More than 220,000 people decided to cut cable in Canada last year, and cable companies are scrambling for answers. As cord cutting continues to increase, streaming television services are offering packages that cost a fraction of what cable does. And cable companies are having to answer back.
Telecom giant Bell announced recently that they were launching a new mobile app called Alt TV that lets subscribers watch certain channels live on a laptop, smart phone, or tablet. For now, the feature is only available to subscribers who also have Bell’s Fibe high speed home internet service.
One caveat though: this feature isn’t coming cheap. The feature alone will cost an extra $15 a month, but when you take in to account that Alt TV is only available to Fibe internet customers who have unlimited usage (the cheapest of those plans costs $84.95 a month), this certainly isn’t what you would call a “budget” option. Nevertheless, customers are already signing up.
Alt TV doesn’t have all the same features that the regular Bell cable subscription does (it doesn’t allow for viewers to pause live television, record shows on a DVR or watch on multiple devices at once), but it does have right around 30 channels available, which puts it just under most other streaming television services. But over 500 channels are available to added for an additional cost, meaning there’s the potential for a very robust lineup. A $25 sports package with networks like TSN and Sportsnet is available, along with a $20 movie package with channels like HBO and The Movie Network.
It’s not hard to see that the cable landscape is changing. Customers are tired of big cable’s bloated plans, and they just aren’t going to pay for channels they don’t watch. As customers leave big cable by the tens of thousands, cable companies are going to have to make changes to keep up.