My sight has been awakened to a whole other world…well maybe not that grand of a concept, but still..
Last night I was pissed off with Star Choice about losing a local channel that for us in the East Coast meant losing a channel in our time zone, which is for the most part an hour ahead of the rest of the country (an extra “half an hour in Newfoundland”!).
I called Star Choice and complained. I emailed them and complained. I contacted the local channel that got removed from Star Choice and asked how they could let this happen. Shockingly (well maybe not so) it was the local TV station that returned my emails.
I was informed that they had nothing to do with them being removed from Star Choice and they had no prior knowledge that it was even going to happen. I guess they found out around the same time I did. We had a few email exchanges. I asked for some ideas on what I could do to attempt to get their channel back on Star Choice. I wasn’t given any specific ideas but one of the emails alluded to a CRTC action that was in progress with the name “Fee-for-carriage”.
I asked Mr. Google to see if he knew what that might be and I got bombarded with results dating back to 2005. There was alot of industry terms being used so it wasn’t totally clear what was transpiring but those big shots in the Broadcasting industry here in Canada have been well informed on where TV might be heading and they seemed to be there trying to turn the tides in their favour ($$!).
There are basically two sides to this issue, one from the perspective of the broadcasters and then one from the providers (cable and satellite).
The broadcasters, in an effort to want to compete with specialty channels (like HGTV for example, where customers have to pay extra to have access) want to have the providers pay them to access their local (in most cases) channels. Of course most of the broadcasters do not want to have to charge their customers an extra fee for something that they (the customers) can already get for free over the airwaves.
Woooh, what have I stepped into here?
So now I am looking back at the emails I received from the local TV station rep. and am a little confused at them supporting my anger with Star Choice for removing them, because it is their parent ccompany Canwest Global that is spearheading this move for extra fees. Extra fees that I would have to fork out just to access local programming. WHAT!!?? I already have issues with Star Choice wanting to charge me fees for stuff that I already had for free, why would I support that?
This is the crap coming down the pipe from the broadcasters of this country and the providers of the content. I suggested that I would switch from one provider (Star Choice satellite) to another (Eastlink cable?), well maybe I won’t do that at all. Maybe I’ll opt for what appears to be the last and perhaps only (at this time) free way of getting TV shows…Mr. Internet. I can’t beleive either of these sets of industry giants would balk at, in some cases either giving or getting a friggin extra $1.00 per month. Its these behemoths that are raking in so much money these days that they can barely count it let alone likely report it all.
Us poor middle-class customers getting it up the butt no matter what we choose. Lose what we’ve become accustomed to or bend over and take it up the arse. Either way we lose something.