What it would take to get me to go back to cable/satellite TV


As I approach the four-year anniversary of cutting the cable (i.e. canceling my satellite subscription), I started musing about what it would take to bring me back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely happy with status quo. I have the NHL Centre Ice package, and anything else I need I simply stream it. The kids are happy with Netflix and don’t seem to be in need of anything more, and ditto for my wife. It would appear that, on this issue, I’m in the driver’s seat.

So what would it take?

The Big 2 Canadian companies will fight to the death for status quo. They’ll try to change the laws.  Even at the expense of free speech. As long as it makes money. They’ll fight any new laws that try to make things just a tiny bit fair for consumers.

Since my main wish – of just wanting the greed to stop – will never come true, I’ve come up with an alternative list of things.

  1. I don’t want “deals”. I don’t want $50 a month for a year and then regular price ($75 a month? More?) to kick in after that. I just want a fair number. I’d rather pay $65 per month right from the get-go and lasting forever, than get a deal in that first year. Stop it. It’s not done overseas and no, Canadians don’t like it. They agree to it because you don’t give them an option. And your stupid ‘closing’ sales pitch of “well, you can just call after that first year and get them to extend the deal” is annoying bullshit. Compete with each other based on your regular price, rather than requiring consumers to hire a math major to decipher how these “deals” will shake out.
  2. Let me pick and pay for each channel. Charge me $6 for the most popular channels (per month) and $2 for the least popular, with everything else falling in between. I would come back. And I know thousands would also come back. I would probably pick out 15 channels that I’d pay for (and likely add more as time goes by). You’d be getting $60 per month from me – and that’s $60 more than you’re getting now.

Right now, ‘apparently’, Network providers have to offer a basic package and then after that we can pick for each channel after that. But take a look at how it’s presented!



“Take our Popular Package” right now and get this list of channels. Or…

“Take our Better Bundle” right now and get this list of channels.

Oh, and by the way…you can get the basic package and pick your channels…but for details on that you have to call this number.

Just…wow. Still trying to stick to the old dinosaur way of doing business and pigeonhole consumers into your stupid packages. The ones where TSN is in one package, and Sportsnet is in another…and therefore getting both costs double. Where getting TSN requires you to also get the Ballet Network and getting Sportsnet means you must get the Cooking Channel. And if you want to pick by the channel, as per the new law…then you have to actually call us so we can talk you out of it. Likely by offering you a deal*.

(*deal expires in one year)

Keep playing your games, Rogers and Bell. And I’ll hang onto my money. It’s here for you when you want it. Just simply wake up to 2017. Change your business model. You have thousands, no – hundreds of thousands – of consumers waiting to sign up, and probably for about the same money you’d get from them anyway. All you have to do is let the 60- and 70-year old dinosaurs who are running the company under the old dynamic with their old-fashioned 1995 ideas to retire into the sunset and let the 30- and 40-year-olds who are aware that it’s 2017 to take things over.

We can stream now. You can’t stop it. And fighting it is an unending and costly battle. We can choose our shows and choose our time to watch them. Not ‘some’ shows with strings attached (such as having ‘other’ shows forced on us). But any show, any time.

So let us pick the channels. No “basic” package to start. No “access” fees. No “introductory price”. Nothing else. Just pick the channels. Yes, the less-popular channels will die. That’s capitalism.

Capitalism. You’re seeing it at work here as you lose more and more subscribers each month. How long will you fight it? Keep your head in the sand, grandma and grandpa.





The wrong way to deal with the above news (see links): “Hey, let’s offer better bundles!” or… “Hey, let’s call our competitor’s subscribers and offer them an introductory deal!” or… “Hey, let’s see if we can change the CRTC law to help prevent streaming!” or… “Hey, let’s see if we can get the law involved and fight piracy!”

Wake up, grandma and grandpa.








One thought on “What it would take to get me to go back to cable/satellite TV

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  1. Darryl…first off i read your story about how you got to where you were, to where you are with your sports information business. so congratulations for not giving up, for doing your best to overcome adversity and for taking control of your destiny, for doing whatever it takes to look after your family.

    And i am wishing you the best as you move along with your medical situation.

    great rant about the pathetic cable industry! I couldn’t agree more. i’ve been off the cord since june 12, 2009 (which happened to be SCF game 7 when my red wings lost to the penguins lol) and i haven’t looked back since.

    like you said there are ways to catch what we want…i pitch in with a buddy to watch nfl at his place, i stream things at home. because i work so much i just want to watch some hockey, football and a little basketball, and i can manage for the most part.

    unfortunately i find here in canada that canadian people don’t take enough action when it comes to righting wrongs or unfair business treatment. a perfect example is what we have to pay for cellphone service. but that’s another can of worms.

    that said it’s good that a segment of society is cutting the cord. but i don’t see rogers, bell and cogeco changing anytime soon. i wish that american cable companies would be allowed to come up here and compete, i bet that rogers, cogeco and bell would clean up their ruse real quick!

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