At the end of Q1 Bell had a total of 7,406,155 subscribers, this is a mix of both prepaid and postpaid. It’s evident that they see an opportunity in media, specifically content, as they’ve recently gobbled up both CTV and Astral. Over the past number of months Bell has embarked on a massive initiative to boost the awareness of their Mobile TV offering, which costs $5/month. There’s currently 26 channels and they recently revamped their mobile tv app, plus doubled the amount viewable hours to 10 “at no additional cost.” I’ve been trying to get solid details on the number of mobile TV subscribers Bell/Virgin has, but representatives and execs have always come back with “no comment,” “record setting” or that the “adoption is increasing.” The last publisized number was over the 300,000 mark from Q2 2011.
All this to say that Bell will be shutting down the option to their customers to watch mobile TV via a Wi-Fi connection on July 9th (original cut off date was May 4th). After this date you’ll have to start using the allocated hours and data plan. Customers will be getting a text message to inform them of the change – the internal doc we received states that “The ability to watch Mobile TV/Tablet TV over Wi-Fi is now being discontinued on July 9, 2012. This access was not widely promoted, and impacts are expected to be minimal.”
Hopefully Bell comes out with a Mobile TV promo for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics (starts July 27th).