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A Closer Look At Why Rogers CEO Guy Laurence Called Bell A ‘Crybaby’

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Earlier this week, Rogers CEO Guy Laurence took the opportunity to call out Bell on the GameCenter Live dispute, calling the company a “crybaby” during its earnings call.

Bell expressed its concerns about Rogers’ new NHL app, which offers users multiple camera angles and interactive features, telling the CRTC that these features violate certain regulatory rules requiring content created for broadcasters to be available to all its competitors.

“He went further, suggesting that Bell’s own bid for the coveted NHL hockey rights wasn’t innovative, theorizing that’s why it lost, and now is “complaining and trying to stifle innovation” over the Rogers GamePlus mobile app.”

The CRTC says they are reviewing the complaint, but they have not issued an official statement yet. Laurence said he does not believe that Rogers has violated any regulations and will continue to focus on delivering innovation to its customers.

Managing director of the SeaBoard Group in Montreal Iain Grant said that Rogers’ deal with the NHL was strategic and innovative. In a statement he said:

“I think Rogers had a strategic coup in purchasing the rights to the NHL. They paid money for it. Bell didn’t. All the whinging in the world isn’t going to fix it. Kleenex is in Bell’s future.”

Carmi Levy, an independent tech analyst, thinks that Laurence’s comment about Bell being a “crybaby” was to turn the attention away from Rogers’ poor quarterly results. Levy said:

“It’s real easy to throw a firecracker to other side of the room. On the surface, this is Guy Laurence being Guy Laurence. We expect this from him.”

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Laurence was brought in as CEO of Rogers in December of last year with the intent of shaking up the wireless market in Canada, and it looks as though he is doing exactly that.

Late last year, Rogers and the NHL signed a 12-year $5.2 billion broadcast deal which gives the Canadian carrier rights to all games in Canada.

In addition to giving Rogers exclusive rights to all playoff and Stanley Cup Final games, the agreement also gives the carrier exclusive rights to special events such as future NHL All-Star Games. The deal also guarantees that there will no longer be any restrictions when viewing a game from a specific region.

[via The Star]

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  • Mark

    Nadir Mohamed was a better CEO.
    Rogers Wireless is going from bad to worse. I have three contract with Rogers and I bought the new iPhone 6 directly from Apple.
    As soon as my contract will expire I will move to another provider.
    Did you try to deal with Rogers Customer Service recently? It is a nightmare… No help and arrogance… I am the Customer, I deserve support and respect and I will move my monthly fee away from Rogers!

    Rogers Board has made a big mistake with Guy Laurence, Vodafone won big time to get rid of him!

  • Al

    Today is my last day with Rogers. My contract is finally up! Tomorrow I go to Bell.
    …wait… why am I not all that excited about this? Oh yeah… it’s “Bell”. Just another shade of not-so-green grass. But they DO have better reception in my area, so….

  • To.

    So true…

  • Groagun

    I’ve questioned this deal from day 1. I think the NHL will come to regret giving out this deal and this ‘type’ of deal.

    There are several questions I would like to have addressed if anyone can answer them: One, with the app, is it separate as a package from Rogers and does it count towards your monthly data allotment? Two, again if the app is separate from your monthly allotment, how is Rogers technically separating the data from this app and all other usage? Three, can anyone get this app even as a non Rogers customer? Four, as for TV, what if you can’t get Rogers? What if you are in a Shaw or Cogeco area. You don’t have the choice to even see the new broadcast technology. Five, given the last question, does this not violate the CRTC rules mentioned in the Bell ‘crybaby’ case? Six and last for now, “The deal also guarantees that there will no longer be any restrictions when viewing a game from a specific region.” Is this true? I swear I have already seen and heard that there are restrictions for local broadcast areas in place and being implemented right now. I’m not sure if this is the same old ‘if the stadium isn’t sold out argument’ but I would like to know because that statement clearly isn’t true.

    It’s early days and time will tell, but putting ‘our’ game in the hands of one and one only broadcaster is in my opinion, is a huge mistake. While you can argue that Rogers won the bid on innovation, this new broadcast reality may kill innovation in many regards anyway. What incentive does Bell or any other potential broadcaster have to innovate for the next 12 years: None! That is not to say that they wont but really only one true reason that innovation occurs is competition and the NHL has killed that for at least the next 12 years. That’s a long time to spend, potentially, with a partner you may not end up liking.

  • Salinger

    So true, it’s essentially a choice among equals in terms of how awful they all treat their customers. I’ve been with all three and from my personal experience, I got the worst service from Bell on many fronts. I’ve found TELUS to be the best of the worst, and Rogers somewhere in the middle.

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