Rogers Said to Spend Up to $100M on Content Deals to Launch Netflix Rival


Rogers has apparently started to sign major content deals and plans to spend up to $100 million for its Netflix rival and possibly Hulu Plus clone, according to a report by

Several sources have told over the past number of weeks that Rogers Communications has grabbed the over-the-top bull by the horns and has been signing a massive number of content deals and at least one significant partnership agreement (if not more) in an effort to battle back against Netflix in Canada by launching a new, national, OTT video portal.

Greg O’Brien of told the CBC:

“From what I understand, $100 million buys them quite a bit,” said O’Brien.

“And what it does is it keeps those TV titles and any film titles that they might be able to get away from Netflix in Canada, so it makes the Netflix library weaker.”

When asked about the report, a Rogers spokeswoman told the CBC they would not comment on the story, only to say “As previously reported, Rogers is looking at opportunities to deliver a (streaming) service. There are no additional details at this time.”

Back in March, the Globe and Mail reported Rogers was set to launch a Netflix rival and mulled creating its own exclusive shows for its streaming service.

With many Canadians ‘cutting the cord’ nowadays when it comes to cable to rather consume media online, the threat of disruption could impact the TV side of the Rogers business.

Rogers currently has its Anyplace TV iOS app, which allows existing customers to stream live TV on the go.

Would you subscribe to a Rogers service similar to Netflix?


  • Al

    “And what it does is it keeps those TV titles and any film titles that
    they might be able to get away from Netflix in Canada, so it makes the
    Netflix library weaker.”

    That’s a silly statement for O’Brien to declare. That would imply Rogers would pay extra for exclusive agreements. O’Brien has no idea if that is happening. But the chances of the owners of content giving exclusive rights to Rogers and taking it away from a key client like Netflix or Hulu is pretty much absurd.

    I recently switched to Netflix US and added Hulu and am about to downgrade my Bell satellite service to “Basic” (saving me $70/mth). I can’t remove it completely because there is still some stuff I need. If Rogers fills that gap (more Network shows and specialty channels), does so at a reasonable price, and integrates with AppleTV, I would consider using their service.

  • CMfly

    Yeah they would need an appleTV app or PS3 app then I would consider it. As long as it’s better then ROD and only costs $7 a month we’re good.

  • doubtful

    and $7/month is going to happen for rogers… amirite!? 😀

    also, good luck with atv/ps/xbox integrations.

  • mcfilmmakers

    Correction, there is still some stuff you WANT. You don’t need TV. You won’t die without it. That said, you are foolish to think content holders won’t sign exclusivity agreements. This happens all the time with Netflix vs Hulu. Nickelodeon switched from Netflix to Hulu. Most FOX shows are exclusive to Hulu. There are many examples.

  • M F


  • Al

    Fox has been in bed with Hulu since the beginning, so that’s not a valid example. Netflix is international. Do you really think that content owners would jeopardize their relationship with Netflix over a few Canadians? Do you really think that Canadian content owners would give up international distribution to be exclusive with Rogers?

    Rogers only advantage in this market would likely be to make arrangements with Canadian networks and specialty channels like HGTV. And that’s all available online for free anyway, so…???

  • Jayme Reid

    If the rumors are true and they have deals with Bell/Shaw that right there would be a ton of content as for exclusive if this site will be for all its a win win for everyone.

  • Jayme Reid

    To pay more for exclusive deals would not be that out of reach your going to see more and more of that.

  • Al

    The numbers just aren’t there to warrant exclusive deals for existing Netflix content. I’ll spell it out…

    1. Canada has a small population.
    2. Netflix pays for distribution rights for populations that are many, many times greater than Canada.
    3. Netflix’s world-wide subscriber base helps pay for their deals, which is part of the reason it’s only $8.
    4. If Rogers were to get exclusive deals for Canada, they would have to charge a great many times more than Netflix does in order to recoup the expense of attaining those exclusive deals.

    Therefore, aside from Canadian content that would be of interest only to Canadians, plus Rogers-owned content from their own stations/production companies, Rogers is not going to get “anything” exclusively.

  • mcfilmmakers

    FOX STARTED Hulu, along with NBC and ABC. To say it doesn’t count is like saying Rogers doesn’t count in it’s example.

    It absolutely counts as it’s the same situation. Rogers absolutely can say “all shows on our channels are exclusive to our platform” and they will get it.

    What, you think distributors will choose Netflix over cable? Because they will have to choose once Rogers asks for exclusivity and that exclusivity will come either at the expense of Netflix or Rogers.

    Having access to specialty shows is the whole point of Netflix. You don’t seem to get that. It’s available online for free, yes, but very few people have their PCs hooked up to a TV.

  • mcfilmmakers

    This isn’t about numbers. This is about KILLING Netflix.

    Rogers wants Netflix DEAD, this is why they’re doing this. This isn’t about competing. It isn’t about recouping costs. In fact, it will cost them NOTHING to make their own shows exclusive to the platform. Netflix charged 8$ before they were even in Canada. In fact, they raised their price in the US BECAUSE they came to Canada. Their international businesses are all independent from one another. Netflix is barely profitable in Canada as it is. By the way, distribution rights are PROPORTIONAL to viewers so it doesn’t make a difference what the population is of a country.

  • Al

    Saying it’s about “Killing Netflix” is a truly delusional statement.

    Proportional consideration is irrelevant. It’s about numbers and profit, both for Netflix and for the content owner. You don’t piss off the parent company by pulling the rights in a country’s Netflix affiliate.

  • Al

    You’ve taken the Fox thing off point and are trying to turn it into something else. You said that Fox was exclusive as an example of how Rogers could get pretty much anything exclusively. I said, they are in bed with Hulu, meaning they aren’t like most everyone else.

    You seem a little unhinged. If you want to discuss this rationally, step outside of your desire to be right and look at it objectively.

  • mcfilmmakers

    YOU are off point sir.

    FOX isn’t in bed with Hulu, it IS Hulu.
    Rogers IS this so called Netflix rival, just like Hulu is.
    As such, if FOX isn’t like most everyone else neither is Rogers.
    Therefore, if FOX can be exclusive so can Rogers. And if FOX is willing to spend money to make a rival like Nickelodeon exclusive to its service, you can bet that Rogers will do the same with Shaw or Bell or both.
    Need I remind you that Netflix needs to deal with Bell, Rogers and Shaw BEFORE they can even ask anyone else to have a show or movie on it’s service? Robelus own EXCLUSIVE broadcast rights for 90% of American movies and TV shows.

    Take a show like Big Bang Theory. In the US, Netflix needs only to knock on NBC’s door, sign a deal and it’s done.

    In Canada, they need to knock on NBC’s door and then take their deal to Bell (CTV) and say “Please?”. Maybe Bell will sign on and let them do it.

    This isn’t about me being right, what Roger’s service is isn’t fact. Neither I nor you can be right or wrong about this. This is about you not understanding how things work.

  • mcfilmmakers

    It’s about Netflix taking money away from Rogers and Rogers wanting to stop it. They wouldn’t be doing this if that weren’t true. We both know that.

    Giving a parent company more money for exclusivity doesn’t piss them off, it makes them happy. Especially if that extra cash would give them more short-term than if it were widely available.

    You forget that Rogers, Bell and Telus don’t exist in reality. None of what they do is for the right thing (i.e. competition). Everything they do is about collusion and oligopoly.

  • Al