Netflix Dominating in Canada as Rogers, Shaw Shut Down Shomi

  • Rogers will take C$100 million to C$140 million loss
  • Shaw had already written down the service for C$51 million

Shomi, the streaming service run by Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. to keep Netflix Inc. at bay, is shutting down.

The service, which featured popular shows like The Americans and Mr. Robot, was offered as both a stand-alone subscription to cord-cutting viewers and as an add-on to Rogers and Shaw cable and Internet subscribers. The experiment cost Rogers C$100 million to C$140 million ($75 million to $105 million), a loss it will book in the quarter ending Sept. 30, the Toronto-based company said in a statement. Shaw wrote down its part of the joint venture in July, incurring a C$51 million accounting charge.

“Rogers today thanked its customers who subscribed to Shomi for trying out a Canadian innovation,” Rogers said in its statement. Shomi will go dark at the end of November.

Rogers and Shaw unveiled Shomi in August 2014. It was originally framed as an add-on for loyal customers. The price made it a dollar cheaper than Los Gatos, California-based Netflix’s service. BCE Inc., Canada’s largest media and telecom company, quickly followed with a service of its own called Crave, which has rights to coveted re-runs of HBO like The Sopranos.

Still, Netflix continued to grow rapidly in Canada. This summer, Rogers itself began offering a full year’s worth of Netflix to customers who signed up for a two-year contract for its new 4K TV offering. Research firm Solutions Research Group said in June that 5.2 million Canadian households subscribe to the American service. Solutions Research Group said Crave and Shomi had fewer than 700,000 subscribes combined, though that number may not include users who got the services free as part of their cable packages.

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