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?

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