The CRTC decides when the LTSS ends, not Shaw


This is when KvF told us interveners not to fret about diluted OTA coverage in 2011.

Dear Minister Glover,

Shaw announced this week that its Local Television Satellite Solution (LTSS) program will end on August 31, 2019.

Problem is, Shaw doesn’t have the authority to make such a decision. Only the CRTC does.

While it is true that the CRTC requires Shaw to offer the LTSS program until its next licence renewal of August 31, 2019, nowhere in the decision related to the program does it say that the LTSS will end on that date.

The CRTC may very well decide that Shaw should be required to continue offering the LTSS service to Canadians beyond August 31, 2019.



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21 Responses to The CRTC decides when the LTSS ends, not Shaw

  1. Brenda says:

    Thanks for standing up for the rural folks Steven. I will be watching for developments about the LTSS.

  2. Donna says:

    I phoned shaw today and talked to someone by the name of Heather to ask if we could go back to our free programming as we were on a promotional rate. She told me it ended as of Aug31/2014.
    Seems like Shaw is ending this on their own. How do we contact the CRTC to complain. At this time the least amount we would have to pay to get the smallest package is around 34.00 plus tax. As a senior on a fixed income there is not way we can possibly afford this and that means we will have no local news other than radio.

    • Hi Donna. Sorry to hear about the trouble. Is this the offer that Shaw was making to LTSS subscribers prior to Aug 31/14 where LTSS subscribers could switch to a paid Shaw Direct service with the option of returning to the no-fee LTSS? If so, are they now saying you can’t go back to LTSS? Do you have some sort of paperwork, e-mails or audio recordings that mention that you can go back to the LTSS? Steven

      • Donna says:

        We had the LTSS for a short time and on Feb.13/2013 Shaw sent us an offer of the Digital Lite pack for 9.99 for 24 mths. I have nothing that says they told me I could go back to the LTSS at anytime but they did tell me that. Today when I phoned I was told that I couldn’t go back because of Aug.31/2014 it had ended. Over time they have upped the price to 13.05. We don’t have anyway of getting any tv over the air so we either have to pay 34.00 plus tax or not have any service. it does seem very unfair that we only use the the 4 basic channels but that they are forcing people in the rural areas to either pay the higher price or have no service. We will have this rate till Feb.13/2015 and then they will start charging us more. I am hoping that the CRTC will force these cable companies to offer the basic channels at a reduced price before then.

  3. Deb Stevens says:

    It was my understanding that the Canadian government undertook to fund Shaw’s LTSS, and that the government only committed to 5 years of funding. I don’t see how the CRTC can force a private industry to continue to supply LTSS if they are no longer reimbursed for it. Perhaps it would have been better if the government-funded CBC had not closed down broadcast towers that could have served rural areas.
    When LTSS is cancelled, we’ll probably ditch our satellite tv account and get some high(er) speed internet. At least it’s worth paying for.

    • Hi Deb. Thanks for the comment. Many Canadians think that the Government of Canada runs the LTSS but Shaw runs it. It was Shaw’s idea. They suggested it as part of their request for permission from the CRTC to buy Global TV in 2010. The CRTC usually requires money to be spent on programming, film festivals and so on but with Shaw’s purchase of Global they allowed Shaw to put some of the “benefits money” into hardware and satellite service. Many Canadians also think that the LTSS is only good for 5 years. My understand is that it is an indefinite service. The CRTC, and later CBC and TVO, held it up as a solution to over-the-air viewers who lost their service after analogue TV shut-off. No mention of a 5 year limit is listed in any of the LTSS literature, although Shaw has been suggesting lately that it only needs to offer the service up until its next CRTC licence renewal. My point is that the CRTC could require them to continue to offer the service at the next renewal hearing. I fully expect the CRTC to do just that. Best, Steven

  4. Saurav says:

    Why did the LTSS expire on Aug 31, 2014? I recently moved to Sudbury, ON and there is NO option/choice for OTA free TV signals. This is unfair, frustrating. What are my options?

    • I believe CTV (analog), Global (digital) and CHCH (digital) are OTA in Sudbury, non? Shaw hit their quota so they stopped accepting new applications Aug 31/14 (with permission from the CRTC).

    • barrie therrien says:

      I just returned to my cottage near north bay after several years and tried applying to shaw today for ltss my neighbor on lake told me he had / has now After long wait I got told it ended aug 31 14. BS. How do I get crtc contact info to raise hell about this? Any help is appreciated. If enough of us yells about this cut off date we can get what’s owing us aerial analog tv users

  5. Saurav says:

    For others like me, living in smaller communities (Sudbury, ON), shutdown of LTSS limits the choice of OTA channels. I have complained to CRTC & spoken multiple times with Shaw. Shaw is forcing me to signup for a monthly TV plan which I don’t need. I REFUSE to accept being PENALIZED just because I live in a smaller community. I recently met and spoke over phone with CRTC staff at their St. Clair, Toronto office. They seemed to be more concerned with following “due diligence” and feeling “its so expensive for companies to operate the transmitters”. I was disappointed, that they didn’t seem to realize or acknowledge, how people like me depend on access to local news, weather & CBC. I don’t need another monthly bill. I have phoned and emailed the Chairman’s office at I suggest everyone else from smaller communities who are being forced by Shaw to phone Mr. Blais and lodge a complain with CRTC at

    • Hi Saurav. Thanks for the comment. My understanding is that you attempted to subscribe to the LTSS after Shaw stopped accepting new subscribers. What plan are they forcing on you? What would you like the CRTC to do? Best, Steven

  6. Tedsky says:

    LTSS service for those who already were receiving it, expired on Dec 31, 2014.
    I know, I was one of these who experienced it in Jan of 2015.
    Upon calling Shaw Direct, I was advised that they would allow me to go back to LTSS from the minimal programming “up” (to which we had subscribed for about 2 years), retroactive to Dec 31, 2014. Hence, we still have LTSS, and we were advised that it would remain intact until AT LEAST Dec 2019.

    If you were fortunate enough to have decided to get LTSS from Shaw Direct back before Aug 2014, then you would have been in this position come end of 2014. Otherwise, LTSS was not being offered after Aug 2014.

    Hope that clears things up (a bit) :-).

  7. Dale Dobson says:

    Hello Steven,
    I live in rural Manitoba and had never had cable or satellite TV service prior to the end of analog service. I went on the LTSS immediately following the end of analog and have had Shaw satellite service to receive Manitoba CBC, CTV and Global stations. This has been perfectly satisfactory to me. I have excellent HS Internet and supplement the 3 channels with Netflix etc. I recently was called by Shaw to tell me that they were replacing my old receiver with an updated unit that I would receive in the mail.This is, apparently, required as part of upgrades in service. I agreed to pay the shipping charge of $13 which will be billed by invoice with the receipt of the receiver. The caller told me that LTSS will end in April 2018 and I was offered 180 channels at $20 per month “for life”. I was told that this was an offer “to all of our LTSS customers”. I declined the offer so that I might confirm the veracity of the Shaw caller’s claims. I find it hard to believe that anyone will receive any service at a guaranteed price “for life”; especially when my neighbours continue to pay escalating rates for the same service. Is there any reason to believe that the CRTC is about to end LTSS?

  8. LTSSFAN says:

    Greeting Everyone,
    My understanding is that because CBC is a publicly funded service, that all Canadians must be provided access to it. Shaw Direct provides the access through the LTSS Program, but is paid from the government coffers to do so. It is a mandate to provide access to the CBC, so I would assume that the contract will be renewed in 2019. Unless you have it in writing to the contrary, if you agree to upgrade the channel offering beyond what LTSS provides, YOU WILL NOT be able to revert back to the LTSS program. Shaw Direct does not normally tell you this before you decide to upgrade, but will affirm it if you ask. The recent upgrade to the MPEG-4 receivers is a bonus, because now all channels can be viewed in HD rather than SD.

    • Hi LTSSFAN,
      Thanks for the comment. The Broadcasting Act states that CBC/Radio-Canada “should” (not shall or must) make its programming “available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose”. The LTSS program is paid for by Shaw, not government coffers. Regards, Steven

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