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I read with interest an article in the National Post today. The headline reads “Canadians can afford high cable fees: CRTC. Regulator finds Canadians absorb higher cable fees without complaint.”┬áThe article goes on to state that the average cable bill has risen by almost 50% since 2002 and that “Such results do no seem to suggest a significant withdrawal of demand for television services when consumers are faced with rate increases.”

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The CRTC announced its long awaited broadcast decision, which gives television networks the right to negotiate carriage fees with cable and satellite companies (the Cable Cos). To date, Canadian stations were carried at no cost to the Cable Cos. This model worked for a long time, with both parties profiting from the arrangement. However, a decrease in advertising revenues has put the pinch on the networks and a change in model was almost inevitable. Neither side was willing budge on the issue – both seemingly content to play to the perceived public sympathies in an effort to build support for stated arguments. So what is likely to happen?

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