Shomi CraveTV unduly prefer telcos own subscribers consumer groups complain to CRTC

OTTAWA — A joint complaint by two consumer advocacy groups to Canada’s broadcast regulator is raising concerns over how CraveTV and Shomi sell their streaming video services.The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Consumers’ Association of Canada say three of the country’s biggest telecommunications companies are operating online video services which “unduly prefer” their own customers.The document, filed to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Friday, says both services require subscribers to purchase TV or Internet services from the telecom providers on top of the streaming video platform.They argue that runs against rules put in place by the CRTC to promote competition and consumer choice.Canada’s telecom providers launched video streaming services last year designed as an answer to the growing popularity of Netflix.In December, Bell Media launched CraveTV to Bell TV subscribers and a limited number of the country’s other providers, including Telus, Bell Aliant and Eastlink. CraveTV’s lineup includes HBO shows like “Sex and the City” and network hits including “Seinfeld” and “30 Rock.”Shomi hit the market last November as a partnership between Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. It has secured a number of exclusive deals on new series like “Jane the Virgin” and “Transparent.”The Canadian PressRogers, Shaw sign deal to stream original Amazon video content on ShomiRogers, Shaw look to protect their turf with Shomi streaming service to rival Netflix

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