Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MTS lowers community clubs' fees for TSN Jets

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MTS has altered its game plan when it comes to watching the TSN Jets channel in community clubs, but some people say it's not enough.

MTS has agreed to lower its rates following negative publicity in a story first reported by the Free Press over its charge of $900 per season for the Jets channel to non-profit clubs. MTS will now charge $399, which is the lowest rate on their commercial rate card.

"We've reviewed all of this over the last day," said Stan Kurtas, MTS vice-president of marketing.

The problem is MTS is charged by service provider Bell Media, according to subscriber usage, and it's charged more for non-residential subscribers.

"If we sell the TV service to you in your home, that's one price rate charged. If we sell to a business -- and the way the content guide reads, you're a business if you're drawing people to a place where you're selling beverages and food -- that's another charge," Kurtas said.

"We are charging the lowest rate for commercial and business service. That's what we are charged by Centre Ice," he said.

However, it's still more than Shaw is charging clubs. Shaw's rate is $60 monthly versus $80 by MTS.

As least one community club wasn't satisfied with MTS's latest actions. Steve Kazubek from Varsity View Community Centre in Charleswood said it's still a tough charge for non-profit clubs to swallow. "I still believe they could bring down prices some more," he said.

"What MTS fails to realize is we're selling coffee at $1 a cup, and they think we're making money selling Jets games. No one's going to get off the couch to come to a community club to watch the game."

Varsity View subscribes to the MTS Jets service.

TSN Jets is a regional channel that broadcasts all team games that aren't carried on the main TSN network or CBC. Home subscribers are charged $9.95 monthly by Shaw and MTS.

Community centre officials have said they installed flat-screen TVs in their facilities -- some in the lobby, some near the canteens -- as a courtesy for parents, giving them something to watch before the kids' games.

 

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 9, 2011 A3

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