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Canada Takes Cable A La Carte, But Don't Expect U.S. To Follow

By Mandalit del Barco | NPR
Monday, October 21, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

If you want to watch MTV, you have to pay for ESPN, even if you don't like sports. TV viewers often complain their expensive bills include packages of channels that are bundled together. Now, Canada's government is requiring cable companies to change their pricing system. But that's unlikely to happen in the U.S.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If you want to watch MTV, you have to pay for ESPN, even if you don't want to watch sports, and a lot of cable customers don't like it. In the cable TV business, it's called bundling. Now, the government of Canada is requiring cable companies to take those bundles apart. NPR's Mandelit del Barco reports on why that is unlikely to happen in the U.S.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Channel surfing in, say, Montreal, you can find everything from American TV sitcoms to shows in French.

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SHOW)

BARCO: To local talk shows...

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SHOW)

BARCO: And cooking with the Wolfman on the Aboriginal People's Television Network.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BARCO: Canadians will soon have more choices in how to pay their cable bills. This week their government announced it will require cable and satellite TV service providers to offer what's known as a la carte pricing. Here's Canada's industry minister James Moore on CTV News.

(SOUNDBITE OF CTV NEWS BROADCAST) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

View this story on npr.org

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