Bell Media’s CraveTV costs only $4 a month for unlimited viewing of its content – but with its restrictions, even at that price, is it worth the savings over the $9 a month that Netflix or Rogers and Shaw’s shomi cost. In order to subscribe to Bell’s CraveTV, you must already be a regular Bell television subscriber or have a subscription to one of Bell’s Media’s partnered TV services – so cord cutters need not apply. What CraveTV offers that nobody else does – they offer up HBO’s back catalog of content, with shows like the Sopranos, Sex and the City – as well as some exclusive series, such as Manhattan and also all of the Seinfeld episodes.
These ‘add-on’ services have caused some problems with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumer’s Association of Canada (CAC) filed two applications with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) questioning whether it is legal to hook in a streaming service based on other broadcasting services. Without really addressing these concerns, Bell, just announced that they are adding four new distributors on Friday – Access Communications, Cable Cable, Nexicom and Northwestel. Kevin Crull, president of Bell Media, a subsidiary of BCE Inc., in a recent press release said: “We are pleased to bring these four great companies on board, which furthers our strategy of making CraveTV available to as many people as possible on as many platforms as possible.”
While this does open up their service to a larger audience, it still requires you to be tethered to traditional cable service, but according to Crull, that is not a problem. He said in an interview, “The 10-percent that aren’t TV subscribers, in a general sense, they’re not TV lovers.” It is a shame that the services cannot be opened up to a larger pool of subscribers – it limits people who would really like the service as well.
Rogers and Shaw have said that they may open up their services to all users at some point – right now, in order to subscribe to shomi, you need to have one pre-existing Rogers or Shaw service, be it internet or television. With Bell, it has to be a cable TV subscription…at launch, they claim that 65-percent or 320 titles in CraveTV’s library exclusive to their platform, as well as providing Hulu content and their own exclusive series.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you already subscribe to CraveTV, would like to subscribe, or do you have no use for streaming TV…as always, we would love to hear from you.