• Viacom Threatens To Pull Out of Canada

    by  • October 10, 2014 • Cable Choice • 11 Comments

    One of the world’s largest media conglomerates has threatened to pull out of the Canadian market if the government there goes through with plans to unbundle cable television programming.

    Let’s think this through for a minute: Viacom owns more than 25 cable networks, worth collectively billions of dollars, and what they’re saying is that they’d rather make zero money than have to allow consumers to simply pick and choose which of those networks they want to pay for?

    Making it rather clear that he doesn’t support new rules proposed by Canada’s version of the FCC that would unbundle pay-TV programming, Viacom’s Keith Murphy, SVP of government relations has told the commission that so-called “pick and play” mandates would set off a “consumer welfare-destroying death spiral” for the Great White North’s TV industry.

    What’s unclear is why Viacom is arguing that cable television programming is somehow, miraculously, not subject to the same economic laws of supply and demand that every other good and service in a marketplace is subject to.

    In other words, Viacom’s actual argument is that if Canadians aren’t forced to buy ALL of their products, then they’d rather not sell ANYof their products.  Can you think of any other business that would rather sell nothing than make millions selling the products that people actually want to buy?  I can’t.

    If anything, what this really demonstrates is the cable industry’s stubborn refusal to innovate and give their own customers what they demand – real choice in their subscription packages.  Consumers, parents and families all want to be able to pick and pay for what they want, only 14% of people are satisfied with their cable service and 73% want “a la carte” cable.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, Viacom.

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    About

    As Director of Communications and Public Policy for the Parents Television Council, Dan Isett is responsible for advancing the PTC’s mission to federal, state and local elected and appointed officials, as well as the Federal Communications Commission.

    11 Responses to Viacom Threatens To Pull Out of Canada

    1. Dana
      October 10, 2014 at 7:12 am

      I pay too much for a bunch of channels I don’t want on my stupid cable “bundle”. Stop the Viacom greed! Start cable choice!

      • Debbie
        October 20, 2014 at 7:41 am

        I could go for only paying for what I’m watching. I think after they had sold the channels separately for a while they could create new bundles that Christians would want. They would still have us paying the same as what we are now.

        We’ve gone to satellite and now we have pornography in our face, ten times worse that cable. We don’t watch the channels but the titles are so bad, I would hate for my grandchildren to see them.

        • Dana
          October 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

          Three words: NO MORE BUNDLING!

    2. Robert S. Long
      October 17, 2014 at 8:20 am

      So let them pull out. The gap will be filled, perhaps with better entertainment. The entertainment has been pushing the hot buttons of the public for the purpose of profit and furthering liberalism for far too long.

    3. Nicholas Kromer
      October 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Bravo Canada! Let us all help Viacom understand the concept of “supply & demand”. If only the US had that kind of courage.

    4. Phyllis Greer
      October 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

      My guess is it is a bluff because they want business. It will take some effort and an investment in a quality computer program for their system to work and allow the customer to choose, but I think that could be developed. Maybe the government could offer a grant for the program development. It would be worth it.

    5. Bill Andress
      October 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Let them pull out and lose money!

      • William Warfield
        October 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm

        Agreed, 150%!

        I *never* want my MTV again! Let Viacom lose money here in the states, too!

    6. October 18, 2014 at 10:13 am

      WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME as to what possible excuse the cable congloms offer as WHY they don’t do this already? I am at a complete loss. It cannot be that it is the only way to get certain channels to survive. That would be like making us buy a pack of cigarettes whenever go to get gas! I don’t need or want them laying around my home! And don’t tell me, if you don’t smoke, just throw them away, that’s an insult to logic.
      But Phyllis, I honestly believe that big cable could do this tomorrow morning without an iota of extra effort. My neighbor and I have the same service but he has a different package with different channels right now. He can add a pay-per-view show, and so can I. I’ve never heard any provider complaining “darn, people keep ponying up big bucks to see the shows they want.” So I am certain they CAN do this. The question worthy of a 60 Minutes news segment is why the heck won’t they!

    7. Emile Ouellette
      October 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      I think it’s time – past time – to pull Viacom’s plug.

    8. John Stewart
      January 10, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Dear Viacom,

      I totally support you pulling out of Canada. While you are at it, please pull out of the United States as well.

      John Stewart

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