Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Put another buck in the fire

Shaw to charge for viewing fireplace log, send money to charities

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Never take a holiday tradition for granted.

Remember those days of yore, watching the cable television channel that shows the crackling fireplace log for hours on end?

This year, Shaw TV subscribers will have to pay to watch the fireplace log or grab free snippets of the flaming favourite every so often on high-definition Channel 212, The Frame, and Channel 165 in standard definition.

"This year, 100 per cent of PPV (Pay Per View) and VOD (Video on Demand) holiday fireplace sales are matched by Shaw and donated to local charities in 2011," subscribers are told.

Shaw spokesmen in Winnipeg and at head office in Calgary did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

The holiday fireplace, a mind-numbing antidote to pre-Christmas chaos and frenzy, is no longer a right.

Shaw's program information for subscribers says a two-hour showing of the "holiday fireplace" will cost "99 cents plus fees and taxes."

The good news is the money is going to a good cause, not the Grinch.

MTS television has its own yule log, which can also be seen online (at www.mymanitoba.com/fireplace).

If you can wait until Christmas Eve, the fireplace log will air for free on Shaw Channel 9 until Jan. 2, with cut-ins of "Best of Shaw TV" segments. Free Christmas music is now available on the weather channel 48.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 3, 2010 A7

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