Rogers and Shaw have allied to launch a video streaming service in Canada that will compete directly against Netflix. The joint venture and the service will be called Showmi
The companies said the content available will include 11,000 hours of television and 1,200 movies, with 30 per cent Canadian content.
The two parent companies have signed deals worth over $100-million with U.S. movie studios and distributors including Warner Bros., NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox, according to multiple media reports.
The service will be priced at $8.99 per month, the same price as Netflix will be charging after an announced price hike takes effect. One-third of Anglophone Canadians are said to be subscribers of Netflix.
“We’ve taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience,” said Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media, in a statement.
The introduction was expected; only the timing was in question. Rogers executives have been on record saying that they think MSOs will all roll out their own Netflix competitors.
Bell Canada has informed Canadian federal agencies that it is planning a similar service.
Showmi will be available on tablets, smartphones, web browsers, Xbox 360 and set top cable boxes.
Showmi is being introduced with a cross-platform user interface (UI) developed by startup You.i. The company provided a few details on how it works earlier this month.
“We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it,” said Barb Williams, senior vice president of content at Shaw Media, in a statement.