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Bundled vs Pick and Pay TV offerings

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Nov, 2016


This March, 2016 CRTC(Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) launched a “Skinny” cable TV service for their country. It was observed that the consumers are fed up with heaps of bills because of clunky cable full of bundles of channels at display. This way the CRTC decided to introduce the “skinny” television services, which finally released the tyrannical services from the customers.

This was the base of the initiation of skinny cable services and the pick and Pay TV offerings. Now,the question tickles our brain that- Does the decision of going skinny fits for you?

What is Skinny Cable?

“Skinny basic” will be pretty good but totally basic. As the CRTC decided, that skinny cable will not be charged more than $25 a month. With this, CTRC has taken a complete hold on the satellite and cable TV. This grouping formed has been prepared with a proper suggested distribution list, which has been decided by the CRTC. So, there must be at least 10 channels from this mandatory distribution listthat should be local or region.

This package should also have educational channels and the proceedings of the rural boundaries, if they are available. CRTC called the decision for this $25 package, in order to make it highly available and easily consumable for the country mob. This is also called as the “affordable basic package”, as it will not be charged more than $25 a month.

The analysis of the television industry in the Canadian region suggests that, Skinny cable will be the prime factor of a competitive market between the rushes of providers. Also,with these advantages and features CRTC came up with few don’ts-

  • There must be no American networks like-ABC, CBS or Fox, NBC, etc.
  • It should support any Canadian over the air channels

The big business from March 2016, aided by TV providers stated that BDUs (Broadcast Distribution) i.e. the TV providers are at regulatory parlance.  In this case they have to avail the “skinny basic” package which contains channels not exceeding the $25 budget in a month.

Are you doing the right business?

Alysia Lau, a legal counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy. There are always bundles of services content at the provider’s end. But, there are consumers who still remain un-contented and dissatisfied with these services. But because of this bundled content that is maintained, they are availing better bundles with all amenities.

The $25 has been accepted as a basic package, because you still get the access of local news channels like, CBC, CTV, your community channels, provincial education based channels, etc.

Are the smaller channels at the verge of existence?

The strategy of customizing the channels as per your needs and interests seems to be easy but can also be complicated. It seems to be a comfortable option creating a customized TV package with fewer channels and cheaper rate. This “Skinny Cable”, bundles were planned a year ago by the big providers like Verizon and Comcast to win over the customers.  Consumers are exacting fewer TV channels and lower monthly bills rather paying for much amount. Those pleas were mostly neglected till net streaming services Netflix and Hulu began attracting customers with affordable plans with on-demand access to movies and television shows.  Customers finally had choices if they needed to sever the cable twine.

Are the providers ready to Break the Bundle?

Media organizations thinking of breaking the bundle would lead them to create a billionaire size nightmare. The Pay-TVpackages yield a financial backbone of the media and entertainment industry and it generates around $48 billion per year as a programming fees.

The largest programming firms have long leveraged their common channels to strike advantageous deals with the Pay-TV distributors. Long-term programming contracts, for instance, usually stipulate that Pay-TV distributors carry a company’s entire family of channels — or pay the next value if they wished to distribute solely the foremost common ones.

Major programming firms have had very little incentive to purge channels as a result of even those with lean ratings is profitable.VH1 Classic, for instance, is out there in 58 million homes associate degreed brings in an calculable $72 million in annual revenue, in step with SNL KaganMore than half of this will be the profit and here, the cost units are also low.

The corporate does not pay a lot of on programming as a result of VH1 Classic showcases content from the MTV and VH1 vault, beside documentaries and recent movies. VH1 Classic, and different little networks, is managed by skeleton employees with as few as ten to fifteen staff, in step with one knowledgeable business executive butratings are nanscopic. VH1 Classic does not rank within the prime one hundred TV networks as measured by Nielsen.

Will the Bundle TV exist anymore?

The business sees the writing on the wall — that the increase of mobile and net viewing can build pay TV as we all know it obsolete in an exceedingly decade or two — he aforesaid and un-bundling of cable services is already being mentioned by lawmakers and regulators on each side of the border.

In the U.S., Republican legislator John McCain recently introduced the TV shopper Freedom Act, which includes a similar consumer-friendly mandate because he also planned one more for Canada. In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has already urged cable firms 2 years past to introduce additional flexibility into their TV choices.

Pick-and-pay proponents have argued that little channels earning secured financial gain from subscriber fees can get to elevate their rogramming, giving customers higher content so as to remain afloat. The thin bundle choice is helpful to most of the  customers and families who solely need to get and watch a smaller set of channels and who cant afford more money. Quite candidly, that might be a majority of customers, as Nielsen information has shown that folks usually solely watch a mean of seventeen channels out of a mean 189 channel universe.

Had the pick-and-pay model been introduced six or seven years past, wild believes she might have unbroken her cable.”Industry is therefore slow to adapt to what customers need, therefore customers realize how to measure while not that business,” she said. “I suppose that is what happened to the Canadian TV business earlier than they are willing to admit.”

Distributors like Verzion’s FiOS are trying to find new ways to offer flexibility in pay-TV packages, drawing a lawsuit from ESPN in the process.

Is switching to the Skinny Cable a really good idea?

Skinny basic cable was optioned by the CRTC nearly a year ago and finally entered the broadcast TV realm. Some of the country’s major TV providers revealed their bare-bone offerings last month, in time for the March 1 mandated by the broadcast regulator.

Picking and selecting channels to form a made-to-order bundle that higher suits individual tastes may appear cheaper than associate degree all-or-nothing approach.

However shoppers might really find it themselves paying a lot of as content suppliers try and recoup lost subscriber and publisher’s revenue from having their content distributed to fewer households.

If you’re thinking about trading in your expensive, souped-up cable package for the simpler subscription, keep in mind that mainly major providers will charge extra pay for digital boxes rent. Also, fair warning: The “pick and pay” and “theme pack” options add up quickly.

“Not really a storm of people flocking to the new packages,” a Rogers employee said.

Does the media industry still feels the pressure?

Now it seems that Verizon is caving beneath the pressure of the networks. On February 19th, the public utility revamped its light-weight packages to incorporate ESPN and alternative sports networks. The new custom-TV program offers two packages that every one begin paying at $54.99 a month: an important bundle with seventy eight normal channels together with AMC, Lifetime, and Fox News, and a sports bundle with approx. 58 basic channels altogether with ESPN, TNT, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports Network. The refresh came shortly when Verizon declared the modification of its custom-TV services in order to adjust to existing programming contracts.

Let’s have a view over the calculations of the cost if the providers like Roger, Bell and Shaw are in the mainstream of Skinny cable:-


  • The Skinny:The TV package of Rogers included the basic $25 package which was actually of $24.99 with the facility of 35 channels in it. Roger named its Skinny basic package as the “Starter”. The inclusions of 35 channels and the additional cost of $12.95 per month were added. And this, bundled the complete basic package of $37.94 per month.
  • The Additions: It was also stated that if there are any add-ons like the inclusion of Sports theme package (that are extra seven channels.), then you need to pay extra $18 per month. This brings the total cost around $55.94 per month. And also increases the number of channels to 42. Also if you want to include a movie channel to it, then you will be charged less and your monthly cost becomes $47.94 month. Now if you add 10 movie channels like AMC, Movie-Time, etc. and also the sports theme, this makes it a package of 52 channels with a cost of $65.94 per month.

Similarly there is also The Bottom Line package. And these categories of packages are also made available by other providers like Bell and Shaw.Real selection can cause higher TV overall. Even currently with the redoubled skinny bundle offerings, networks just like the Discovery Channel area unit realizing that they have to provide customers quality programming so as to vie with alternative networks for a spot at the table.

The Skinny basic is simply that—pretty basic. The CRTC endorsed that it would “maximize choice” and it does: It provides you the selection to downgrade and save if you wish cable however pay most of it slow absorbing the key Canadian networks. The actual fact is, if you wish something quite basic—movies, sports or otherwise—you’ll quickly notice your cable bill rising keep a copy and over pre-skinny basic levels.

The Final Verdict over the Skinny Bundle and Pick-Pay TV

The “skinny basic” packages might embody — however DON’T have to be compelled to embody — yank networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC), PBS, different Canadian over-the-air stations, native AM and FM radio stations, and academic channels from another province or territory in every official language.

Unless you are stealing TV — which implies you have already got created that ethical leap and none of this matters to you, anyway — then it invariably goes to value one thing, and sensible TV goes to value quite icky TV.Pay-TV corporations acknowledge that they need to reduce the packages to stay customers whose area unit more and more overwhelming amusement on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and game consoles. They need begun introducing “skinny” bundles, typically offered in conjunction with a high-speed net subscription.Analysts estimate that a pair of million to three million TV homes — or concerning a pair of to three of the whole — have reduced the quantity of channels they receive or cut the wire entirely since 2012.

With “skinny basic” and “pick and pay” live, decision it a replacement variety of “natural choice”, digitization is that should to possess pick and pay giving.

Digitized economies wherever broadband speeds are high, individuals opt to go together with choose and pay kind of methods, to reduce . Choosing and paying allows one to place their cash in what they are interested to watch. Bundling can seem to be a decent price. However, most viewers appear to be disbursement 80% to 90% of your time looking chosen few programs. Facilitating the pick and pay feature can appear to possess raised client satisfaction in few economies.

“In many ways, skinny bundles still in an abstract story,” as said by Albert (senior vice president of content acquisition for Cox Communications). “The corporations that publicize them area unit providing pretty fat bundles, and in some instances, they need omitted entire families of channels. If you were to take a seat down and sense all the channels that you simply wished, and place them into some Franken-bundle, it might still add up to a fairly huge range.”

The declarations for new “skinny” groups of communicate and link systems have proceeded with unabated with DISH Pack entering the shred, Hulu and others not too far off. This makes it a valuable time to contrast the rising options with conventional video bundles offered by link and satellite suppliers (MVPDs).

By : Ramakrishna Mashetty

Ramakrishna Mashetty is The Chief Marketing officer of SURE! (a Magnaquest product).SURE! is an internationally acclaimed player in comprehensive end-to-end Subscription Business Solutions for PayTV, Broadband and Cloud Computing businesses – through deployment of Metered Billing, CRM, Service Fulfillment, Value-Added Services, and Managed Services.