Bell Points Finger at Apple for Not Allowing CraveTV App for Apple TV


Bell announced its CraveTV streaming service back in early December, available to existing Bell TV, TELUS and Eastlink cable TV customers for $4 per month.

Bell Media noted at its launch it was in talks with Apple to try to launch a dedicated app for the Apple TV, but nothing appears to be in the works. According to the The Canadian Press, Bell is blaming “Apple’s strategy” as why a CraveTV app won’t be available:

“I’d love to say we have an app coming on Apple TV but we don’t. This is Apple’s strategy,” said Jon Taylor, vice president of digital products and strategy for Bell Media, at the CraveTV launch in December.

Taylor went on to reveal Apple didn’t say much when asked about trying to get a CraveTV app onto the Apple TV: “They’ve said (to us), ‘We’re discussing our international strategy, we’ll get back to you’ — and that’s about all you get from Apple.”

Bell Media’s vice president believes their “great relationship” with Apple and the weaknesses of competitors “who don’t quite have the pieces” makes their company “likely poised” to be the first Canadian partner for Apple TV:

“We have a great relationship with them, we’re one of their top developers in Canada, and I have a belief that because you see where they went in the U.S., which was HBO — that’s us in Canada — and ESPN — that’s TSN and RDS — and we also bring both French and English language content, which is something that’s going to be important to iTunes Canada, as a media company we’re slightly different than some of the other folks in Canada, who don’t quite have the pieces,”


“So for them to let somebody inside their (platform) I think we’re likely poised to be their first partner.”

Bell looks to be pressuring Apple to get onto the Apple TV, as it wants to be prime and centre to rival Netflix—whose app is nicely integrated into the streaming media device.

Apple rarely comments on negotiations, so if you want to get onto Apple TV, it’s probably best to not air publicly what was discussed at the table.

Are you currently a CraveTV subscriber? How do you like it so far?


  • MrXax

    I’m not a subscriber, because Bell and Rogers can go jump off a cliff, but if Apple isn’t being responsive, I’m not sure that going public is such a bad idea. Competition is a good thing, so I have nothing against adding an app to go up against Netflix.

  • Gordo

    Imagine Apple treating Bell like Bell treats others. I like it.

  • Bob

    I don’t understand bell’s (and Rogers) strategies for cravetv and shomi. They are not really competing with Netflix in Canada as I am still required to have a subscription to cable, so what’s the point? Charge me $10 as a cord utter and I may consider it if the selection is good, but otherwise, why not just include this as a part of your standard cable package?

    These guys are missing the boat in a big way.

  • Hubert

    These Carriers need to get a taste of there own medicine once in a while. I’m glad someone is pushing them around.

  • hub2

    Apple has thankfully been pushing these same carriers around (albeit different divisions) in Canada since 2008 or 09. Prevent them installing their own shovelware? Prevent carriers disabling a client-side-only feature unless user pays (e.g. Bluetooth, wifi)? Ensure they have no say when iPhones get OS updates? All thanks to Apple.

    Glad to see Apple continuing the tradition with their content divisions.

  • Salinger

    Of course we all love to see the Big 3 get a dose of their own medicine, but this type of arrogance by Apple is the reason Apple TV, despite being around for years, is still a “hobby”. In Canada in particular, it’s practically little more than a YouTube and Netflix vehicle.

  • Chrome262

    Apple, knows crap when it sees it, the content isn’t any different from what you can get on demand from the service you already pay for. Its stupid.

  • Chrome262

    Shomi, is at least “free” Crave is an extra 4 bucks. and its nothing more then the content you get already.

  • Chrome262

    Its them trying to push their content, when we already pay for, on apple tv. Besides there are alternatives on apple tv to just netflix. And why would apple want to put on something that is untested and just a web front end for cable content.

  • canuck35

    Crave is also free if you have the movie network

  • canuck35

    No, it’s nit the same content. The ondemand offerings at least fir bell are far inferior to Crave

  • Chrome262

    to Rogers customers?

  • Chrome262

    Shomi is the same unfortunately

  • Oron

    They should work on getting Cravetv to function on Bell satellite receivers first. Satellite customers can only access on computers even though the satellite receivers have Internet functionality and had drives large enough to support crave tv

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    I tried to watch Crave TV but Bell (and Rogers) as usual are ignoring people with disabilities. I need closed captioning or subtitles to understand what is being said. Bell refuses to include CC or subtitles. There is also no descriptive audio for those visually-challenged. Rogers Shomi is the same thing. Netflix has CC/subtitles. I read that Amazon’s Video service has CC/subtitles and most of the U.S. network’s apps reportedly have it too. Bell and Rogers do not care about those with disabilities. Shame on them!!

  • Salinger

    Sort of. On Demand generally only has the latest couple of episodes of any given series. Shomi often has all but the current season.

    Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely not be paying $8.99/month for it when the free trial runs out, but it does have a fair bit of TV content that you can’t (legally) watch elsewhere in Canada. It also just got the rights to Amazon’s series offerings. Its movie selection is a whole other story; that’s just plain sad.

    Having looked at the offerings of both, I’d say Shomi is far ahead of Crave, but neither even begins to approach Netflix.

  • Chrome262

    My question is why bother, they should just expand their on demand services for existing customers, this looks like a way to pay for yet another tier of service.

  • Salinger

    If you believe them (and that’s dangerous!) Shomi is just in beta right now and is restricted to Rogers and Shaw customers only. Once it leaves beta, they say it will be an OTTP service and available to everyone. They can offer Shomi on your STB to Rogers/Shaw customers, as they do now, but obviously can’t do that when it expands.

  • CharleeR

    It sucks that it is only possible to watch CraveTV on your phone or computer, but not your television. I bought the AppleTV for the exclusive purpose of watching streaming video from the internet. CraveTV is not available through the satellite. There has to be a way to watch it on your television.