Bell Media Unveils Canadian SVOD to Challenge Netflix


Project Latte has an HBO back-catalog deal for series like 'The Sopranos' and 'Six Feet Under'

Backed by a licensing deal with HBO, local broadcaster Bell Media has unveiled its upcoming Canadian video streaming portal to compete against Netflix Canada and local rival Shomi.

Code named Project Latte, the SVOD will feature 10,000 hours of programming, with around 10 percent coming from a back-catalog deal with HBO. That gives the Canadian streamer marquee shows like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Six Feet Under.

Bell Media's deal with HBO, similar to the multi-year deal the U.S. channel did with Amazon Prime, also includes scripted series like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Big Love, on top of HBO movies, documentaries and stand-up and music specials.

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Canadian rivals Rogers Media and Shaw Media recently unveiled Shomi, a domestic SVOD service to launch in November with its own super content deals with major Hollywood studios like Warner Bros., Starz Digital Media and 20th Century Fox.

Bell Media is betting it can beat all-comers in the Canadian over-the-top space by marketing Project Latte to all Canadians. Shomi will be available initially only to Rogers and Shaw cable and Internet subscribers.

Project Latte will also be exclusively TV, including programming from its pay TV network The Movie Network.

There's no word on pricing for the SVOD, which will be delivered via TV set-top box, apps, online and other digital platforms.

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