Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) on Thursday introduced its Fibe TV On Demand store, a new VOD interface that will offer existing and new subscribers ways to access and organize their video content to match their own profile.
It appears that Bell is using the On Demand store as a way to attract new Fibe TV users. However, it will extend the service in phases to existing subscribers throughout January and February.
Through the On Demand store, IPTV consumers can get access to an array of applications, including a poster-style interface; ratings, reviews and recommendations from Rotten Tomatoes; and a "My Videos" feature that enables viewers to add content to their wish list for future screening while showing all current rentals in one location.
A big draw of the Fibe TV On Demand store is, of course, the content.
Existing and new Bell Fibe consumers can access a wide array of On Demand HD programming and a selection of traditional channels including AMC, CTV, CTV Two, Disney Junior, HBO, HGTV and The Movie Network. Most movies are available beginning at $4.99 and are complemented by a range of free content.
With much of its traditional landline voice revenue declining every quarter, Bell Canada, like many U.S.-based telcos, is mining new opportunities in the wireline segment of its business by offering IPTV services, and the new Fibe TV features will advance that effort.
One of the interesting effects that Bell Canada's IPTV play has had is that it drove the ongoing increase in data revenues during Q3 2012.
Bell Canada reported that in the wireline segment, its broadband data revenues rose 0.1 percent to CAD 1.4 million (USD 1.4 million), a factor it attributes higher TV revenue driven by strong subscriber growth in its Fibe TV offering. The telco added 13,416 new net high-speed Internet customers in Q3, compared to a net loss of 101 users in 2011.
While it saw continued growth of Fibe TV during the quarter, it only added 15,846 net new subscribers, down from the 26,169 it added in Q3 2011. Bell Fibe TV added 42,973 net new customers, up from 20,297 in Q3 2011. Bell's Fibe Fiber to the X (FTTX) network footprint passed 200,000 homes as the Fibe TV footprint reached over 2.8 million households at the end of Q3.
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