New CRTC pick-and-pay rules for television services to take effect next year

OTTAWA – Canada’s broadcast regulator is moving to implement changes it promised earlier this year to give Canadians more options when subscribing to cable and satellite television service.

It says all Canadian will have access to either pick-and-pay or small television packages as of March 1 and have access to both options by Dec. 1 next year.

The CRTC moved Thursday to update the regulations to implement the changes that resulted from hearings last year.

The new basic packages must include local channels in each service area, as well as channels currently on the CRTC’s mandatory distribution list.

TV viewers will then be able to supplement this with either individual channels or small bundled channel packages.

The changes also include a $25 cap on the most basic television service.