Last Friday, consumer groups the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC, together PIAC-CAC) filed two applications to the CRTC challenging “the tied selling of two online streaming services linked to the consumption of other telecommunications or broadcasting services,” specifically referring to Rogers and Shaw’s shomi and Bell’s CraveTV.
Shomi is currently only available to Rogers and Shaw customers that have either TV or Internet subscriptions, while CraveTV is only available to Bell customers with a TV subscription.
When Ben Klass tweeted about the PIAC-CAC’s filed shomi application to the CRTC and the “good point” made about about “why can’t Rogers subscribers get Crave?”, Bell Media CEO, Kevin Crull, quickly responded with the following:
…ask Rogers. It’s been available to them since the day the product launched, with a generous margin…
— kevincrullBELLMEDIA (@kevincrull) February 10, 2015
You may recall Klass had previously filed a complaint to the CRTC (and won) regarding Bell’s subsidizing of mobile data for TV apps. Krull was quick to respond nine minutes later this time around.
Bell told CBC News the following statement over the PIAC-CAC complaint the the CRTC:
“It’s unfortunate that PIAC and CAC are complaining about Canadian creativity and investment with an innovative product that is offered at a very competitive price.”
The company also added the “pro-consumer” CraveTV service was designed to be a “complementary, value-added service” for TV subscribers, not a standalone streaming service. Bell Media also noted CraveTV has been offered to all TV distributors in Canada and four more are set to join next week.
Shaw told the CBC “As we stated at launch, during the beta we will be evaluating additional distribution models.”
So there you have it. If you are a Rogers customer and want access to CraveTV—go “ask Rogers” for it.