In the fight to win back TV audience, Canada’s cable companies Buy American

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Shaw and Rogers abondoned their in-house IPTV programs in favour of Comcast’s X1 platform as they play catchup with Bell and Telus

 

by Emily Jackson

Financial Post 

October 26, 2017

Shaw Communications Inc. knew by mid-2014 that it needed a new television product, and fast.

Customers were questioning the value of bundled services, the broadcast regulator was talking about mandating skinnier, cheaper TV packages and à la carte channels, and online streaming trailblazer Netflix Inc. was gaining traction.

More critically, Shaw was losing conventional cable customers to Telus Corp., its chief western Canadian rival, which had an innovative internet protocol television (IPTV) platform that customers seemed to like.

“We were in fairly urgent need to replace our platform, because the video product from our main competitor was, in fact, a very good product at that time and they were using it effectively to steal share and to win customers from us,” said Jim Little, Shaw’s executive vice-president and chief marketing and culture officer. Getting share back from Telus was “Job No. 1,” he added.

Shaw already had sunk millions into developing its own IPTV product by the time Zoran Stakic, its new chief technology officer back then, met Comcast Corp.’s chief technology officer Tony Werner at a CableLabs meeting in 2014. Comcast had recently launched a cloud-based TV product called Xfinity X1 and was in the early days of licensing the technology to other companies.

Their interaction led to Shaw becoming the first international player to license the X1 platform. Three years later, Rogers Communications Inc. and Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron — Canada’s second- and third-largest cable providers after Shaw — have since followed in partnering with Comcast to use X1.

As the three largest cablecos phase out their legacy systems and switch to X1

Read More HERE

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Shaw/Rogers are getting what they deserve. Between the cost of TV and the cost of cellular and internet Canadians are being raped and gouged at every turn.
    If I were one of these greedy blood sucking scumbag Canadian media suppliers I would pressure the Trudeau Liberals to ban all American media advertisements
    We get to sit in front of our TVs watching our ridiculously high priced cable show us ad after ad after ad for American products that are 50% (or more) cheaper than our over regulated crap.

  2. I did not realise that Bell had such a large market share … I know they have been very aggressive with “Fibe” which Telus is now rolling out in Edmonton. And as for customers “seeming to like” the Telus product, they are incorrect. We LOVE it! And Telus has now gone wireless!

  3. It remains to be seen if X1 is a long-term solution to cord-cutting. But it doesn’t really matter. The long game now is to be the Internet service provider. Content from the telcos will be secondary.

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