Game on: Shaw launches TV Everywhere service with HBO content
Shaw Communications has upped the ante against Netflix and other over-the-top video providers with today’s launch of its own TV Everywhere service.
The new multi-screen service – which currently works with Apple iOS devices, including the new iPhone 5 – is called Shaw Go. Once Shaw cable and Shaw Direct satellite subscribers authenticate themselves, they can access HBO Canada and Movie Central programming on Internet-connected devices.
Shaw’s free Movie Central app is available for downloading at the iTunes store.
Shaw previously enabled some video content for viewing on computers and laptops in customers’ homes via its Web portal, but the Shaw Go service is similar to TV Everywhere offerings from other cable operators such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
The HBO content includes popular shows such as “Game of Thrones,” “True Blood” and “Boardwalk Empire.” Movie offerings include “The Iron Lady,” “J. Edgar Hoover” and “The Artist.”
Corus Entertainment, which the Shaw family owns a majority stake in, owns and distributes Movie Central and HBO Canada.
Over the coming months, Shaw Go will expand to include live streaming TV, VOD content and a package of family-focused programming.
"Shaw Go is our answer to consumers who want TV everywhere – to access content on the go and on-demand. In the coming months, we will deliver to Shaw customers the most user-friendly, innovative and convenient ways to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies and sports," said Shaw Communications President Peter Bissonnette. "Popular HBO TV shows and blockbuster Hollywood movies delivered by Movie Central are just the beginning of what customers can expect from Shaw Go. With Shaw, they won't miss a thing."
Some of the features for Shaw Go include: menus that are optimized for touchscreens in order to navigate with a swipe of a finger on devices such as the iPad; “intelligent source streaming,” which appears to be Shaw’s name for adaptive bit rate streaming, that provides the best video based on the connection speed up to 720p HD; “smart search” to find content faster; and social sharing to include friends in a viewing experience via social media tools.
Netflix touched down in Canada two years ago with a service that cost $7.95 a month. While TV Everywhere services from cable operators have flourished in the United States, cable operators and content owners in Canada have been hamstrung by legal restrictions and licensing fees. By teaming up with Corus, Shaw was able to sidestep some of those issues.