That’s about to change: Rogers Communications Inc. is developing a service that would give subscribers access to movies and television shows and is also considering developing television series solely for digital distribution to enhance the product’s appeal.
The product could compete with similar offerings from companies such as Bell Media and Videotron, which has already developed and marketed a French-language Netflix alternative available in Quebec and Ontario.
The goal of a the service is to take a bite out of Netflix and retain former cable customers who have opted into streaming outside digital offerings. Essentially Rogers wants to offer a digital product beyond its existing cable offerings with streamlined movies and older seasons of popular TV shows. The company would be able to compete with for Canadian rights to content with Netflix or share rights when content isn’t exclusive to the latter.
Just yesterday Bell Media and Astral executives argued to the CRTC their $3.38 billion merger was essential to create a Netflix competitor. It now looks like the race is on to see who will launch the first true Netflix rival in Canada, as cable giants aim to remain relevant as more consumers decide to cut the cord on premium packages and TV altogether.