: Rogers to offer free streamed online video to all customers beginning Nov. 30 2009


HowEver
Nov 24th, 2009, 03:37 PM
Rogers Offers On-Demand Online TV; Hulu Who? (http://www.marketnews.ca/LatestNewsHeadlines/RogersOffersOn-DemandOnlineTV;HuluWho.html)

Rogers Offers On-Demand Online TV; Hulu Who?
Christine Persaud

On November 30, Canada will be one huge leap closer to offering a vast selection of quality TV content online...and I'm not talking about Hulu. Rogers has realized the blurring lines between TV and Internet, and will be giving its customers (that's all customers, not just cable subscribers) access to TV and movies via the Web.

The service is aptly called Rogers on Demand Online, and the site is a big thumb-to-the-nose to Hulu, which has taken (and is still taking) its sweet time to come to Canada. Subscribers to any Rogers service, whether it be cable, Internet, wireless (including Fido), home phone, or all of the above, can sign up for access, then stream away. Naturally, if you're subscribed to the provider's cable TV service and thus premium channels, you'll also be able to access content from these channels online...eventually. If you're a subscriber to only other Rogers services, like wireless (personal accounts only, not business), premium content will be "locked", but you'll still be able to access a selection of shows, including over-the-air and Web-exclusive fare (no user-generated content, though; Rogers acknowledges that YouTube has a firm hold on that segment of the market.)

While only 1,500 or so videos will be up by launch time through 15 partners including CityTV, Teletoon, and Super Channel, Rogers optimistically hopes to add one new content partner every week for the next 12 months, resulting in a vast library of new, archived, and exclusive videos. A massive feat to accomplish, but if anyone is to do it in Canada, it's Rogers.

Funny enough, David Purdy, V.P. of Video Product Management at Rogers Communications reminisces about a time long ago when he says the late Ted Rogers predicted this would happen. "I told him my [previous] job at CTV was to create a matrix of TV shows, determining what time certain programs should be on. He told me I should come work for him because my job would be obsolete in a few years as the linear TV schedule would be dead; and people would no longer be trapped in someone else's schedule." Drawing from this, Purdy says Rogers isn't in the business of cannibalizing the whole market. "We think for this to really work, all the cable and satellite TV providers need to get on board and do the same thing."

Indeed, Canadian satellite TV provider Bell has already made strides, offering online access to content from networks like TMN to its subscribers for free. (Interestingly, TMN is not yet on Rogers' roster, but the company says they're working on it.)

So instead of trying to get every Tom, Dick, and Harry to sign on, the Rogers On Demand site is being looked upon as added value to Rogers customers; a method of customer retention, if you will. "We've examined the standalone subscription models," explains Sr. Director of Product Management, Broadband Entertainment Jeremy Butteriss, "and they just don't work."

Of course the question becomes media conglomerate or not, how can Rogers offer its content for free to the consumer? The site will be ad-supported, with banner ads and pre-rolls and, in some cases, ads in between segments of shows, just as you'd see through the regular cable channel (excuse the pun). Rogers was mum on how quickly shows would be available; the typical method used in sites like Hulu and iTunes is the day after they air. But the company recognizes that with the plethora of illegal, P2P options out there, speed is of the utmost importance. Speaking of speed, videos will initially be available in standard-definition at 480 kbps and 1mbps; the opportunity to offer HD videos is currently being considered.

Luckily, Butteriss was able to convince the team that restricting multiple logins was a bad thing in the Web world. The result? More than one person can log in through more than one PC from anywhere in Canada (it won't work in the U.S.) to access the account. However, Rogers says it will be monitoring accounts for abuse, and flagging ones that show too many concurrent logins too frequently, indicating that someone has likely given his password out to a friend.

As for the features of the site, it's comparable to other download sites, allowing for searching by parameters like genre and title, viewing top viewed shows, hovering over a thumbnail to get more details about a video, and the ability to fast forward (not through the ads, though), rewind, and pause. One neat addition is a dim function that will black out the surrounding Web page content if you just want to focus on the video window. (Alternatively, you can always just view it full screen.)

Going forward, Rogers plans to add social features, like links to Twitter and Facebook; along with the ability to comment and rate shows, parental controls, and even show outtakes. Most promising, however, will be the added ability to access the content from a mobile phone or other device through the 3G network.

"We want to prove the sky isn't going to fall because content is now available online," says Purdy. "This complements an existing relationship. We already have 2.3 million people on our cable packages. If we can offer them added value at no cost, it will help nurture them. We're no longer in the cable TV business; we're in the entertainment business."

I'll be beta testing the site over the next week, so stay tuned for blog coverage of my experience. The site will launch to the public on November 30, although it will still remain in beta format.

l84toff
Nov 24th, 2009, 09:02 PM
Off the cuff, I'd have to say I like it. Not so sure about Rogers wanting to "nurture" me. Rogers is a business, first and foremost. I'm sure there is a business model in there somewhere, I can see that going pay for online television content soon enough.

But I do agree that the current model of having us watching TV on their schedules is coming to an end fast. We've long abandoned it in our home. I actually prefer to watch shows online when ever it's convenient for me and my favorite part...commercial free.

Paddy
Nov 24th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Good news. Will just have to hide that little tidbit from my kids, or our bandwidth cap will be blown in no time!! :eek:

ehMax
Nov 24th, 2009, 09:14 PM
Very, very interesting... but will be more interested when they offer HD content.

l84toff
Nov 24th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Good news. Will just have to hide that little tidbit from my kids, or our bandwidth cap will be blown in no time!! :eek:

You'd be surprised. My wife and I watch shows & movies online exclusively and we usually end up using about half of the max bandwidth (95GB) with Rogers. Maybe I should be surprised since I don't really watch that much...:yikes:

Hey maybe that's the model they're after. Lower the bandwidth limits and charge more for over usage...hmmmm

i-rui
Nov 24th, 2009, 09:23 PM
"free" is good, but i think what they want is people to use up their bandwidth and hit them with "usage" charges.

Macified
Nov 24th, 2009, 11:09 PM
Good news. Will just have to hide that little tidbit from my kids, or our bandwidth cap will be blown in no time!! :eek:

I'm on a grandfathered no-cap plan (at least for now). Haven't watched a "live" show in years what with pvr and download available.

groovetube
Nov 25th, 2009, 12:13 AM
wake me up when HD content is available. And they raise the download cap.

crawford
Nov 26th, 2009, 07:28 AM
wake me up when HD content is available. And they raise the download cap.

and when it's ad-free. Interesting omission from the article.

emalen
Nov 26th, 2009, 08:43 AM
I was lucky enough to be invited to a presentation on Monday with regards to the new Rogers on Demand Service and i thought I'd pass along a link to my first look in case anyone's interested:

Nutshell:
Good: Great service, usability and performance
Bad: Selection, repetitive commercials

First Look: Rogers On Demand Online #rodo | the TV addict (http://thetvaddict.com/2009/11/25/canada-gets-its-own-version-of-hulu-and-weve-got-your-first-look/)

If you've got anymore questions, feel free to post and I'll do my best to answer.

reidjr
Nov 26th, 2009, 09:13 AM
I was lucky enough to be invited to a presentation on Monday with regards to the new Rogers on Demand Service and i thought I'd pass along a link to my first look in case anyone's interested:

Nutshell:
Good: Great service, usability and performance
Bad: Selection, repetitive commercials

First Look: Rogers On Demand Online #rodo | the TV addict (http://thetvaddict.com/2009/11/25/canada-gets-its-own-version-of-hulu-and-weve-got-your-first-look/)

If you've got anymore questions, feel free to post and I'll do my best to answer.

I can understand the selection as this service is brand new and is still in private beta.I think we should give it some time.

With that said i do have a couple questions

Was there any warner tv and vuguru content listed.

What channels were listed.

HowEver
Nov 26th, 2009, 10:23 AM
From my perspective, this service will add yet another way to view shows I want to see that I may have missed. Between the various methods, let's hope more holes are filled and that this particular service expands.

If the commercials are briefer than the kind that are broadcast, great, but they are competing for viewers who can find these shows with no commercials, so let's see how that goes.

spiffychristian
Nov 26th, 2009, 02:05 PM
.

reidjr
Nov 26th, 2009, 03:03 PM
There was some channels listed on twitter so take thats what its worth.Its only rumors at this time as rogers has not come out said all the channels that will be avaible at launch.

TVo
Bio
Bite
Oln
Aux
Ytv
Big 10
Galaxie
Citv Tv
Sportsnet
Treehouse
G4 Tech Tv
Super Channel

Content Providers
Ufc
Vuguru
Warner Tv
National Film Board

HowEver
Nov 26th, 2009, 03:07 PM
Assuming that you are not joking, perhaps you might call your internet service provider and ask.


there is a cap on the internet that i pay for every month?

i didn't know that. how big is it?

HowEver
Nov 26th, 2009, 03:09 PM
One wonders if the television channels fighting with Rogers/Bell etc. over obtaining their stations for free are being pre-empted by this sort of move.

Rogers is just "re-broadcasting" what they send out for free--and adding its own commercials and advertising links. As usual.



There was some channels listed on twitter so take thats what its worth.Its only rumors at this time as rogers has not come out said all the channels that will be avaible at launch.

TVo
Bio
Bite
Oln
Aux
Ytv
Big 10
Galaxie
Citv Tv
Sportsnet
Treehouse
G4 Tech Tv
Super Channel

Content Providers
Ufc
Vuguru
Warner Tv
National Film Board

Kaiu
Nov 26th, 2009, 03:17 PM
Finally I can watch TV.... lol.....

I haven't had cable or satellite in my house since 2003 @[email protected]

Luckily I have a grandfathered plan lol... My parents alone use at least 150gb from streaming online, my GF uses around 100gb.... My average bandwidth usage on bell is like 450gb peaking at only 500gb though T.T Dunno how some people can do 1TB though haha... I guess if you download movies and stuff in 1080p quality I guess it should be easy...

I've always wanted to watch City TV, and YTV like long ago :D Hopefully CP24 too....

Still miss Discovery Channel and SpikeTV (Although some things you can stream off spiketv site) :-(