Friday, 18 November 2016

The Death of Shomi

Again, did you really think I wouldn't notice this crap? Here we go again with another "Why Television Sucks" rant.

Shomi's demise is nothing short of saddening because it had almost all the movies and shows you can't find on Netflix. It was also another outlet for broadcast network shows that couldn't find a home on Canadian soil, as well as shows from other streaming services that just couldn't deal with a Canadian launch. ..I'm looking at you, Amazon.

Thanks to Rogers' outdated thinking, Shomi was never able to impress potential customers. Their so-called "beta", when the service was exclusive to cable customers, lasted longer than it needed to be. For customers, trumpeting Shomi as a Netflix competitor only to have it daisy-chained to a cable subscription only served to make the site look like a glorified TV Everywhere app, and we all know how much those suck!

No doubt Bell Media's CraveTV will capitalize on this, as they should. Bell Media being Bell Media, CraveTV isn't much better.

Remember, the only reason why CraveTV is now available as a stand-alone service was because Shomi did it first. They may be the exclusive home to all HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central programming, but they gave Canadians a raw deal by only streaming past-HBO programming. That means no Game of Thrones and probably no Westworld either. Bell Media has let either its greed or incompetence deny CraveTV the one show that could seal the deal to any new customer.

It's actually a tragedy that CraveTV has amassed one million subscribers in spite of their bullshit, when Shomi should be the talk of the town. At least they're being smart about how they leverage their program rights by premiering Showtime series day-and-date on CraveTV, rather than The Movie Network. Like with Rogers' FX and FXX Canada, the need to make buzz-worthy programming available to Canadians as soon as they air in the U.S means you can't keep it all on one channel.

Having said that, Rogers still has A LOT of work to do with FXX and they'll have all the time in the world to do that now that Shomi is calling it quits. If you aren't feeling CraveTV, then you can only hope that some of Shomi's leftovers will be picked up by Netflix. There's a good reason why they have five million Canadian subscribers, and its the same reason why Shomi and CraveTV are still regarded as poor man's knock-offs.

As long as Canadian broadcasters keep playing second fiddle to cable, Netflix will always have the upper hand.

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