Discontinued TV channels

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Not Planned
I'm wondering if MTS could pitch out an idea to add back various channels that have been discontinued on MTS TV, pending if they are no longer being carried elsewhere. For example, I'm still quite disappointed to see the BigTen Network being dropped by MTS, due to whatever reasons may be.. but since some channels have been dropped, being that they're no longer available to Canadians, for example.. Teletoon Retro, bpm:tv, etc.. I'm wondering that if any funding that was costing those channels to be carried, could perhaps be put towards other channels that have been dropped by MTS, with hopes of being added back to the channel line-up. Also, I understand the demand factor for various channels, but let's say for example if BigTen Network was added back on MTS TV, could it be placed in another theme group that is of higher demand, to which I understand if there would be a possible rate increase for the channel group. And I also understand the factor in regards of negotiation deals being made for various channels that can take some time, but could MTS also try to renegotiate talks to perhaps try to bring discontinued channels back on their line-up?
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Zeph Hannem, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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David S., Alum

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Official Response
Zeph, you’ve put much thought into your questions, and I’ll respond with as much candour as possible.

 It is true that we decided to stop distributing Big Ten Network on MTS TV.  It is also true that Big Ten is the only programming service that we have ever dropped from our lineup.  All of the other programming services that were once available from MTS TV but have disappeared went out of business.  Obviously we cannot distribute what does not exist.

 Before we add any programming service to our lineup, we spend much time evaluating it and assessing the likelihood that our customers would like to watch it.  I think we’re pretty good at it.  The trick to providing a great TV service lies not so much in making sure that all the popular channels are on the lineup, but rather in offering the channels that appeal to small numbers of people.  Some of these services are exclusive to MTS TV or were for a long time.

There is a limit however.  Over the years, some channels with too few viewers could not afford to stay in business.  Likewise for us, the number of viewers for Big Ten was simply too small to sustain the cost of distribution.  Before turning it off, we worked hard with Big Ten to negotiate a deal to keep it on the lineup.  Both parties tried, but in the end, we were not successful.

We very much understand that Big Ten attracting too few viewers does not in any way diminish its value to you.  As you noted, however, moving it to a theme group with higher demand would increase the price of that theme group, but worse, it would force customers to pay for a channel that they had already chosen to not buy.  This is consumers' primary complaint about the television industry and was expressed well by Catlady C. 

It’s not an easy situation.  We are not currently in discussion with Big Ten, but if circumstances were to change, we would consider adding it back to our lineup.