The First CRTC-Compliant « Skinny » Basic TV Package in Canada!
VMedia is pleased to announce the launch of its new basic TV package, TheSkinny™, on Thursday, June 4, becoming the first broadcasting distribution undertaking (BDU) to offer Canadians the « skinny » basic package that the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has required BDUs to provide by March, 2016. TheSkinny™ costs $17.95, and has all the Canadian and US over-the-air networks, such as CBC, CTV, Global, CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC and PBS, and other channels required to be included in basic packages.
« From our launch VMedia has been all about providing more choice and flexibility for consumers, letting them, as much as possible, choose the channels they want to watch, » said Alexei Tchernobrivets, Chief Executive Officer of VMedia. « We welcome the new direction in Canadian television that the CRTC has taken following its recent Let’s Talk TV proceedings, including the requirement to offer Canadians a smaller, more affordable « skinny » basic package. We are excited about the launch of TheSkinny™, and to be the first BDU to do so. »
TheSkinny™ has 28 channels in total, including local affiliates of the CBC, CTV and Global networks, French-language networks SRC and TVA, other local over-the-air stations including CITY-TV, OMNI1 and 2, CHCH and YES TV, and the 4+1 U.S. networks, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS. In addition, TheSkinny™ includes 11 other channels required to be offered in basic such as APTN, The Weather Network, TV5/UNIS, TVO, CPAC and AMI-TV. The exact channel lineup may vary among VMedia’s markets.
To complement the new choice and flexibility offered by TheSkinny™, VMedia has expanded its UChoose a la carte options with the introduction of the Any Twenty. This allows a subscriber to make up her own package of twenty or more channels chosen from among all of the over 60 non-premium channels in VMedia’s UChoose Store, for $1.50 each. In addition to requiring BDUs to offer a « skinny » basic package, the CRTC has also required programmers to make
available all of their channels on a standalone and pick a pack basis by no later than December, 2016. VMedia expects to be expanding its UChoose Store as those channels become available.
« When VMedia launched in 2013, it was our vision to have exactly this ‘skinny’ basic package, and allow our subscribers to customize by adding standalone and pick a pack channels, » said George Burger, Advisor to VMedia. « We quickly learned that the contracts with the channel providers and economics of the deals did not allow for this, but within those limitations we put together alternatives for our subscribers that came as close to the CRTC’s new landscape as possible. We believe that our Premium Basic package remains the best value TV package on the market, but for those who want to maximize their ability to build their personal line-ups, the combination of TheSkinny™ and their selection of their Any Twenty lets them do just that. »
VMedia is limited by agreements to offering only those channels on a standalone or pick a pack basis currently available in the UChoose store. However other channels will be added as programmers comply with the CRTC’s requirement that all channels be offered on a standalone and pick a pack basis by December, 2016.
VMedia Inc., based in Toronto, Ontario, provides innovative TV, high-speed internet and home phone services, offering more choice and flexibility, unique features and lower prices than the major players. VMedia is the only alternative triple-play provider to those players available throughout Ontario. VMedia is a leader in IPTV and the company’s cool, affordable TV platform delivers a whole new home entertainment experience, enabling consumers to seamlessly enjoy conventional TV, over the top content, video on demand, social media and a world of apps. VMedia makes every TV smart!