Rogers officially launches On Demand Online
Rogers Communications’ version of TV Everywhere, On Demand Online, emerged from its beta chrysalis for a full launch yesterday, which included additional programming choices and new social networking features.
Rogers is offering up to 1,500 hours of content through its On Demand Online Web portal, including live Web streaming of concerts and sporting events that are exclusive to Rogers’ wireless, digital cable, phone and data customers. Rogers On Demand Online viewers can also view some of the same linear video content online based on their respective subscription tiers.
The service now includes, via sites such as Facebook and Twitter, new community and social features, including commenting capabilities, sharing options, and the ability to create playlists and rate videos.
Another twist to the service is that Rogers is offering a registration-free sampling of some content that’s available to anyone in Canada with an Internet connection.
"Canadians are looking for their video entertainment needs to be met wherever and whenever they want and they want to share it," says David Purdy, vice president of television and video product management at Rogers Communications. "Rogers On Demand Online enhances the customer experience by leveraging Rogers’ expertise in home entertainment and extending the best video experience online. Viewers benefit from a high-quality, extremely convenient, robust, anytime, anywhere entertainment experience."
Rogers also said it improved the functionality of the service and is offering videos in higher resolutions.
In order for a TV Everywhere service to gain traction with viewers, service providers need access to premium video content. On that note, Rogers has added new content providers, including The Cineplex Channel, Shorts in the City, Equator HD, Oasis HD, Wild TV and World Fishing Network, among others. Rogers said it would be announcing additional content and programming choices with major partners over the coming weeks.
Rogers first launched a beta version  of its On Demand Online service in November with 20 content providers and 1,000 hours of content. With the official launch, Rogers has added more than 500 hours of content and 19 channels.
When the trial launched last year, Rogers’ customers were authenticated through their cable modems. Another option included verifying their accounts via a text message to their Rogers wireless phone, or by providing their Rogers account number.