The summer and fall have been nothing but bad news for Netflix south of the border but Netflix Canada and it’s subscribers received great news on October 5th, 2011 when the CRTC ruled that Netflix is not a broadcaster and therefore will not be subject to the same regulations as broadcasters Rogers, Shaw and Bell.
The big three cable companies were petitioning the CRTC to re-classify Netflix as a broadcaster and regulate content similar to the cable companies or pay a Local Canadian Content fee, levy or penalty see our previous blog post: netflix-monthly-subscriptions-on-the-rise
Re-classifying Netflix as a Broadcaster in Canada would have meant a certain increase in operating cost which would have been based onto subscribers in higher fees – this ruling is great news for Canadian Netflix subscribers.
The CRTC’s ruling allows Netflix to operate as usual and not be regulated to carry the same Canadian content as traditional broadcasters. The CRTC didn’t close the complaint completely leaving the door open for future changes but at the present time the CRTC said “There’s no evidence the services (Netflix) are harming traditional broadcasters, and the regulating them could in fact discourage innovation and make it difficult for Canadian companies to compete outside of the country”.
This CRTC ruling is Great News! for Netflix Canada customers. With all the negative press Netflix has received over the past couple months due to it’s price increase and splitting of it’s company into two parts, coupled with Netflix loss of subscribers and falling stock price in the USA, Netflix Canada is now certain to hold off any price increase for some time in Canada.
Finally the CRTC did something right!