Access to online TV content for those of us who have no TV

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gdyke
Resident

I have no TV.

 

I dropped my cable service years ago because all of my favourite shows were available online at the TV station websites.

 

However, it is getting more and more difficult to follow any TV programming online because accessing online content requires some sort of TV subscription.

 

My question is, "Why isn't there a subscription mode available for the thousands of internet exclusive non-TV owners?"

 

I'd gladly pay an additional fee on my Telus internet account to have some sort of subscription code to use for restricted access online TV content.

Community Power User
Community Power User

All content providers decide how their content can be viewed. Currently there is no service in Canada for true "cord cutters". Sportsnet NOW is one of the few currently testing the waters on this.

 

To have a service similar to SlingTV, Playstation VUE there will need to be a company that wants to step into this market. The over head would be expensive for a startup (developing apps for various platforms along with coding etc). There would also have to be negations to carry channels from various content providers. Canada being such a small market, i don't see the "provider required subscription" model changing anytime soon because of this.


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dgp
Neighbour

You're thinking too small.  Telus is already set up to do this.  People with an existing Optik account can already stream whatever channels are on their TV package to wherever they have internet.  You've already worked out the details with all your Optik content providers.  All Telus has to do is price and sell Optik streaming licenses without a cable-attached capability.  It's almost pure profit for Telus, it satisfies the need the growing mass of internet-only customers, and you have to do it anyway.

 

Plus, many of your existing Internet customers will need to expand their capacity and speed to do all that streaming at home.  Again, almost pure profit.

 

Doesn't Telus like money any more?

 

 

PS, I'm out here on the bleeding edge trying to be a streaming-only Telus customer, because Telus does not service my Apartment building in New Westminster, BC.  I tried Shaw (my only other choice) for two months and their Gateway TV + Internet service is so unbelievably awful that I made them come and pull it out.  All I was getting was higher blood pressure.  It did not work as advertised for any single day of the 61 days.  Occasionally,  their vaunted '150' TV + Internet service was just not fast enough to consistently support a single HD television station at a time.  Essentially the only function that works useably is Live TV.  Series recording simply doesn't work.  Worse, it lies to you to lull you into a false sense of security that it will record what you want it to record, and not to record randomly-selected programs   Any more advanced functions, well forget it. Their user interface is such a dog's breakfast of different paradigms, that clearly no one is in charge and nobody cares.   If I was given the job of running development at ARRIS (it's what I do), I would tell them to flush the whole product, it's not worth saving.  And then stop paying me, too.  But of course neither ARRIS nor Shaw seem to understand there's no path out of a swamp that doesn't land you in a bigger mess. 

 

btw Shaw's solution is not to fix the mess for their thousands of customers, but to offer people Blue Sky, a new offering from a major US supplier, which isn't even available yet and drives the price of their already outrageous service through the roof.  What a deal!  "We'll charge you a king's ransom for a service that doesn't work, and even more for one that works" (yet to be proven).  Even Shaw was bright enough to realize their Gateway service is truly a sow's ear, and to stop throwing good money after bad.  

 

C'MON TELUS.  JUST SELL US A STREAMING-ONLY SERVICE.  YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO STEAL ENOUGH SHAW CUSTOMERS TO BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE OVERNIGHT, at Shaw's expense, of course.  THIS IS VASTLY INCREASED REVENUE AT NEXT TO NO COST.  And it's the future of TV anyway.  The whole idea of a dedicated 'TV set' is already crumbling.  Heck, I'm a Senior and I can see that writing on the wall.

Community Power User
Community Power User

@dgp

   Appreciate the thought you put into your comment!  I'm curious to learn how you might see this rolling out? The OP indicated they do not have a TV, so I expect they would watch on computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Do you see a hardware device involved (Apple TV, Chrome TV) to manage broadcast rights, an App, such as Netflix, or simply a web interface?

 

Any thoughts on how much a consumer should be prepared to pay? Unlimited data comes at a $15 premium, and there has to be some cost to Telus to acquire programming, possibly tied to subscriber numbers. The 'Skinny Basic' TV stream mandated by the CRTC is $25 per month; Telus essentials is $30.  Where would you see a streaming service fitting in?

 

Pay-per- view or subscribe to channels?

 

Thanks for indulging me.

 

NFtoBC
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dgp
Neighbour

Hi. Sorry to take so long to reply, it’s been a crazy week.

I just see it as a subscription service for the Optik password, but without actually subscribing to the Telus wired home TV service. So it’s nothing different technically for Telus, because that’s already a part of the TV subscription. For the Essentials, for example the Optik password lets me stream all of the Canadian broadcast channels, plus Knowledge, TSN and Sportsnet (I think) and some of the specialty channels, from that network’s own website. If you’ve used it, all it means is I can go to, say, Sportsnet, and give them my Optic credentials instead of paying each channel by the month. Existing now, in today’s Telus’ offering, any program I can watch on Telus home TV, I can stream to my PC, tablet, or phone. So Telus wouldn’t actually do anything new at all, except to take payment for Optik credentials as a standalone product.

Laws don’t currently allow us to stream any US channels directly from their US websites into Canada, so the service I’m talking about would have to be discounted for that, but we know that our Canadian broadcast channels cover a lot of the US programs, so the service would still be complete. For me, the biggest gap would be PBS. If you can work out the legalities to stream your existing PBS channels, I (and a lot of boomers like me), would sign up in a heartbeat. Especially if PBS and KCTS get a cut of the revenue stream. I’m not sure all the specialty channels – Showcase, H&G, Kids’, Ethnic, Movies and so on – provide, but they probably do something similar, or could if there was revenue in it for them.

I imagine myself setting up streaming on whatever device I want to use (which costs me nothing but internet service), and pick Telus as my first streaming subscription. I could then subscribe to Netflix, HBO, Acorn, private sports networks, or whatever I’m into, and I’ve got pretty much complete TV service on one (or any) device. It’s easily expandable as new channels or services come along, again without Telus having to change anything except the permissions on my Optik account, and possibly take a buck or two more. The device could even be a smart TV, so I really would have cable TV, without the wires and wherever I want.

Of course you guys at Telus would work out the pricing. Looking at Crave and Netflix and what they provide for $8-10, I would think that you would want your price to start less than that, maybe $4-6 for the streaming equivalent of Essentials. Remember everything is almost pure profit. And of course you would probably have small add-ons for bundles similar to what you list now. So maybe $2-4 for a movies package or NFL Sunday Ticket, standard TV channels 10 for $1, and so on. If the price is right, where the upgrade is painless, people will load up, but then you know that already.

So the Millennials and such that just want a streaming format because it’s sensible, would have an option from Telus. They are already acquiring the great streaming software now appearing but pulling together all the content services is still a nightmare. Imagine signing on to 50 or a hundred Individual services. Telus already has the capability to give us hundreds of channels in one low monthly online payment.

I’m not trying to sell you anything here; the revenue is all yours. I’m just suggesting a lucrative side business for which you already have the capability. You just need to sell it. I’m not asking for a cut or a fee (although I suppose a free subscription would be nice). I just really want to get reasonable TV service here in my apartment building, where your wires don’t reach me, and I’m stuck with Shaw, which I have carefully evaluated and determined it’s actually worse than nothing at all.

Your current TV market segment is literally dying off, and the Millennials and Gen Xers think any cable TV company is a dinosaur. Telus doesn’t figure in their plans for TV replacement, but the streaming model certainly does. So please, give them a Telus option that fits their life style, and stay in business another 50 years. Personally, I don’t understand why anybody wants to watch TV on a 3” phone, but boy, Rogers is selling the heck out of that, and looking like the technology wizards of the future. And last, but certainly not least, for me and others like me who live in an area not reached by Telus, we would still be able to get TV service from the nice folks at Telus without having to support those other guys.

Now take it up the line, and be a hero,

David

Community Power User
Community Power User

@dgp

   Thanks for your reply, especially the thought & detail you have put in to it. I offer two comments:

 

  1. This Neighbourhood is inhabited by customers, just like you. We have no insight to Telus business plans, and no connection to the internal workings of Telus. We volunteer to share knowledge about Telus products and services which we have gained by experience or surmise. We are free to express our own opinions and comments, which may not always be in agreement with the ideals of Telus. Telus staff do monitor conversations, but their participation is limited.
  2. Have you see the recently released Pik TV? It allows streaming in the manner you described for $20 per month. The data consumed using the Pik TV App on the Android TV device does not count towards your data caps, so you may be able to save $15 / month on unlimited data, if the basic channels meet your needs. You would still consume bandwidth on other devices, and for apps (Netflix, etc) you use.  It more than meets my needs, but SWMBO is not so easily satisfied!  It seems to compare more than favourably with Sling TV in the USA
NFtoBC
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TELUS Employee
TELUS Employee

@dgp Funny enough I'm the opposite. I have the tv, the xbox one, apple tv and laptops that I happily use my HDMI cable to plug into my tv but, I hate commercials and refuse to pay for the pre-bundled packages of tv. I use CraveTv and Netflix on my AppleTV but, I really miss my animal planet. I emailed animal planet and told them they should offer something like CraveTv or Netflix specifically for their channel alone. That I'd happily pay $8-$10 a month to have unlimited streaming to their channel alone. They emailed back and said they wish they were allowed too but, because they're owned by Bell/Shaw I forget which one, they don't think that would ever happen. But, you guys are absolutely right. Each quarter I keep reading on CBC how many people are dropping tv because they can't afford it and the numbers keep going down. So it would make sense to implement some sort of plan like that. 

Mobility Client Care Rep
Community Power User
Community Power User

Coming in a few weeks: single channel Pick and Pay.

 

You should be able to create a package of channels you want to watch added to a basic Optik package.

 

This does mean you would ned to un-cut the cord......

 

NFtoBC
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