|Founded||March 26, 2013|
|Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick|
|Products||IPTV, DSL, Cable Internet, VoIP, Home Security|
VMedia Inc. is a Canadian telecommunications company and broadcast distribution provider. It offers VoIP telephone and home security services across Canada; DSL and cable Internet in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia; and IPTV television service in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.
VMedia officially launched on March 26, 2013. Following the launch of its IPTV television service in Ontario, the company announced in 2016 that its intention is to expand service to Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia in the future. On May 31, 2016, VMedia formally launched IPTV service in parts of Quebec, and British Columbia and Alberta on June 22, 2016.
VMedia's IPTV service is a traditional subscription television service bundled with over-the-top content delivered through a proprietary Android-based set-top box branded as "VBox". Subscription to the television service requires a VMedia internet plan, due to contracts for some networks and other CRTC regulations requiring the content to only be distributed over a managed network.
On September 16, 2016, VMedia launched an over-the-top "skinny basic" television service available via an app for Roku digital media players. The service offers 20 channels, including major Canadian and U.S. broadcast networks and channels, and all in high definition. Unlike the main television service, this version does not require VMedia internet, and is thus available nationwide.
VMedia provides DSL and cable Internet services as a competitive local exchange carrier by purchasing wholesale bandwidth from major network providers including Bell, Rogers, Cogeco, Vidéotron, Shaw Communications, Bell Aliant, and Telus.
In September 2016, Bell Media issued a cease and desist order to VMedia over its Roku-based IPTV service, demanding the removal of all of its networks. Canadian copyright law allows "retransmitters", defined as "a person who performs a function comparable to that of a cable retransmission system", to redistribute local and distant broadcast stations as part of their services. However, this only applies to IPTV services operating over private networks, because the law's definition of a retransmitter does not apply to services operating on new media platforms that are not regulated by the CRTC. VMedia argued that its permission to redistribute these stations fell under its CRTC licensing as a television provider. Bell argued that the over-the-top service did not fall within this definition, or the formal licensing for the IPTV service offered in conjunction with its internet, and thus is a violation of their copyrights. VMedia representative George Burger disputed Bell's arguments, stating that Canadian copyright law was "technologically neutral", and that broadcasters were "happy to provide that content" to similar, U.S.-based services such as Sling TV. However, he also warned that VMedia may not be able to afford litigation on the matter, stating that "Bell has untold millions of dollars that it can afford to spend on litigation. We're a startup. We're trying to find our way to profitability." Pending the result of the lawsuit, VMedia removed CTV and CTV Two from the service.
On November 22, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that VMedia must obtain permission from Bell Media to re-transmit its over-the-air channels on an over-the-top service under current law, but added that "If technology has overcome the existing laws and policies, it is open to interested parties to put the issues before the CRTC to try to revise the policies and the definitions".
On June 4, 2020, VMedia launched RiverTV, a subscription based over-the-top media service featuring traditional digital linear television channels, in addition to video on demand content. RiverTV is available across Canada. RiverTV is the first multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) in Canada.