network TV apps for our timeshifting - CBC Gem, Global TV, City TV, YES TV, which are free and don’t require a sign in with provider. With our limited channel count with Flex 10 for short time viewing we use the CP 24 and CTV NewsChannel, DW, Euronews, Al Jazeera, NHK, FOX News, France 24, ABC News Live, CBS News, NBC News apps , saves swapping channels in and out and we can keep the 10 we like all the time on a consistent basis.

So you are correct if they won’t listen the world ( the internet) is out there and you have to speak with your wallet. We have dropped Stingray Plus cancelled an Ignite Entertainment Box saving $156 plus taxes per year. We use free apps instead of subscribing to certain Theme Packs, individual channels or large packages of unwanted channels. 

 

Thanks for your response.

 

 

 

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