Rogers is (still) considering launching a Netflix rival

Rogers is (still) considering launching a Netflix rival

It looks like Rogers could be getting serious about launching an online streaming package to rival Netflix. According to a report in the online trade magazine Cartt.ca (whose paywalled story was subsequently picked up by the Canadian Press), the proof could be in the cash: Cartt’s sources say Rogers has recently spent over $100 million on the rights to a wide selection of TV shows and movies, apparently for the purpose of allowing customers to stream them on demand.

There have been rumblings about Rogers’ efforts to build a Netflix-like service for months, but this is the first time we’ve seen anything to indicate how far along the development process is, or how big the investment is likely to be. The Canadian communications giant’s reason for being interested in streaming video is pretty obvious: in three short years, Netflix has amassed a user base in Canada that is on par with the number of people who subscribe to Rogers cable. And guess which of those numbers is on the rise? Quebec telecommunications company Videotron has already caught on. It launched its own Netflix-like service just under a year ago, and according to the company it already has almost 1.5 million subscribers.

But, according to the Canadian Press, Rogers remains coy. Its media reps will only confirm that the company is “looking at opportunities to deliver a [streaming] service.” Considering the recent Bell-Astral merger, which was reportedly brokered partly as a defense against Netflix, we’re not sure if slow and steady will win this race.