Will Bell Offer HBO Now in Canada Like the USA?


Bell announced last week that it is buying Corus Entertainment’s HBO content licensing rights in Canada. As a result, Bell will become the only operator of HBO Canada on a national scale across all platforms, which raises the question of whether it will offer HBO Now in Canada as in the US?

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As Alphabeatic’s Peter Nowak points out, before the acquisition Bell handled Eastern Canada and provided HBO programming for TV subscribers via TMN, while Corus was responsible for the west and north, and offered it through Movie Central.

Now, with Bell being the sole owner of HBO content rights, the company is capable of offering a Canadian version of HBO Now, a standalone streaming service that launched in April in the US. Since then, the word on the street is that it has grossed between 1 and 2 million subscribers.

So what options does Bell have? It already has Crave TV, but, as Nowak highlights, based on a study issued by Solutions Research Group, Canadians are willing to subscribe to multiple streaming services on top of Netflix. However, there is less data on how much they are willing to pay for all these services.

As a result, Nowak sees two options: Bell could charge roughly $20 per month for Crave TV offering both Showtime content and full HBO, or could offer tiers for $10, let’s say, where you could get basic Crave TV and the new content for a further $10. Which path will Bell walk? We should find out soon.


  • Ben

    Hope they figure it out before Game of Thrones in April. Pretty wishful thinking but I can hope. I would pay all of those prices for GoT season and then maybe scale it back or cancel Netflix I’m not to sure there is a lot of HBO content I have not caught up on. Is there precedent that the CRTC will not allow them to offer it only if you are subscribed to a TV service they way they forced Crave and Shomi to be available to all?

  • CH

    You think bell is that fast, Ben?

  • Ben

    I don’t.
    But they saw the cash that came in when Apple launched it right at GoT premiere.

  • Bafoon

    there is no incentive here for Bell to offer this as a stand alone subscription – they’d rather push Crave TV down our throats and then use HBO as an additional $9.99 add on feature.

    For majority of the users who really want HBO Go – its better to get a good VPN service and get the actual product.

  • MrXax

    Piracy: still better than dealing with the duopoly.