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Pay TV services in Canada may be forced to provide à la carte programming

The U.S. has struggled with the cable TV industry program unbundling issue for years, but Canada’s government may soon order cable and satellite providers to offer à la carte programming to all subscribers.

“We don’t think it’s right for Canadians to have to pay for bundled television channels that they don’t watch," said James Moore, Canada’s Industry Minister, in a recent TV appearance. "We want to unbundle television channels and allow Canadians to pick and pay for the specific television channels that they want.”

Appointed Minister of Industry in July, Moore is also a member of Canada’s Parliament. He said the government would consider the issue with other pro-consumer issues in the next session of Parliament.

Some Canadian cable and satellite television providers have already begun to offer à la carte pricing on programming.

In the U.S., Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been an advocate of unbundling cable and satellite programming packages for many years. He has introduced legislation that would provide incentives that encourage providers to offer channels individually.

However, the U.S. television industry has resisted, mainly because bundled programming is more profitable to the industry.