Now you Shomi, now you don’t: Rogers, Shaw stream runs dry

27 Sep 2016

Canada’s largest cablecos Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications are shutting down their joint venture subscription video on demand (SVOD) service Shomi at the end of November 2016, two years after it was launched. Rogers says it will post losses of approximately CAD100 million-CAD140 million (USD76 million-USD106 million) on the OTT TV streaming-based investment in the quarter ending 30 September, whilst The Financial Post writes that Shaw disclosed equity losses of CAD108 million relating to Shomi in fiscal 2015 and 2016. Shaw is currently focused on developing its quad-play range via the recent purchase of cellco Wind Mobile and has sold its Media division, whilst Rogers has promised to expand its TV service options with a launch of an IPTV service by the end of this year. The Post cites a June report by Toronto-based Solutions Research Group which estimated that Shomi and rival telco Bell Canada’s SVOD service CraveTV – which is continuing – had a combined user base of just over 700,000 customers, compared to an estimated 5.2 million paying Canadian subscribers to OTT streaming market leader Netflix (up from an estimated 4.1 million in mid-2015).