Canada's CBC Launches Live TV Streaming Service to Rival Netflix

Schitt's Creek Still - H 2014
Steve Wilkie

Schitt's Creek Still - H 2014

The public broadcaster has launched an over-the-top video service, allowing Canadians to live-stream 'Schitt's Creek' and other original series on digital devices.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the country's public broadcaster, launched an over-the-top streaming service Tuesday, including an ad-free version for $4.99 a month, to compete against Netflix and other U.S. digital insurgents.

"Many Canadians are getting more and more of their content from digital OTT services like Netflix. We need to ensure our audiences can get CBC in the same way," Heather Conway, CBC executive vp English services, told employees Monday in an internal memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

The CBC TV app, which Canadians can download for free as the broadcaster is taxpayer-funded, will enable 14 regional linear TV channels to stream live alongside new content being made available direct to consumers. Canadians will be able to watch full current episodes of CBC series like Schitt's Creek and Murdoch Mysteries, and complete seasons, on demand, with new episodes added daily.

And cord-cutters or on-the-go consumers can pay $4.99 a month for an ad-free, premium version of the latest CBC TV app, which includes live-streaming of the CBC News Network.

The number of Canadian households cutting back on their cable subscription expenditures, or ditching traditional cable TV altogether, is gathering pace as Netflix, Amazon Prime and other U.S. digital platforms continue to make deep inroads into the Canadian market.