Consumer Groups to CRTC: CraveTV and shomi Should Not Be Tied to TV/Internet Services

When Rogers announced its streaming media service shomi, it was only made available to Rogers or Shaw Internet or TV customers. When Bell announced their similar service CraveTV, they made it clear a Bell TV subscription was required for access.

Some consumers found this odd, and The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC, together PIAC-CAC) agrees. The consumer groups have 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.”

Geoffrey White, counsel to PIAC-CAC said the following in a statement:

“The tied selling of streaming services, designed to favour legacy business models and to discriminate against customers who wish to only view programming through an internet service provider of their choice, is something PIAC-CAC believe cannot be supported in the current rules, nor by Canada’s broadcasting policy objectives,”

John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel for PIAC, followed up with:

“We are hoping to preserve an open internet, and have the CRTC tell large telecom and broadcasting conglomerates that they should not be allowed to abuse regulatory distinctions at the expense of Canadians.”

What do you think of their challenge? Should Rogers and Bell be able to tie their streaming services to existing TV and Internet bundles for consumer access?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • BritBloke

    I completely agree that it should not be tied to @Rogers / @Bell TV service. They already control a duopoly on how the internet is delivered to most of Canada (either directly or via 3rd party internet providers) so technically I am still paying @Rogers / @Bell for one service. To force me to subscribe to their TV service, then an additional cost for Crave / Shomi, just reeks of money grabbing corporate bullying.

  • matt

    Why do you think Netflix is winning? Because its cheap, available to EVERYONE and the selection is great

  • Al

    It’s their (Bell & Rogers) business. They can sell whatever they want, however they want. Sometimes these “consumer groups” are just pathetic and stupid.

  • Al

    Nobody is forcing you to do anything. If you don’t like how they operate, take your money elsewhere.

  • Prashanna

    I think Showtime should made standalone Service for CANADIANS instead of teaming with crooks of Bell CraveTV

    same goes with Amazon Prime Instant video when they team up with Rogers Shomi

    Amazon
    should have attached there Original Series with Amazon Prime Canadian
    member AMAZON will have gotten foothold in Canada

    Shomi and CravTV WILL FAIL

    NETFLIX STILL KING IN CANADA

    when HBO GO LIVE this year a lot Canadian will subscribe TO HBO GO and SHOWTIME using VPN or DNS i know i will
    just like hulu Plus

  • bionicmonk

    That’s the point, Al. Its a monoply. He CAN’T take his money elsewhere.

  • Nigleet

    They can take to Netflix. Don’t like the service? Pay up. Companies don’t exist to hand out freebies to everyone. They exist to make a profit. Its a premium service, and consumers will pay for the premium if they want it.

    With this logic, my provider should give me free HBO and other bundles… Pathetic argument.

  • CanucksGoals

    I usually don’t agree 90% of your posts but it’s hard to argue with this one. Business is business. Everyone needs to hold hands and play nice now? It is like a stranger coming in to my place and tell me how I should place my furniture.

  • Al

    Sure he can…
    -Smaller, often independent, cable companies
    -Netflix
    -Hulu (if you use a simple service to get it)
    -Paid TV seasons and movies via services like Apple TV
    -Good old fashioned and free “over-the-air”

  • Kal

    never mind this individual there seems to be a inferiority complex on his side that lends to calling other people down in attempt to boast a high IQ about…well…hm……. everything.

  • K3

    A little off topic but If you head to the Shaw forums there’s a post that has been up regarding a problem with the Shomi service and a certificate security warning affecting Safari.

    -Why can’t I access MY ACCOUNT from Safari 6.x?

    ????????

  • Cyrus

    The point is.. Would you find it fair if you wanted to buy a piece of gum at the convenient store and the clerk said you have to buy two bags of milk if you want to buy that piece of gum. They are taking advantage of you becuase they know all you want is the piece of gum and not the milk!! Get it???

  • Al

    It’s NOTHING like that! Not even close! If you want a slightly more appropriate analogy, it’s more like saying you want an automotive brand’s car radio, but you don’t want to buy the car. Soooo… go to where they sell just regular car radios, if that’s all you want.

  • eldavey

    Ditto!!!