Rogers Plans Sports Broadcasting in High-Quality 4K Resolution

Rogers Communications Inc. will become the first Canadian broadcaster to offer sports games in higher-quality 4K resolution, part of its strategy of trying to win more lucrative customers.

Rogers will broadcast more than 80 Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball games and 20 National Hockey League games next year in 4K, which offers twice the resolution of current high-definition television. The quality is so high fans will be able to read the writing on hockey pucks, Chief Executive Officer Guy Laurence told reporters Monday at the Rogers Centre stadium, home of the Blue Jays, in Toronto.

The announcement comes just days after the Blue Jays, owned by Rogers, won a division title for the first time since the early 1990s.

In addition to the Blue Jays, Rogers co-owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs and National Basketball Association Raptors with BCE Inc. Rogers is betting better-quality sports and entertainment content will convince customers to increase their Internet usage -- and therefore their monthly bills.

The cost to upgrade its broadcasting equipment is “not insignificant” but is factored into the company’s investment spending, Scott Moore, head of Rogers’ sports properties said at the announcement.

Rogers also said Monday it would begin offering Internet connections with 1 gigabit speeds to almost its entire service area in 2016, the latest salvo in its fight with BCE, Shaw Communications Inc. and Telus Corp. to offer customers faster speeds.

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