Bell unveiled its debut in the content streaming
|English: SVG version of the new Bell Canada logo as of 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Starting Dec. 11, CraveTV will be available to anyone who's currently a TV customer of Eastlink, , Bell Fibe TV, Bell Aliant FibreOP TV and at launch, with and others coming on board later.
The service will cost $4 per month, on top of your cable bill. The service will be available immediately to cable TV subscribers via set-top box, but the company says they plan on rolling out new ways to watch, including mobile apps, access via video game console, and through select so-called "smart TVs" that can access the internet directly.
"We think this is a service their customers are going to be clamouring for," Bell Media president Kevin Crull said.
It will not, however, be available to anyone with just a high-speed Internet connection, meaning it's not an obvious alternative to so-called cord cutters who have left cable behind in favour of online-based content services.
A few months ago, Rogers and Shaw teamed up to create Shomi, a streaming service that offers thousands of hours of programming in much the way Netflix does. The catch with Shomi was that you must be a Rogers or Shaw customer to get it — but you could do it just with an internet connection, making it a little closer to the Netflix model.
At least in the early going, Bell is clearly going in a different direction with its streaming service.
"Ninety per cent of Canadians have a TV subscription," Crull said at Wednesday's Bell launch. "We think that gives us a fantastic base of customers to subscribe to," he said, noting that more Canadians pay for some sort of television service than pay for an Internet connection.