Canadian cableco Shaw Communications yesterday announced the launch of its new premium IP-based TV services for set-top box users under the ‘BlueSky TV’ banner – developed using the cloud-based X1 platform it licenses from US cable peer Comcast. A statement from Shaw declared: ‘Today, we are excited to be the first in Canada to offer a best-in-class TV experience powered by our strategic partnership with Comcast. This next chapter in our video technology roadmap marks an important and exciting milestone in Shaw’s history. Our new X1 TV experience, named BlueSky TV, provides ease-of-use and customisation that is unprecedented in Canada. Its innovative voice remote technology provides a whole new way for our customers to quickly and easily discover what they want to watch. We are pleased to offer this leading technology experience to customers in Calgary, with subsequent launches in major cities within our footprint planned throughout fiscal 2017.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in early 2015 Shaw abandoned an IPTV development project it had started in 2013, and opted to partner Comcast on developing the US cable giant’s X1 multi-screen platform in Canada, culminating in the January 2016 launch of Shaw’s ‘FreeRange TV’, a mobile live and on-demand TV service based on the X1 platform and offered free of charge to existing Shaw cable customers; at the time Shaw indicated that X1-based set-top box services would be available to all its network users in 2017, and it has duly delivered on the promise. In December 2016 another major Canadian cableco, Rogers Communications, also aborted its long-running in-house IPTV development project and signed up for partnering Comcast in offering X1-based services.