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Category: Frank & Gordon

Bell Takes Bat and Runs Home – says "Na-na-na-na-boo-boo"

Seems like there’s a battle royale brewing between Bell Canada and Digital Home Canada – one of (if not the)  online resource for those interested in digital entertainment in Canada.

A few weeks ago Digital Home ran a post called New ExpressVu HD Receivers Expected By July that was a bit of a scoop for them. It included detailed information from internal Bell communications.

In a March bulletin, Bell informed its dealers that it would be introducing brand new ‘MPEG4’ receivers in July 2007. Dish Network currently has several HD receivers that can decode MPEG4 for sale in the U.S. including the VIP 211 and the VIP611.
It is our belief the new ExpressVu receivers will be re-branded DISH VIP211 and VIP611 receivers. Digital Home will post further details and pricing information when ExpressVu formally announces the new receivers. In the interim here is a brief overview of the Echostar receivers.

Bell threatened to pull all advertising from the site if owner Hugh Thompson did not remove the article.  Thompson refused saying it was accurate reportage and the next day Bell pulled their ads.

Yesterday, I was contacted by a press relations representative from Bell Canada and was informed that Bell Canada “might” pull its advertising from Digital Home Canada if the article was not removed from the Digital Home site.
The PR representative explained the request came from Pat Button, the Vice President of Marketing at ExpressVu. The representative said Mr. Button had seen the article and demanded it be taken down from the site because it was having a negative impact on dealer sales. The representative also said that it was impossible for Bell to be releasing new HD receivers this year because a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the receivers had not even been issued by ExpressVu.
These comments were in direct contrast with information that I had received from multiple ExpressVu dealers which I shared with Bell and asked them comment on.

What makes this more than another marketing exec getting his hair mussed up by a leaked announcement is the fact that the site in question is an online forum that is primarily driven by reader generated content.  Repeat after me folks – online communities are NOT a good bunch to pick a fight with.