Eastlink cable subscribers soon won’t be able to watch HGTV Canada, W Network, and Showcase, among 34 other channels on the service, as the telecom provider says it’s been unable to reach a carriage agreement with Corus Entertainment.
“We worked very hard to reach an agreement with Corus that would not impact the availability of these channels. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach such an agreement, which means we have to remove these channels from our lineup as of June 27,” Jill Laing, Eastlink’s Director of Public Affairs, told Broadcast Dialogue.
Eastlink began sending notices to its cable subscribers this week alerting them to the removal of the channels from their offerings. In addition to the aforementioned HGTV Canada, W Network and Showcase, Corus-distributed specialty channels like Food Network, History, Slice, National Geographic, CMT, OWN, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, YTV, Cartoon Network, Treehouse, Movie Time, BC1, Global on Demand, DejaView, DTOUR, Magnolia Network, Crime Investigation, Lifetime, History 2, National Geographic Wild, ABC Spark, Cooking Channel, Adult Swim, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, Series Plus, Historia, Disney La Chaine, and Teletoon French, are also slated to disappear.
“We recognize that this is disappointing for some customers and will impact customers in different ways, depending on their viewing preferences and packages. We are working closely with our customers and making every effort to ensure their individual needs are supported in a way that is meaningful to them,” said Laing.
She said customers will continue to receive the same number of channels with comparable programming. Super Channel Heart and Home, for example, will be added to packages in place of W Network, along with channels like Cottage Life, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, FX, and Family. The company says customers will have the flexibility to customize their channel lineup with TV Channel Exchange, offering access to new TV package options.
Privately held by the Bragg family, Nova Scotia-headquartered Eastlink currently operates in seven provinces, including Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It’s estimated the company serves more than 250,000 cable subscribers.
Corus told Broadcast Dialogue, the company is still open to future negotiations.
“Our door is always open to future negotiations and we would like to thank Eastlink for its partnership over the years,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Corus’ channels are still available to subscribers through alternative distribution channels in these markets including STACKTV and other distributors Bell, Telus, Shaw Direct and VMedia, depending on location and province.”
Global live TV streaming service FuboTV was quick to announce a new entertainment-focused subscription package for Canadian customers, in which Corus Entertainment networks from the STACKTV platform (which is also available via Amazon Prime Video) feature prominently.
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