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Rogers, Shaw enter SVoD game

Canadian broadcasters Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications have acquired more than 11,000 hours of TV shows to take on Netflix with their forthcoming subscription VoD service.

Shomi is a 50/50 joint venture that will be available initially to Rogers and Shaw internet or TV customers on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set-top boxes. It is due to launch in the first week of November and will cost C$8.99 (US$8.25) per month.

Rogers and Shaw have secured exclusive streaming rights to previous seasons of US shows such as Modern Family, Sleepy Hollow, Shameless, 2 Broke Girls, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day and American Horror Story ahead of its launch.

First-window premieres for series are currently being sought, while Keith Pelley, president at Rogers Media, said at Shomi’s launch event yesterday that original programming was “definitely on our road map.”

The service, which will compete directly with Netflix in Canada, will also host 1,200 movies alongside its 340 TV series, while 30% of its launch content is Canadian. There will also be family-friendly kids programming available.

Shomi will combine a team of programming experts with algorithmic technology to help customers pick what they want to watch, according to the company, which will operate as a standalone entity to Rogers and Shaw with its own management structure.

Customers can have up to six profiles per account and are able to watch on two devices as well as their set-top boxes at the same time. Additional details about programming and distribution will be announced in the coming weeks, Rogers and Shaw said.

Pelley added that the SVoD service “takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”


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