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Rogers Cable Inc., a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc., is Canadamarker's largest cable television service provider with about 2.25 million television customers, and over 930,000 Internet subscribers, in Southern Ontario, New Brunswickmarker and Newfoundland and Labradormarker.

The company's digital cable service is branded as Rogers Personal TV.

History

Rogers was one of the first cable-system operators in Canada, having secured licences covering much of the city of Torontomarker in the mid-1960s. One of the first important acquisitions was in 1979, when Ted Rogers purchased a controlling interest in Canadian Cablesystems and joined it with his broadcast interests. In 1980, Rogers purchased Premier Cable, which controlled the system in Vancouver and had investments in Irish cable companies in Dublinmarker, Galwaymarker and Waterfordmarker. In 1986 rogers sold their shares of Irish companies to the Irish state broadcaster (RTÉmarker) and state telecoms company (Eircom), these cable companies are now part of the UPC Ireland network. Rogers continued to buy other operators, the largest such acquisition came with Rogers' 1994 acquisition of Maclean-Hunter, at that time also among the largest cable operators. Rogers has also owned cable systems in the United States. In 2008, Rogers announced a takeover offer for Aurora Cable, a cable service provider in York Region, Ontario (pending approval by Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Management

  • Nadir Mohamed, C.A. - President and Chief Operating Officer Communications Group
  • Edward Rogers III - President Rogers Cable Inc.
  • Michael A. Adams - Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer


Canadian cable territories

2009 Ford F-150 from Rogers Cable
Rogers Cable's territories now consist of: most larger communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, virtually the whole of New Brunswick, selected areas of eastern Quebecmarker near the New Brunswick border (including Carleton-sur-Mermarker), and, in Ontario: nearly all of the Toronto area as well as the areas of Ottawamarker, Londonmarker, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Barriemarker. With the Rogers takeover of Aurora Cable Internet, Aurora, Ontariomarker, along with most areas in York Regionmarker will also be added in the Canadian cable territories area.

Over the years, and at various times, Rogers has owned all or part of various cable operators serving areas across Canada, including Vancouvermarker, Victoriamarker, Calgarymarker, Northern Ontario, and the Hamiltonmarker area. All of the systems in western Canada were traded to Shaw Communications in late 2000 in exchange for that company's assets in Ontario and New Brunswick, and many of the others were sold to Cogeco.

Because of its size, Rogers has been able to spur innovation in the cable industry. Its growing digital cable service provides access to technologies such as high definition television, video on demand, interactive television and enhanced television. Rogers also provides broadband Internet access, co-marketed with Yahoo!. The company employs traffic shaping and has been widely criticized for this.

Competitors

Rogers' main competitors are the satellite television provider Bell TV; and the two main television companies controlled by Shaw Communications: Shaw Cable, and Shaw Direct (Satellite). Shaw Cable has requisitioned and traded contested territory, leading to a lack of direct competition between Shaw Cable and Rogers Cable.

Other investments

CPAC

Through Rogers Cable Inc., Rogers holds a majority interest (41.4%) in CPAC, a public affairs and politics cable channel that consists of both an English and French language feeds.

Video stores

Rogers Plus, Canada's largest domestically owned chain of video stores, operates as a subsidiary of Rogers Cable. One of its biggest competitors is Blockbuster Video.

Controversy

Negative option billing

In the beginning of 1995, Rogers along with several other cable companies, added a number of new cable channels under a negative option billing plan. Subscribers opting out of paying for the new channels stood to lose much of their existing speciality channel programming. The participating cable companies were hit by both regulatory and public opinion backlash and ultimately were forced to split the negative-option channels into two separately-purchasable blocks, a move which Rogers had initially opposed as "not technologically feasible".

Dropping of WPBS, WQLN

In July 2009, Rogers Cable announced that on August 18, 2009, they will be replacing PBS members WQLNmarker of Erie, Pennsylvaniamarker and WPBS-TVmarker of Watertown, New Yorkmarker on its Londonmarker and Ottawamarker systems, respectively, with Detroit, Michiganmarker's PBS station, WTVSmarker. A representative for Rogers said that they were replacing WQLN and WPBS for WTVS, as viewers wanted "a feed that has a higher-quality reception." WQLN and WPBS, however, had shown great concern for Rogers' move, as these are the largest cities in the stations' respective coverage areas and much of their pledges come from Rogers viewers. In addition, both stations first heard of the discontinuance not by Rogers, but by their loyal viewers.

On July 30, 2009, it was announced that Rogers will keep WPBS and WQLN on its systems, after both stations announced a fiber-based connection with Rogers. Additional funds will be allocated to complete the transition; while WQLN announced that they will spend $55,000 to provide a connection, WPBS agreed with Rogers not to disclose the cost of the fiber-optic signal for their own station.

Mountain Cablevision

On September 9, 2009, Rogers Cable filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent Shaw Cable from acquiring Mountain Cablevision of Hamilton, Ontariomarker, on the basis that Rogers and Shaw had effectively agreed to divide the country in half, Rogers in the east and Shaw in the west. This suit was defeated on competitive grounds and the Shaw acquisition allowed to proceed.

References

  1. Newswire 13 Feb 2008
  2. London Free Press: "Loss of London viewers could sink Erie station", 7/22/2009.
  3. Ottawa Citizen: "PBS Watertown wins reprieve from Rogers", 7/30/2009.
  4. http://watertowndailytimes.com/article/20090731/NEWS03/307319981
  5. London Free Press: "Rogers retains PBS affiliate WQLN", 7/31/2009.
  6. Rogers sues to block Shaw's Ontario cable buy, CBC News, September 10, 2009


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