Bell Points Finger at Apple for Not Allowing CraveTV App for Apple TV

Bell announced its CraveTV streaming service back in early December, available to existing Bell TV, TELUS and Eastlink cable TV customers for $4 per month.

Bell Media noted at its launch it was in talks with Apple to try to launch a dedicated app for the Apple TV, but nothing appears to be in the works. According to the The Canadian Press, Bell is blaming “Apple’s strategy” as why a CraveTV app won’t be available:

“I’d love to say we have an app coming on Apple TV but we don’t. This is Apple’s strategy,” said Jon Taylor, vice president of digital products and strategy for Bell Media, at the CraveTV launch in December.

Taylor went on to reveal Apple didn’t say much when asked about trying to get a CraveTV app onto the Apple TV: “They’ve said (to us), ‘We’re discussing our international strategy, we’ll get back to you’ — and that’s about all you get from Apple.”

Bell Media’s vice president believes their “great relationship” with Apple and the weaknesses of competitors “who don’t quite have the pieces” makes their company “likely poised” to be the first Canadian partner for Apple TV:

“We have a great relationship with them, we’re one of their top developers in Canada, and I have a belief that because you see where they went in the U.S., which was HBO — that’s us in Canada — and ESPN — that’s TSN and RDS — and we also bring both French and English language content, which is something that’s going to be important to iTunes Canada, as a media company we’re slightly different than some of the other folks in Canada, who don’t quite have the pieces,”


“So for them to let somebody inside their (platform) I think we’re likely poised to be their first partner.”

Bell looks to be pressuring Apple to get onto the Apple TV, as it wants to be prime and centre to rival Netflix—whose app is nicely integrated into the streaming media device.

Apple rarely comments on negotiations, so if you want to get onto Apple TV, it’s probably best to not air publicly what was discussed at the table.

Are you currently a CraveTV subscriber? How do you like it so far?