OTTAWA - Canada's broadcast regulator has issued broad new proposals that could dramatically alter how Canadians receive and pay for their television.
The proposals issued today by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission include requiring cable and satellite providers to offer a basic service made up primarily of local Canadian channels.
The CRTC is also proposing a so-called pick-and-pay structure that would allow Canadians to choose individual channels, on top of a basic service.
And it suggests the price of that basic service could be capped at between $20 and $30 per month.
Other proposals include requiring service providers to offer build-your-own channel packages or allowing them to continue offering the same packages currently on the market.
At the same time, it is proposing allowing local TV stations to shut down their transmitters — a move that might not go over well with consumers who prefer to get their TV programming over-the-air.
And it proposes allowing television stations and networks to count revenues from online or other delivery platforms toward their overall revenue base.
The CRTC stresses that it has not yet decided which options it will enforce, and is giving the public until Sept. 19 to offer comments on the proposals online.