Bell Live TV Viewing Increases 25%, Crave Streaming Surges 75% During COVID-19

BCE reported its 2020 Q1 earnings today, seeing 45,042 total wireless, retail internet and IPTV net customer additions and net earnings of $733 million from $5.6 billion in operating revenues.

The impact of COVID-19 on operating revenue was a 0.9% decrease compared to the year-ago quarter. Product revenue declined 9.7% year-on-year to $622 million as wireless sales dropped, along with business wireline data equipment sales. Bell’s net earnings saw a 7.3% decrease compared to the year-ago quarter.

Bell said its total wireless customer base saw a 5.2% increase compared to Q1 2019, now at 9,977,557 postpaid and prepaid customers.

With everyone staying at home during the coronavirus lockdown, Bell said internet data increased 60% during the day at 20% at night, while Wireless Home Internet in rural areas jumped 40%.

Live TV viewing jumped 25%, while streaming on Crave increased 75% during COVID-19. Wireline voice calls were up 200% at peak times and conference calling increased 250%.

“During these unprecedented times, Bell is focused on keeping Canadians connected and informed, prioritizing safety, and supporting our customers and communities as we all work through the COVID-19 crisis together,” said Mirko Bibic, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE and Bell Canada, in a statement.