If you’ve been watching your favourite TV show or sports event for free on your computer chances are that’s going to change going forward. Canadian broadcasters have developed a new on-line business model and so-called cord-cutters may be paying for things they have, up until now, viewed for free.
New streaming service
The Huffington Post recently detailed the new streaming service offered by Canadian broadcasters called CTV Go, owned wholly by Bell, which is one of the biggest Internet Service Providers in Canada. Because a program like “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is also owned by Bell, anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the company’s online service will no longer be able to watch the shows that are more than a week old.
Digital media advocates upset
The new streaming service is not sitting well with advocates of free digital media who believe the online media landscape is under threat. David Christopher of Open Media said Canadians are being forced by the big ISPs to pay for outdated technology.
“This is why it’s a terrible idea to have the same giant telecom conglomerates own both the content (TV stations) and the services (cable TV, Internet) over which that content is provided” he explained. The big cable and Internet providers in Canada have brought this about in response to years of ads and websites talking about minimizing or avoiding cable costs.
Because there was a huge drop in revenue from of all the customers cutting cords they say they had to find a way to offset those losses. An unidentified Bell source told the Huffington Post the strategy is a move to keep the traditions of TV alive in the digital age. So what options do Canadian consumers have when it comes to watching “Hockey Night in Canada” on the computer?
Signing in to your computer with your cable account and joining the streaming program is one option that the providers are pushing, but if the company isn’t carrying the program you want to see, you’re somewhat out of luck, apparently. The big Internet and cable companies are working toward providing more choices for consumers, but if you’re a big hockey or Jon Stewart fan you might have to seek out some other options.