BUSINESS

Bell Media Axes Viewer's Choice Pay-Per-View Service

07/15/2014 11:58 EDT | Updated 07/15/2014 12:59 EDT
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Signage is displayed outside of a BCE Inc. Bell Canada store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. BCE Inc., Canada?s second-largest wireless carrier, topped second-quarter profit estimates and increased its annual forecast after adding more smartphone subscribers on lucrative long-term contracts. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

TORONTO – Viewer's Choice, the pay-per-view movie and live event service that was once dominant in Canada, will soon be part of the entertainment graveyard alongside the VHS tape and Laserdisc.

A Bell Media spokeswoman confirmed to The Canadian Press on Tuesday that it plans to shutter all of the Viewer's Choice channels on September 30.

The decision comes after Bell, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE), became majority owner of the service when it acquired the assets of Astral last year. The remainder of the operation is held by fellow telecom company Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B).

Launched in 1991, Viewer's Choice promoted its services as an alternative to the video store, offering recent movies for a comparable price.

For years it was also the exclusive Canadian provider of major sporting events like Wrestlemania from the WWE and helped build the reputation of mixed martial arts company the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

However, the over-the-air concept became dated with the invention of On Demand services that deliver entertainment with the press of a button, rather than waiting for a specific start time.

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