Rogers Communications  has released the results of a new poll that shows the broadcasting industry needs to evolve to meet changing customer demand – something we consumers already know and are waiting for. Results reveal that a majority of Canadians value their TV subscriptions, including the channels and packages available to them, but want the opportunity to further customize those packages. I know that in our house, we are forced to have a plethora of channels we simply do not watch to get one or two channels that we do want, or simply don’t get them because we don’t want any of the other channels in the package. I still don’t understand why the “documentary” style channels – Bio, Book, Investigation Discovery, Investigation Science, National Geographic, etc. can’t be bundled together in a “Knowledge Bundle” instead of with channels like Much or Spike. Anyhow – back to the story….
“Customers have told us that they want more flexible TV options and we should be able to offer them,” said John Boynton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Rogers Communications. “We support the government and industry’s review of cable packaging so as an industry we can evolve to meet the changing needs of TV viewers.”
Of those Canadians surveyed in the poll conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of Rogers Communications, 78 per cent said they subscribe to TV services from a cable or satellite provider. The poll reveals the following about Canadian TV customers:
- Remote control reigns – Canadian viewers still enjoy surfing a wide-range of channels: Over 70 per cent of the TV customers’ surveyed claim their subscription is important for their household’s entertainment needs. Also, over 70 per cent of Canadians are happy with the extensive number and range of channels available to them. However, 86 per cent seek more flexibility and choice in the channels they are able to include in their TV subscriptions.
- Majority of Canadians like having access to the TV bundles offered today, but they are also interested in the option to pick-and-pay per channel: While 60 per cent would pay extra per channel, 64 per cent say they like having access to TV packages that offer multiple channels and programs in one bundle.
- Canadian viewing habits continue to evolve and are driven by new technologies and platforms: Canadians are supplementing their TV subscriptions with over-the-top (OTT) entertainment services. Among those surveyed with an OTT service, three quarters (75%) also have a cable or satellite subscription.
Rogers believes customers should have the option to choose flexible TV packages. In 2011, Rogers rolled out a flexible packaging trial  in London, Ontario to over 1000 customers. Participants were offered the trial’s basic cable package, Digital Starter Pack, with the option to add individual channels of their choice in increments of 15, 20 and 30 from more than 100 options. The findings reveal that Canadians prefer channel bundles, however, also want the option to build their own packages. The majority (92 per cent) subscribed to these incremental packages, while 8 per cent chose not to subscribe to additional channels beyond their basic package.
“The results from our London trial clearly show our TV customers embrace more choice when it comes to their TV packaging and we want to offer it,” said Boynton. “We’ve been advocating change for several years and believe a thorough review of the entire broadcasting system is necessary so we can deliver for our customers.”
Canadians are encouraged to continue giving their feedback on Rogers “Future of TV ” online community forum. To participate in the forum, users need a My Rogers username and password. Visit the forum  for more information. Canadians can also continue to contribute to the CRTC discussion through volunteer-hosted “Flash!” conferences. Event organizers can submit reports of their discussions to the CRTC by January 10, 2014.
Harris/Decima Research Methodology: Data was collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) via the Harris/Decima teleVox omnibus. Overall, 1,019 completes were collected nationally between November 7 and November 11, 2013. The sample consists of 80% landline and 20% cell phone respondents, with quotas by gender (50/50 split) and by region. The data is weighted in tabulation to replicate actual population distribution by age and gender within region according to the 2011 Census data. This survey is considered accurate to a margin of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.