March 2, 2012 | by Jamie Maltman
The big players in the Canadian mobile market continue to use their integrated clout to create new offerings to fight each other and the upstart mobile-only companies. After Rogers launched One Number a few weeks ago to take things one way, Bell continues to enhance their Mobile TV offering to take the battle in a very different direction. With their parent company owning satellite and fiber TV services, as well as a number of television channels, this is a very good use of their capabilities to create a smart offering for consumers.
The service allows you to watch 26 channels so far, live and on demand on your smartphone or tablet. They count it as a separate service, meaning that it doesn’t touch your data plan, which is a big deal for that amount of streaming video. I had a chance to see it live at a grocery store mobile kiosk yesterday and it the streaming quality was perfect for as long as I was there.
The latest enhancements, in concert with QuickPlay Media include:
- integrated programming guide with 2 weeks of schedule
- ability to set up alerts for shows you want to watch
- ability to browse the schedule while watching a video
- suggestions based on your viewing to discover more content
Bell is doing a great job promoting timely content like live sporting events, and of current interest (especially to myself) is that you get access to both TSN and TSN2 for March Madness with the upcoming NCAA Basketball tournament, Tim Horton’s Brier, and Stanley Cup Playoffs. Given that TSN2 is only included in more expensive packages, and many people are cancelling their pay-tv entirely, this could be a good value option for sports fans who don’t want cable. While regular shows can be recorded or watched later on demand, there’s a certain draw to live sports.
They also have family-focused content like YTV and Treehouse, which can be a lifesaver for a parent on the road, and timely news with CTV News Channel, BNN, and CBCB News Network.
Given that I’m with Bell, don’t currently have TSN2, and am an avid college basketball fan, I’m already looking into getting some mobile TV added for at least this month. They’re currently giving free one-month previews, and past that period it is included in a number of plans and bundles, or you can add it on for $5 for 5 hours, plus $1/hr after that. Check out all the details.
So the blows continue to come from Bell and Rogers as they add more premium services to their already superior coverage and networks, to try to fight off the value priced operators. As consumers, we’ll keep watching and enjoying the benefits.
Do you/would you use this kind of service if its free? Would you buy a plan?