Bell Launches CTV Mobile

by Gaurav Kheterpal on September 21, 2011

Picking up CTV has proven to be a mixed bag for Bell so far. It all started last year when BCE appeared before the federal broadcasting regulator in February with designs on getting approval for its deal to purchase CTV.  The company’s troubles were further compounded when the CRTC on March 7, stated that they would only approve the acquisition of CTVglobemedia under the condition that BCE invest 10 percent of the $2.45 billion valuation in “tangible benefits.”

None the less, BCE finally managed to complete the CTV purchase on April Fool’s Day this year. Bell Media was born as a new business unit encompassing all CTV and other Bell content assets. In May, Bell declared that the CTV acquisition played a crucial role in its improved forecast for revenue and profit for 2011. Back then, Chief Executive George Cope assured customers that the best of CTV is yet to come.

And on Monday, Bell Media announced today the launch of CTV MOBILE, a new portable media application for watching CTV and CTV Two programming in real time on compatible mobile devices. Bell claims that CTV is the only Canadian conventional broadcaster to offer live streaming of its lineup on mobile platforms.

Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile are currently the only carriers to offer CTV Mobile channels, which includes 150 hours per week of live programming. Bell says its working ‘actively’ on offering the rights to the programming package to all mobile carriers. CTV Mobile will offer access to CTV programming like Grey’s Anatomy, The Amazing Race, Criminal Minds and Desperate Housewives. Bell Mobile TV also includes live real-time access to BNN, CTV News Channel, MTV, TSN, and RDS, additional programming from The Comedy Network, YTV, Treehouse and ATN as well as major league hockey, football, soccer and more.

Bell last week announced the launch of its next generation 4G LTE wireless network service in areas of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. The carrier said that the LTE launch is “really the reason why the CTV acquisition makes so much sense, it lets us line up all the piece.” LTE delivers mobile broadband at speeds several times faster than the HSPA+ technology. As the fourth generation of wireless networking, LTE promises users speeds up to 10x faster than the current 3G network, ostensibly making one’s wireless connection as fast as many users wired home Internet connection. Therefore, there’s no surprise that LTE is the fast emerging as the de-facto network standard for streaming video content.

Back in May, Chief Execute Cope said that the CTV acquisition provides “the head room, for our shareholders, to be able to increase the dividend really nine months ahead of what we would have expected.” He claimed that nearly 2,000 customers per week signed up for mobile TV packages on tablets and smart phones and remained bullish that 80% of company’s revenues this year will come from TV, wireless, Internet data and media, and just 20% from its traditional land-line phone service.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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