Canada's largest telecommunications company plans to launch its own online movie service to compete with Netflix.
BCE Inc. Chief Executive George Cope outlined plans Monday to use the company's planned $3.38-billion acquisition of Astral Media Inc. -- a leading provider of English- and French-language pay television services -- to roll out the new service, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
Netflix introduced its service in Canada in September 2010, and had amassed 1 million subscribers 10 months later. The company has said it now reaches more than 10% of Canadian households with its selection of movies and TV shows.
"Our Canadian service continues to grow well -- in both subscribers and hours viewed," the company said in a statement that accompanied its second-quarter earnings report in July. "Similar to trends in the US ... median hours viewed per member were up year-over-year in Canada."