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  1. #1
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    Major changes for Bell TV (Satellite) & Fibe subscribers

    As a Bell Fibe subscriber from Quebec, this information is based on messages retrieved from monthly billing and in the course of attempting to make changes to existing programming.

    As already indicated in similar posts on other message boards, this can be attributed to numerous factors, including:
    The eventual implementation of pick and pay coming up at the end of this year
    Renegotiations between channel owners and BDUs to offer the channels at higher costs upon termination of contracts based on existing terms
    Re-evaluation of channels in terms of viewership and subscriptions

    Channels being removed from Bell TV (in chronological order):

    August 15
    i Channel - Already confirmed to shut down

    September 1
    Gusto - to be replaced by another channel of the same name owned by Bell Media; possible rebranding of existing Category A channel owned by Bell

    September 8 (or 27)
    CNBC
    MSNBC
    The Shopping Channel
    Nickelodeon
    Sundance

    KTLA - CW Los Angeles
    WPIX - CW New York
    WSBK - Boston


    Channels transferring packages

    Please note that the information below may be applicable to Bell subscribers only within the province of Quebec.

    September 8 (or 27)

    Moving from Basic (aka Good Package)
    MuchMusic
    MusiquePlus
    MusiMax
    VisionTV

    Telemag - CHMG Quebec City (Expected to remain within Standard or Basic package for viewers in Quebec City region)
    yesTV Burlington

    All four channels will no longer be offered in both the Good and Better packages, only starting from the Best package
    Telemag will be offered within the Timeshift package for subscribers outside of Quebec City
    yesTV will be moving to the TimeShift package

    Moving from Better Package
    ICI ARTV
    Prise 2
    TELETOON
    VRAK.TV

    All four channels will only be offered starting from the Best package, along with Pick and Pay / A la carte

    Moving from Best Package (strictly to Pick and Pay / A la carte)
    Jewish Life TV
    VICELAND

    Moving from The Favourites
    WGN Chicago (to TimeShift package)

    This appears to be the calm before the storm. More channels will either be dropped or transferred strictly to Pick and Pay by year's end.

    Probably the biggest letdown here is Bell's decision to drop key American stations like KTLA and WPIX (both affiliated with The CW) in September. I noticed that both stations, along with WSBK, were recently available as Pick and Pay/ A la carte channels in addition to being offered with the premium movie packages for TMN/HBO Canada and Superchannel. Just as I was in the process of adding the two CW affiliates to my existing A la Carte package, I discovered that they were no longer being offered there. Sadly, but not surprisingly, they prove to be rather costly as you need a premium movie package starting at $15 just to have those channels.

    Not all of The CW's programming is carried on a Canadian network or SVOD service, so online streaming/downloading may be the last resort (i.e. Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Whose Line is it Anyway?, MADtv). For viewers in Montreal and southern Quebec, access to The CW's full primetime lineup is available OTA on digital subchannel 5.2, shared with the NBC affiliate in Plattsburgh. Hopefully, Bell Fibe will consider adding it as a separate channel like they did not too long ago with the PBS station from Plattsburgh. Likewise, viewers in the GTA and Ottawa area will have a CW affiliate from Buffalo and Rochester to be added to their channel lineups to go with the other five U.S. networks already in the Basic (Good) package.
    Last edited by lostjon; 07-18-2016 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Updated posting to reflect changes for Quebec

  2. #2
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    Those channels being removed, it's just weird. Why are they removing these channels? I* don't have Bell but I would not be happy. I watch Sundance which has a few Drama exclusive from Sundance US and some Australian shows, the Superstation I need for The cw shows. WGN will drop it's CW affiliation, so that leaves none. CNBC and MSNBC are important channels to have I think, I don't watch, but isn't it fair to have all the differnt views of the news from the States?

    I guess if people want those shows on The CW or Sundance they can subscribe to Crave TV? Is that why? Anyway, just weird choices. Moving packages I don't care much, but removing channels that people actually watch makes no sense to me. But they still have BookTV don't they? ;)

  3. #3
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    I bet some of those channels wont even get removed at all. It's probably Bell playing hardball with some specialty channels. Remember when they were going to drop Spike and BET?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigoranget View Post
    I bet some of those channels wont even get removed at all. It's probably Bell playing hardball with some specialty channels. Remember when they were going to drop Spike and BET?


    I hope you're right and that it's nothing more than a tactic that would give an incentive for Bell to continue carrying some of these channels. I don't recall Bell removing Spike and BET from its channel selections even in the days before they were planning to drop them. We'll wait and see what happens, although the fact that those channels are no longer available to select whether it's with the Good/Better/Best package selections or Pick and Pay is not exactly a promising sign.

    The three American channels are not being offered within the Best package, Pick and Pay or even with the premium movie packages.

    If they choose to drop KTLA and WPIX, then I hope they make up for that at some point by offering The CW in the same manner like they do with the other U.S. networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS) and add them via local affiliation to the Basic package. It will prove to be a tough sell for viewers in Quebec unless Videotron Illico does the same, and of course it remains to be seen if Shaw Direct will follow Bell's lead, on the satellite side.

    Rogers Digital Cable in Toronto has carried The CW affiliate from Buffalo in their lineup for quite some time.

    I've noticed that Bell is also no longer offering within Quebec some channels in their new TimeShift package - including all the major network stations out of Toronto for CTV, Global, and City. Also removed are CTV Two Barrie, CHCH and CHEK Vancouver Island. The only GTA-based stations remaining are OMNI.1 and OMNI.2, and yesTV (which until now has been included with the Basic package).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostjon View Post


    September 8 (or 27)
    CNBC
    MSNBC
    The Shopping Channel
    Nickelodeon
    Sundance

    Any ideas if they can have a possibility Nickelodeon will be shutdown or re-branded? I always believe the Canadian's Nickelodeon like the weakness between the major Three Kids properties (CN, Nick, Disney) to be migrate in Canadians homes. At least, CN and Disney shown stuffs from their respective channels who ARE NOT air in other networks at the same time. While Nick Canada don't have Canadian Premieres at their own, their true Premieres are all air on YTV. And while they can air some older Nick properties like they want, they result as very stale at it's best since not everybody had Nick Canada at home.
    Last edited by Hedgie-Rover; 07-16-2016 at 01:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    WOW, that is quite a list of changes they are going to be making. I did not see anything on my most recent Bell TV bill, perhaps it will be on next months bill?!

    September 8 (or 27)
    CNBC
    MSNBC
    The Shopping Channel
    Nickelodeon
    Sundance

    KTLA - CW Los Angeles
    WPIX - CW New York
    WSBK - Boston
    I suspect that most if not all of these channels being removed have to do with contracts, I doubt very much that they are going to be dropped due to low viewership (except perhaps Nickelodeon). They are either asking for a big increase or in the case of the American channels they might not want to be sold as a pick and pay channel?! If its a money issue then its possible you might see them remain if some last minute deal is reached.

    Moving from Basic (aka Good Package)
    MuchMusic
    MusiquePlus (Quebec only)
    MusiMax (Quebec only)
    VisionTV

    Telemag (Quebec only)
    yesTV Burlington
    Are these changes for Fibe TV or Satellite as well?!

    I don't see how they can remove Yes TV, it's a local station and has to be part of basic as per CRTC rules. Perhaps this change refers to out of market service areas, hence why you say it will become part of the time-shifting package?!

    I wonder why they are moving Much out of the basic package seeing as how they own this channel- dare I dream that they plan to add Gusto to basic once they launch their version of the channel?!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    I suspect that most if not all of these channels being removed have to do with contracts, I doubt very much that they are going to be dropped due to low viewership (except perhaps Nickelodeon). They are either asking for a big increase or in the case of the American channels they might not want to be sold as a pick and pay channel?! If its a money issue then its possible you might see them remain if some last minute deal is reached.
    Again, we'll wait and see. As long as I still can watch The CW this fall, that's fine by me. I just wish I would have been able to move both KTLA and WPIX to my existing Pick and Pay package, while dropping TMN and HBO Canada to save costs and retain eveything else that I already have.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    Are these changes for Fibe TV or Satellite as well?!
    My guess is that it could be for both. In my case, it applies to Bell Fibe. I would be interested to know what changes are in store from other subscribers elsewhere (i.e. Bell Saltellite TV subscribers, Bell Fibe customers in Ontario, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    I don't see how they can remove Yes TV, it's a local station and has to be part of basic as per CRTC rules. Perhaps this change refers to out of market service areas, hence why you say it will become part of the time-shifting package?!
    You could very well be right. It will likely remain in the basic package for Fibe subscribers in Ontario, while moving to TimeShift package for subscribers here in Quebec.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    I wonder why they are moving Much out of the basic package seeing as how they own this channel- dare I dream that they plan to add Gusto to basic once they launch their version of the channel?!
    That's an interesting statement. It certainly won't be included in the Starter package overall. Outside Quebec, it could be available starting from the Good package, with the likes of other existing specialty channels already there, unless they are on the move as well. Here in Quebec, it will probably be available only starting from the Best package and as Pick & Pay / a la carte. With MuchMusic and Vision moving, the only English specialty channels remaining in the Good package are CBC News Network and The Weather Network - the rest are a few French ones like RDS, ICI RDI and LCN.

  8. #8
    It's pathetic that Bell is moving Much to the "Best" package. Paying too much for MuchMusic? Much should be an OTA station if Bell tries to get rid of it

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParamountChris View Post
    It's pathetic that Bell is moving Much to the "Best" package. Paying too much for MuchMusic? Much should be an OTA station if Bell tries to get rid of it
    This might be applicable only for Quebec, as I have updated in my original post for this thread. I would be curious to know if the same thing may happen for Bell Fibe subscribers outside Quebec.

    Out of curiosity, upon logging on to the Bell website, I selected Ontario as the province and compared the packages being offered with Bell Fibe.

    What is most notable here are the vast range of specialty channels, most of which are owned by Bell and happen to be the most popular. In this case, these channels may very well remain in the same package in addition to being offered as pick and pay.

    Here is a rundown of the specialty channels currently being offered as part of the Basic (Good) package outside Quebec - specifically in Ontario:

    A&E
    bravo
    CMT
    Comedy
    CTV News Channel
    Daystar Canada
    E!
    HGTV
    History
    MTV
    MuchMusic
    MyNetwork TV Buffalo
    Space
    Sportsnet
    TLN
    TLC
    Treehouse
    TSN 1/3/4/5
    Vision
    W Network
    YTV
    Last edited by lostjon; 07-16-2016 at 04:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    Now it makes sense, I suspected that the channel changes are for Quebec customers- it would have been nice if you specified you are from Quebec from the beginning. This explains the removal of Yes TV into a time-shifting package and some of the other channel changes you mentioned.

    It's pathetic that Bell is moving Much to the "Best" package.
    If you don't live in Quebec, then I don't think you need to worry as I don't see them moving Much from the Good package in English Canada. They recently added some specialties to the Good package that were part of a different package, why would they now remove a channel, especially one that they own?! In typical Bell fashion however, these channels are only available to new customers who subscribe to the Good package- long time customers get the shaft. They raised the price of the Good package by $2 some months ago, so I am paying 2 bucks more but not getting anything in return.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    Now it makes sense, I suspected that the channel changes are for Quebec customers- it would have been nice if you specified you are from Quebec from the beginning.
    Yes, I have updated that in my original post for this thread. My sincere apologies for not having specified that earlier - I did not intend to cause any confusion or misunderstanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDN Viewer View Post
    If you don't live in Quebec, then I don't think you need to worry as I don't see them moving Much from the Good package in English Canada. They recently added some specialties to the Good package that were part of a different package, why would they now remove a channel, especially one that they own?! In typical Bell fashion however, these channels are only available to new customers who subscribe to the Good package- long time customers get the shaft. They raised the price of the Good package by $2 some months ago, so I am paying 2 bucks more but not getting anything in return.
    Bell introduced the Good / Better / Best packages here in Quebec at the same time that the Starter package was newly launched earlier this year. Having been a Fibe customer for over two years, the current subscription package I have is now grandfathered, and that includes Pick and Pay 20 channels, which is no longer being offered - it's down to 10 (for the Starter package) and 15 or 30 (for the Good and Better packages).

    With the changes coming up, just about all the English specialty channels will only be available starting from the Best package or from Pick and Pay / a la carte. At this time, there is no incentive for me to change the package I already have, especially if an agreement is reached to keep KTLA and WPIX and to include it within Pick and Pay. There remains that issue of deciding which channels moving from the Basic package to a la carte that I would like to keep. Eventually, I'm looking to drop my premium movie package consisting of The Movie Network, TMN Encore, HBO Canada and the U.S. Superstations simply due to the increasing costs.

  12. #12
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    Are these changes just for those in Quebec.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottawasnowdog View Post
    Are these changes just for those in Quebec.
    For now in this case, yes. Unless there is confirmation of these changes happening for subscribers outside of Quebec.

    Generally, when Bell puts out messages about channels being removed or no longer being available on their TV service at a certain date, they would apply to all subscribers everywhere.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgie-Rover View Post
    Any ideas if they can have a possibility Nickelodeon will be shutdown or re-branded? I always believe the Canadian's Nickelodeon like the weakness between the major Three Kids properties (CN, Nick, Disney) to be migrate in Canadians homes. At least, CN and Disney shown stuffs from their respective channels who ARE NOT air in other networks at the same time. While Nick Canada don't have Canadian Premieres at their own, their true Premieres are all air on YTV. And while they can air some older Nick properties like they want, they result as very stale at it's best since not everybody had Nick Canada at home.
    I think if Corus Media had any sense they'd have rebranded YTV into Nickelodian being that so many programs on there are of Nickelodian and bring back Teletoon Retro or something. YTV at one time had the best shows but today its anything but. I miss the old YTV lineup's when it first started. I remembered the day when YTV signed on in 1988. But we'll probably may not likily see that ever happening to YTV ever. But I think it was the biggest mistake Corus made last year when they killed Teletoon retro so many of us Canadians loved. We need to get our Retro Cartoon Channel back.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Test Pattern View Post
    I think if Corus Media had any sense they'd have rebranded YTV into Nickelodian being that so many programs on there are of Nickelodian and bring back Teletoon Retro or something. YTV at one time had the best shows but today its anything but. I miss the old YTV lineup's when it first started. I remembered the day when YTV signed on in 1988. But we'll probably may not likily see that ever happening to YTV ever. But I think it was the biggest mistake Corus made last year when they killed Teletoon retro so many of us Canadians loved. We need to get our Retro Cartoon Channel back.
    That's actually a valid point, although I don't see them rebranding the name YTV. Like Much and TSN (which launched four years prior), it has evolved long enough to become an iconic Canadian brand and it also marks one of the original properties under the Corus brand. Yes, it seems by default a Canadian version of Nickelodeon, which would make it an obvious candidate for some sort of rebrand but for the reasons I just mentioned, I don't anticipate a rebrand. Perhaps earlier in their history, around the late 1990s/early 2000s, they could have but the name YTV (regardless of what it stands for nowadays) has stuck around long enough that it would seem meaningless to change it now. It's not like many of the channels that launched later, most of which are only still around due to subscription packages and ended up rebranding themselves. In this case, rebranding just to become a Canadian version of a well-known American brand is not always ideal.

    But, yes, I agree that YTV's lineup in its early years actually was entertaining for audiences of all ages - I especially appreciated the shows they picked up from the UK and Australia, along with a few from Nickelodeon, and their original Canadian content was not too shabby either.

    The Canadian Nickelodeon channel started off as Discovery Kids (following the U.S. counterpart) which eventually rebranded into something else stateside. But as it's been mentioned, this has been more or less a second-rate channel consisting of shows that already premiered on YTV with little to no original programming, so it makes the Nickelodeon brand less valuable here in Canada. And with that, it means probably very few people interested in subscribing to this channel, so maybe a rebrand from Nickelodeon to something else should be considered especially if Bell intends on dropping it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Test Pattern View Post
    I think if Corus Media had any sense they'd have rebranded YTV into Nickelodian being that so many programs on there are of Nickelodian and bring back Teletoon Retro or something. YTV at one time had the best shows but today its anything but. I miss the old YTV lineup's when it first started. I remembered the day when YTV signed on in 1988. But we'll probably may not likily see that ever happening to YTV ever. But I think it was the biggest mistake Corus made last year when they killed Teletoon retro so many of us Canadians loved. We need to get our Retro Cartoon Channel back.
    We never got YTV at home, thanks to Cogeco, but i was still thrilled by the versatility of contents and genres the kids network was aimed at, even on this age when the General American networks still shown cartoons, old and new. (It's by them i earn a big interest to animation, with our own Televisions too more than Home Video)

    I loved Teletoon Retro back it started, and since we needed a Retro programming in the spirit of Boomerang. Altough Corus make a awful mistake to kill it, the final years were not so fantastic and exciting, to be much a YTV 2 or something. Now the real classic cartoons are on Prise 2 from Quebec homes and it's the only thing which stand me to watch Television. Teletoon Retro need to get back, but by come much a mix of young and old stuffs rather to just 10-years reruns.

    About Nickelodeon Canada. I just saw it when we got on Free Preview and that's it. This is really a Television i wish to be dump for their excessive use of repeats, maybe much stale than Teletoon Retro ever was.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Test Pattern View Post
    I think if Corus Media had any sense they'd have rebranded YTV into Nickelodian
    As others said, not gonna happen. On air since 1988, it's a brand name, and still produces live-action and animated shows. Also, YTV used to carry shows from The WB/UPN (Buffy, Dead Last), Farscape, British shows shows, the Power Rangers franchise, etc. Sure, the lineup is different today, but rebranding it "Nick" will just limit the channel's library and international partners for co-productions.

    As for Teletoon Retro, it had a direction similar to Bell's Comedy Gold and Shaw's DejaView : Same catalog of low-cost acquisition shows, over and over and overlooked for the fall schedule. Rebranding it as Cartoon Network and upgraded distribution was a strategic move.
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostjon View Post
    Channels being removed from Bell TV (in chronological order):

    September 8 (or 27)
    CNBC
    MSNBC
    The Shopping Channel
    Nickelodeon
    Sundance

    KTLA - CW Los Angeles
    WPIX - CW New York
    WSBK - Boston


    Channels transferring packages

    Please note that the information below may be applicable to Bell subscribers only within the province of Quebec.

    September 8 (or 27)

    Moving from Basic (aka Good Package)
    MuchMusic
    MusiquePlus
    MusiMax
    VisionTV

    Telemag - CHMG Quebec City (Expected to remain within Standard or Basic package for viewers in Quebec City region)
    yesTV Burlington

    All four channels will no longer be offered in both the Good and Better packages, only starting from the Best package
    Telemag will be offered within the Timeshift package for subscribers outside of Quebec City
    yesTV will be moving to the TimeShift package

    Moving from Best Package (strictly to Pick and Pay / A la carte)
    Jewish Life TV
    VICELAND

    Moving from The Favourites
    WGN Chicago (to TimeShift package)
    Here's a bit of an update, effective for Bell Fibe subscribers in Quebec only:

    I have not received any further notifications with my monthly bill since July.

    Though it was previously announced that Shopping Channel, Nickelodeon and Sundance would be dropped from the lineup, all channels still appear in the EPG with their regularly scheduled listings. Only Nickelodeon and Sundance are not being offered as channels within the Pick and Pay / A la carte package when you visit the Bell website, so they are either holding off from dropping those channels indefinitely and working on an agreement or waiting until a later time to make their move. Still, the fact that they are not being offered or anywhere to be seen on the site is a sign that they could be on the chopping block.

    CNBC and MSNBC are not going anywhere and continue to be offered within both the Best package and as pick and pay / a la carte channels.

    In an interesting move and kind of welcome surprise, the American superstations KTLA, WPIX (both affiliated with The CW), WSBK and WGN are now being offered with the TimeShift package ($5), for both grandfathered and current plans. In my case, where I have a grandfathered plan, I currently have both the TimeShift package and The Movie Network premium package (at $17.50) which is no longer being offered - that includes all the TMN and TMN Encore channels, HBO Canada, KTLA, WPIX, PeachTree TV, Turner Movie Classics and AMC with CraveTV as a free bonus, so there is a bit of an overlap there.

    This should be a benefit to subscribers looking to get The CW without having to pay a minimum of $15 with the movie channels. At some point, I am looking to drop my existing Movie Network package while hanging on to The CW channels and AMC (which is offered a la carte). The key difference is CraveTV which costs $6 separately.

    Also worth noting, the grandfathered plan offered MusiquePlus, MAX (formerly Musimax), Much and Vision TV starting from the Basic (Good) package. As of this week, the current plans offer both Much and Vision TV only within the Best package and as Pick and Pay options. Both MusiquePlus and MAX continue to be offered within all packages except for Starter.

    Again, this applies just to Bell Fibe subscribers in Quebec. I don't know what is happening for Bell TV (Satellite) subscribers in Quebec or for both services (Fibe and Satellite) outside the province.
    Last edited by lostjon; 09-30-2016 at 03:58 PM.

 

 

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