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Bell supports pick-and-pay, calls for changes to local TV business model

TORONTO - Bell says it supports the so-called pick-and-pay model for cable television, but believes changes need to be made to local TV.

In a statement issued by the company, Bell says Canadians "shouldn't have to pay for channels they don't want just to get the channels they do."

But the company, which is owned by telecommunications giant BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE), also proposes to reclassify local TV stations as "local specialty services."

It says local TV would still meet programing requirements, but could also charge broadcast distributors wholesale rates, subject to existing must-carry rules.

Bell says the combination of advertising revenue and fees collected from the new model would support local television.

The CRTC is wrapping up a formal interventions process on Friday where it has collected comments from the public and industry on the proposed pick-and-pay model. The deadline for intervention filings is 8 p.m. ET on Friday.

The Canadian Press

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