Astral launch digital streaming service

by Andrew Roach on February 28, 2013

Despite there being speculation about their supposed takeover by BCE, Astral has launched their own digital streaming service.

The Montreal based firm announced that their new service, called The Movie Network Go, aims to let viewers watch programmes on any smartphone or device that supports the service.

On the launch, there will be several major channels available on the service which will let users watch a host of movies and TV shows on the on-demand service.

The launch of the new service comes as there is growing doubt over the deal which would see BCE take over Astral.

Instead of waiting to see what happens with the deal, the media company went ahead with the launch of the TMN GO service as they look to capitalise on the growing digital media market.

When the service launches, it means that viewers will be able to watch a whole host of major channels with The Movie Network, HBO and TMN Encore all being available to subscribers.

Once it becomes active, subscribers will be able to put the GO service on 5 different devices in their household or for on the go.

Astral will unveil the system gradually and the service will only initially be available to their Bell and Cogeco satellite providers although Rogers customers will also be able to benefit from th on-demand service in several weeks.

The move will hopefully help Astral improve their financial performance as companies such as Netflix has enjoyed considerable success in recent times with an on-demand service. This was reflected by senior vice president of marketing and sales Dominic Vivolo who said that “if we can convince [subscribers] to do one more month, two more months, it means millions of dollars.”

Astral’s launch has cast a lot of doubt over their potential deal with BCE which had been in the pipelines for over a year.

The deal had been come under some serious doubt when the initial deal wasn’t approved by the CRTC late last year.

However, the two firms had been negotiating to try and find a way to make the deal viable but as the deal gets drawn out further and further, it looks like it could collapse at any point.

With their latest move, Astral are possibly looking towards a future without BCE and the launch of their own digital service is a step to helping the company keep up with their digital rivals.

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