Rogers plumps for Comcast IPTV system; pushes launch to 2018, takes CAD500m hit

19 Dec 2016

Canadian quadruple-play cableco Rogers Communications has announced a long-term strategic partnership with US-based Comcast to bring Rogers customers a ‘best-in-class video experience’ by deploying Comcast’s ‘X1’ IP-based video platform, scheduled for commercial launch in Canada in ‘early 2018’. A press release from Rogers stated: ‘We’re bringing our customers a world-class IPTV service with the most advanced features available in the market today.’

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Rogers had previously scheduled a commercial IPTV launch for ‘the end of 2016’, having stated in its Q2 2016 report: ‘With IPTV we will introduce a differentiated product, positioning us well to reverse the trend of [cable] TV subscriber losses.’ Rogers explains in its latest release that it decided to move to a hosted platform to ensure it has access to the scale and technical roadmap needed to meet the ongoing pace of IPTV innovation. In addition, it says that Rogers customers ‘will benefit from the substantial research and development investments Comcast has made to date and the company’s continuing commitment to innovation.’ As a result of the move, Rogers will discontinue any further investment in the IPTV product it was developing and expects to take a pre-tax non-cash asset impairment charge in the range of CAD475 million-CAD525 million (USD356 million-USD393 million) in the quarter ending 31 December 2016.

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