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

Oct 21, 2013
Originally published on October 22, 2013 3:37 pm
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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.

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BARCO: To local talk shows...

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

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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.