Rogers CEO Calls Bell “Crybaby” Over GameCenter Dispute; Q3 Profit Slides 28%
Rogers revenue is up 1% to $3.25 billion, the company disclosed today in its third-quarter earnings report. Canada’s biggest carrier recorded a drop of 28% in profits as it posted $332 million in net income, down from the $464 million reported for the same period a year ago.
On the wireless side, Rogers added 17,000 postpaid subscribers and activated about 614,000 smartphones for both new and existing subscribers. This compares to last year’s 574,000 activations during the same period.
Wireless revenue is up 2% to $1.88 billion, and the percentage of subscribers with smartphones reached 77% of the total postpaid subscriber base, a 4% increase compared to last year. As the number of smartphone users grows, so does the data revenue: this quarter, data revenue exceeded voice revenue and represented about 52% of the total network revenue, a 4% increase compared to the same period last year.
Rogers CEO Guy Laurence also took the opportunity to call out Bell on the GameCenter dispute (via CBC) saying “With respect to crybaby Bell, what can I say?”. Earlier this week, BCE expressed its concern to the CRTC over Rogers’ new NHL GamePlus mobile app, which offers multiple camera angles and allows users to interact with them.
From Bell’s position, the feature violates certain regulatory rules requiring content created for broadcasters to be made available to all competitors, but apparently they will happily accept such features if they are available to all NHL GameCenter Live subscribers.
“They are complaining and trying to stifle innovation in hockey instead of actually applauding it, which is what we see from pretty much everybody else,” Laurence told analysts.
“Obviously we don’t believe that we have transgressed any rules, and we will continue to focus on delivering innovation for consumers, and not fighting little petty fights such as this. I don’t think they will win. Let’s see.”
According to Laurence, he is not trying to gain “a lot of revenue” from the GameCenter Live apps, but he sees it as being similar to a business-class upgrade for airlines: you can have it, but for a price.