CRTC launches public hearing to evaluate so-called skinny cable TV

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GATINEAU, Que. - Canada's broadcast regulator is launching a public hearing to evaluate the implementation of so-called skinny TV services.

As of March 1, the CRTC mandated cable and satellite TV service providers to offer basic cable packages capped at $25 monthly and let consumers either add channels onto their subscriptions in an a-la-carte manner or through pre-packaged bundles.

The companies are required to offer both options in December.

Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Videotron are scheduled to attend the public hearing starting Sept. 7, 2016, in Gatineau, Que., to help the CRTC determine if their skinny TV offerings fall within the regulations and the spirit of the policy.

The CRTC is taking this into account as part of the licence renewal process for providers, but the regulator says it intends to renew all licences unless any issues arise.

Canadians can submit comments to the CRTC on the issue until June 23.

The CRTC says it may decide to call other TV providers to the hearing after the public comment period closes.

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