Bell’s Crave TV has nothing to do with love

hbo, clay davis, bell, crave tv, netflix

“Crave TV is only available with a TV subscription? Sheeeee-it.”

Crave TV:

Bell is joining the online video streaming sweepstakes this week with the launch of Crave TV, but be warned: it’s for serious television lovers only. Or so we’re told.

At $4 a month for access to HBO’s back catalog plus a bunch of other stuff like Seinfeld, Crave TV is a good deal. But so far it’s available only to existing television customers of Bell, Telus or Eastlink.

“The 10 per cent [of Canadians] that aren’t TV subscribers, in a general sense, they’re not TV lovers,” said Bell Media president Kevin Crull last week.

Some observers found that statement a little offputting:

There are indeed plenty of ways to get TV and to do so cheaply, including the main reason why Bell and rival Rogers are getting into the streaming game – namely Netflix, and its $9-a-month subscription.

In that light, Crull’s remarks are disingenuous since what he’s really suggesting is that people need to pay through the teeth for something in order to truly love it.

Here in Ontario, a Bell Fibe TV subscription with no bundle or contract costs a minimum of $49 a month. Add in the mandatory installation fee and that comes to $638 a year. And that’s going up faster than the rate of inflation.

That basic package comes with 58 channels, including New Tang Dynasty (in Mandarin), Vision, a couple of weather stations and a bunch of French channels.

Personally, I’d have no interest in any of those. I’m also pretty sure I wouldn’t be interested in the majority of the content being aired on the channels that I may indeed want. And yet, I watch TV shows – gleaned from other places such as Netflix – almost every night.

“Love” is obviously a subjective term in this case. When you marry a person you love, you have to accept all their flaws as well. If your bethrothed is sweet to you once a week and offers you nothing the rest of the time, well hey, that’s love!

Then there’s the cost issue.

I don’t know about anyone else, but there are plenty of things I love that I refuse to spend $600-plus on per year. Just a few that come to mind: steak, pizza, ice cream, skiing, going to the movies, books, watching baseball games.

In fact, there are lots of things I love that cost nothing at all: going for walks, biking, spending time with my wife, hanging out with friends, sleeping.

Would I subscribe to Crave TV at $4 a month if it didn’t require a Bell television subscription? Absolutely. Would I do it at $8 a month? Probably. I love HBO shows, but I wouldn’t quantify that love at $53 a month. I don’t spend that on pizza or going to the movies.

At least Rogers and Shaw had the sense to make their streaming service Shomi available to their internet subscribers as well. Internet service is something that no household can do without, unlike an increasingly illogical – and love-bereft – television subscription.

Equating love with money has always been a bad idea, and it’s especially true in this case. Make no mistake: Crave TV has nothing to do with love.

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7 Comments on Bell’s Crave TV has nothing to do with love

  1. Heads up folks. That should read FROM repeat FROM $4.00 . There are evidently 3 packages, $4.00 $10.00 and $20.00 per month! What a joke. How come that wasn’t mentioned in all the press releases?

  2. Just double-checked with Bell. Crave TV is $4 no matter what package you’re on, although they are also selling it bundled with other channels like TMN Encore and Kids Suite ranging from $10 to $20 as well. Those are options, but not mandatory if you want just Crave. Also, anyone who subscribes to TMN gets Crave TV thrown in for free.

  3. Anything Bell touches turns to detritus. They ruined Virgin Mobile after they swallowed it up. They abused long term subscribers like myself until we abandoned them for better pastures, such as great companies like Teksavvy.

    And Peter Nowak’s article is bang on. You have to subscribe to the abyss we euphemistically call TV subscriptions to be offered the privilege to PAY FOR something else. The writing is on the wall. When young adults move out of their nest they are staying away from broadcast TV like it’s Ebola, and adding CraveTV will not save them.

  4. i wish companies as awesome as teksavvy would sell cable TV or a NetFlix like service.

  5. Philippe Allard-Rousse // January 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm // Reply

    TV provider seem to don’t understand the market or it’s me that don’t understand.

    I’m all for them to give a low price for their subscriber, but why not allowing access to everybody, even if it’s at a higher price. Because, with these service, you’re not providing a TV service, but an video catalogue.

    So why put both toghetter. Because, even with all the advantage, these service are an hard sell. But CraveTV catalogue is really great, and would by 15$/month to access it. I would cut netflix just to access their catalogue. But I would never get TV JUST to access it.

    For sure, if I want TV, that will influence my choice.

    So, the question is, what do you lose to let everybody subscribe? Because, for now, they’re losing my money.

  6. I hate to point this out but companies like ten savvy aren’t their own company they feed off of Rogers and bell and other network providers which Rogers and bell have the cost of maintaining their network where as trek savvy only has their deliverance cost. Yes I agree tek savvy is a great company making others and think the big companies are overprice but I also understand the cost of buisness and unfortunately Rogers is not a company that wants to be cheap they would prefer to be the luxury brand like Gucci.

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