Last night was a lot of fun watching the Sun TV News team walk Canadians through the election and all the fallout from it. Personally, I had a great time watching Krista and the rest of the team deliver the results in a very fun way.
So this morning I woke up and thought I'd tune in again to catch the latest.... and to my surprise and disgust all there was on the channel assigned to Sun TV was a message that read
"Sun News was removed from your satellite service on May 3 at the request of the owners of Sun News"
Naturally that didn't seem like a logical statement, so I tried calling my television service provider, Telus, to find out what was going on.
I managed to get a good company boy on the line who said the fault should be laid at the feet of SUN TV's ownership, and that Bell had no part in it. (or words to that effect) His position was that since the Sports Channel had been dicks over the broadcasting of hockey games and was trying to use the hockey playoffs to force other providers to agree to ridiculously low rates for themselves, that obviously Sun TV was just doing the same thing.
Then the good company boy said something that made me laugh out loud, it was so asinine:
"Maybe you should get the story from an unbiased source, like the CBC."
Well, what do you say to a statement like that? I think this is the first time I have ever heard the term "unbiased" used to describe the state mouthpiece, the CBC.
So I called bullshit. Said as much to the good company boy I had the misfortune to reach. He ranted on and on about the hockey crap for a while longer, and when I could finally get a word in edgewise I asked him one simple question:
So, since you're just a reseller for Bell TV, you cannot help me, correct?
After a brief and seemingly stunned silence, he replied that I was indeed correct, and that I should take the matter up with both Bell and Sun TV.
Dealing with Sun TV was easy... an email to Theo Caldwell asking to get to the bottom of it was fired off before I talked to the good company boy at Telus, and then I attempted to contact Bell.
Not quite so easy.
The phone number listed, 310-BELL doesn't actually work. At least not from where I'm calling from, anyway.
That led to wading through their website trying to find out how to complain to them. Eventually I just gave up and used the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page, since getting to Bell TV specifically didn't seem possible.
Now I await a response from them, but in the meantime I did a little more digging around the 'net.
Seems that CTV News, which is owned by Bell, was getting trounced in ratings polls by the upstart new channel. Guess that's one good reason for them to pull the channel off the air then, isn't it? Can't have their own news product getting trounced by a channel that's been on the air all of two weeks now, can they?
From today's Globe and Mail:
“They’re saying that the conditions we’re asking for are not fair and not reasonable,” Mr. Lavoie (senior adviser to Quebecor chief executive officer Pierre-Karl Péladeau) said in an interview. “We’re not asking [as much as] CTV News Channel is getting, we’re not asking what Business News Network is getting. We’re not asking what CP24 is getting. And oh, what a coincidence, those three are owned by Bell.”
My good company man at Telus said I was jumping to conclusions that it was Bell that was being unreasonable.
Apparently the good company man was mistaken. Bell is being the disingenuous party here, and if they don't smarten up soon, I'll be looking to switch my cellular service provider AND my television package to a company that's willing allow the competition to enter the playing field.
Voting with my dollars... it's a practice I've followed my whole life, and one I see no reason to change in the face of this blatant corporate self-interest being shown by Bell.
So Bell Canada... either get your act together or kiss my business goodbye. Your choice.