Bell today revealed it has plans take on Netflix with a similar, Canadian-made service.
"The Canadian system needs companies with the scale to compete against foreign content companies like Netflix, Apple, Google and Amazon," Bell argues.
More than 10% of Canadians now subscribe to Netflix. The streaming service now accounts for more than 11 million hours of TV viewing per week in Canada.
"I am pleased to announce that we will launch a service offering to compete with foreign competitors like Netflix," said BCE chief executive officer George Cope. "A made-in-Canada service, available in French and English everywhere we have rights, to all Canadians through the cable, satellite or IPTV provider of their choice."
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He goes on to describe the service, which required approval of Bell's controversial Astral acquistion:
Available on-demand and on any device, the service will showcase the very best in Canadian and international movies from Astral’s pay TV services, such as HBO Canada and The Movie Network, and great news, entertainment and sports content from Bell Media. Combining the unique pay TV strengths of Astral with Bell Media’s broad range of programming will create a Canadian service that truly stands apart from those of international providers.
The announcement was made at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearings in Montreal. The national regulator is still deciding whether to approve the $3.4-billion deal.
"Astral joining with Bell Media will further enhance choice and increase innovation," affirms Canada's largest telco, "which are very good outcomes for consumers and creators."