No Olympic Channels for BES - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs down No Olympic Channels for BES

Hello all,

Today I called into BES to ask when/if the channels on described in the link below would appear on my program guide :

http://www.bell.ca/shopping/PrsShpPr...080110_BRS_ENG

The representative confirmed that BES customers would NOT be receiving these channels.

I was told it was a CRTC licensing issue. I doubt this is the complete story however as when I pressed him on this he said that basically they didn't want to spend the money on making this happen as they only have a small customer base - he claimed only 2000 clients, but this count seems low to me.

I told him that Bell was missing a golden opportunity to paint itself as a technology innovator by highlighting the new capabilities of their new cutting edge IPTV service during the Olympics - the premier sporting event in the world. I also said it was particularily embarrassing considering the Olympics are in Canada.

Anyway - I'm not really surprised... it is Bell we're talking about after all.

-- Phob
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 10:50 AM
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Hmm, at 2000 customers I wouldn't call it a Golden opportunity.

-Mike

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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1) I seriously doubt there are only 2000 customers

2) The point wasn't to show their subscribers what was possible - it was to show the rest of the industry/country.

I completely agree - if the only people that would have noticed a fantastic, new and interactive service featuring the Olympics were the current customers, it would be a complete waste.

Instead, it is a blown opportunity for a live test of this kind of technology with a knowledgeable audience, and a missed PR opportunity assuming a huge success.

Bell TV has long suffered without a real interactive platform. Now with their BES product, they have a bi-directional data connection allowing for many innovative and interesting features.

The recent showcase of the latest release of Microsoft's MediaRoom platform (which our service is based on) only shows the tip of the iceberg of what is possible. Imagine if Bell had worked with MS to get something ready in time for the games - it would have been a very cool way to advertise their new services.

Anyway - I guess small thinking is what flies with Bell...

-- Phob
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 11:25 AM
 
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In all fairness, you still get access to the channels broadcasting the Olympics like CTV, OMNI1, OMNI2, APTN, et al. In addition, if it's anything like the Beijing Olympics, the content on the 5 channels of uninterrupted live coverage is duplicated on the other channels anyways. So really, you're not missing much of anything, if at all, unless you have something against commercials.

As well, I'm sure Bell IPTV has limited penetration in the marketplace (not necessarily only 2000 customers, but not a large number), so I can understand their rationale for not wanting to undertake a significant expenditure for a service without necessarily being able to recoup the cost of doing so. Bell's just like any other business -- the goal is to make money.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 11:26 AM
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I'm not going to argue if they should or shouldn't have made the special Olympic channels available on BES but it's not much of an advertising opportunity since only subscribers would know, and there are next to none at the moment. Not to mention that BES is only available to about 1% of the population, if that. What's the point in advertising a service that isn't available to most people yet?

-Mike

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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While BES is only currently offered to customers in the GTA, it runs on the same platform as Bell's new "Fibe" internet offering which is also VDSL2 based.

Heck - based on posts I've seen online, it even seems to use the same modem.

This service is now available throughout Ontario and Quebec, so it seems only a matter of time until IPTV follows suit.

I completely disagree with the impact this could have made commercially. PR and Marketing have the potential for a huge impact, and they really could have used the Olympics to their advantage by providing exclusive content.

I know I only started by talking about the missing channels - and you are right, we should get the majority of that content on other stations, but for new and interactive features, it could have really been a showcase.

What really has the potential for the most exposure/impact are the articles written by press and other media pundits - not your average Joe Blow spouting in online forums.

Stuff like this really builds buzz and excitement. Instead, there will be nothing highlighting this as a new and interesting service.

-- Phob
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 03:58 PM
 
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The original poster and subsequent replies are all blowing past the primary issue given, which is that CTRC approval delays were not feasible.

It's not a matter of time, folks, it's a matter of cost. The CTRC doesn't make it cheap or easy to do this, and I fully believe that the withholding of these and other channels is due to the cost/benefit. Sucks, but so it goes. We're still all getting this service for 50% of the cost, and we were told that there would be bumps.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia View Post
I was told it was a CRTC licensing issue. I doubt this is the complete story however as when I pressed him on this he said that basically they didn't want to spend the money on making this happen as they only have a small customer base - he claimed only 2000 clients, but this count seems low to me.
You are right to doubt this: the CRTC has not prevented Bell Entertainment Service carrying Olympic coverage. The five "raw, uninterrupted" HD channels on satellite are carried by Bell's PPV licensed service, Vu!; if BES isn't carrying that content maybe it's because they aren't able to, technically, at this time.

Curious the rep should report "2000" customers and how Bell couldn't be bothered to spend the money to carry the coverage they already owned. If there is no PPV Olympics, I guess there is no On Demand Olympics, either? What about TSN2 HD and Sportsnet HD coverage, btw?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-12, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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I've read somewhere that even though BES and Bell TV were both run by Bell, they required separate licenses to operate. So while they do have the licenses to run those services with Bell TV, they may not with BES.

I'm not sure, but maybe it has something to do with their corporate structure. They are probably different legal entities so that if one were to fail, it wouldn't impact the other financially. This might also explain the licensing situation with the CRTC... who knows.

BES has SportsNet and TSN2, but only in standard definition...

-- Phob
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 2010-02-16, 11:59 PM
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It's a bit complicated ... terrestrial BDU license vs national satellite BDU license ... however those distinctions hardly matter to the consumer, right? We just want whatever we can get from the satellite guys or the cable guys ... BES needs to deliver the same and more, right? At the moment, it doesn't. However, there is life after the Olympics.
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