We’ve never been shy about our passion for sports at Rogers. And this morning we have cemented our sports leadership with a landmark 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement with the National Hockey League that includes national rights on all platforms in all languages. The agreement begins with the 2014/15 season and continues through the 2025/26 season.
The deal is big news for hockey fans and for Rogers customers. It includes national rights across TV broadcasts, internet and mobile streaming, as well as all linear and digital highlights including condensed games and video archives. On any given night, Rogers will provide multiple game coverage on up to nine TV channels (including City and Sportsnet) plus digital and radio.
And we’re going to partner with CBC for English-language broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada and with TVA for all national French-language multimedia rights.
Here’s what people are saying about the deal:
“Sports content is a key strategic asset and we’ve been investing significantly to strengthen our sports offering to Canadians. Canadians are passionate about hockey, and through this landmark partnership with the NHL we’ll be able to bring hockey fans more games and more content on their platform of choice. We are proud to select CBC as our partner to carry on the Hockey Night in Canada tradition for Canadians. We are also excited about our long-standing sports alliance with TVA Sports and Quebecor, which will use its many channels and platforms to deliver French-language NHL coverage.” — Rogers president and CEO Nadir Mohamed
“Our fans always want to explore deeper and more emotional connections to NHL hockey, and that is precisely what Rogers has promised to deliver over the next 12 years – channeling the reach of its platforms and the intensity of its passion for the game into an unparalleled viewing experience.” — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
“Our vision is to build on the NHL’s legacy in Canada with an emphasis on storytelling, innovation, and technology, weaving the NHL, its teams, and its stars even deeper into the fabric of Canadian culture.” — Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media.
In last week’s Speech from the Throne the federal government came out in favour of more flexible TV packages for Canadian consumers.
This is something we’ve been advocating for years because we know it’s important for our customers.
“We are fighting aggressively for more-flexible packaging options,” Rogers senior vice president of content David Purdy told the Reuters news service last month.
Two years ago, we piloted a “pick and pay” cable TV service for our customers in London, Ontario. What we learned is that there are very real structural barriers that prevent us from delivering what customers want on a broad scale.
We look forward to an open dialogue with Ottawa, and to participating in the CRTC’s consultation on the future of television, which will launch on October 24. It’s an opportunity to hear from Canadians and to support changes in broadcasting regulations that will give Canadians more flexible packaging options. We encourage you to make your views known at www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/talktv-parlonstele.htm.
Do you want more flexibility in your cable TV packages?
Three years ago you told us you wanted to share internet plans across all your devices. And way back in 2010, we responded, becoming the first service provider in Canada to announce data sharing plans.
Today we have more than one million customers sharing data between devices and family members. With our family plans, customers get one convenient bill to manage, plus unlimited talk and text, and a large bucket of data to share with the whole family. Individual plans allow customers to share their voice, text and data across all of their devices, including phones, tablets and sticks.
While Rogers customers have been at the forefront of data sharing, we’re working to make it even easier for families to share data across their connected tablets and smart phones. Stay tuned to RedBoard for the details and for more news on data sharing later this year.
Picture this: It’s the coldest day of a harsh Canadian winter and you’re trudging through a metre of snow to get to a curling bonspiel. The bitter wind is blowing in your eyes and the snowflakes are so big you can’t tell your polar bear from the caribou.
What if you could pull your toque down over your eyeballs and see a visualization of the street, maps, hockey scores and wildlife in vibrant colours right on the wool of your toque?
Well now you can – with the new Rogers Toque, coming this fall to Rogers retail locations.
“Glass-é is pass-é, but wool is cool,” said Rogers Chief Hat Technology Officer Abril Foosdhay. “Through the science of science, we have reinvented wearable technology for the Canadian climate.”
The Rogers Toque connects seamlessly to any LTE-powered smartphone providing the fastest and most reliable toque technology on the planet.
How does it work?
“The Rogers Toque essentially displays exactly what you would see in front of you except it does it on the wool toque that covers your eyes and prevents you from seeing exactly what you would have seen if there weren’t wool in front of your eyes,” Ms. Foosdhay explained.
Other features of the Rogers Toque include:
- A built in stereo sound system
- Sensors that monitor your brain frequency as you listen to music and plays Canadian hits by Celine Dion, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber or Nickelback depending on your mood
- Keeps your head warm
We don’t have pricing or launch timing yet, but click here to preregister for more information.
Happy April Fools’ Day from Rogers!
Zombies look better in HD. So do meth chefs and sixties-era ad execs.
Under a new agreement with AMC, Rogers digital customers will be able to watch shows like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad in HD by the end of March. That’s in time for the season finale of The Walking Dead and ahead of the two hour season premiere of Mad Men on April 7.
The multi-year deal also allows you to access on-demand versions of your favourite shows soon after the TV debut. In addition, AMC content will be available to Rogers customers across multiple platforms.
Over the last few days, we’ve been clear that – despite reports to the contrary – we had no absolutely no intention of dropping AMC. It’s unfortunate that some of you were worried by rumours about the channel going dark. In our business, contract negotiations with content partners are routine. Our goal is to get the best programming while keeping costs down for you. We believe we’ve accomplished that in these negotiations.
So, with that out of the way a more important question: Which character from an AMC program would you most want by your side in an HD zombie apocalypse: Michonne or Darryl from The Walking Dead? How about Don or Joan from Mad Men? Or maybe Walter or Gus from Breaking Bad?
Update March, 20, 2013: AMC HD is now available to Rogers Digital TV customers in Ontario on channel 482.
Keith McArthur is VP of Social Media at Rogers
You love zombies as much as we do. We’ve seen it in your e-mails, your tweets, and your Facebook posts. Some of your favourite shows (and ours!) are on AMC – shows like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
You want to keep AMC on Rogers. And so do we.
In fact, we have been negotiating with AMC so we can keep bringing you these great shows. These types of negotiations with our programming partners are routine. Our goal is to keep costs down for you and that means negotiating to get the best possible rates on the best programming.
But last night, AMC surprised us with a campaign that alarmed our customers with allegations that AMC was about to go dark on Rogers.
Let’s be clear: We have no intention of dropping AMC. Negotiations are ongoing and we expect to reach a positive outcome. Let’s hope AMC is as committed as we are to saving the zombies on Rogers.
Update March 1: Good news! Under a multi-year deal, Rogers customers will be getting AMC in HD by the end of March. Full details are here.
Keith McArthur is VP of Social Media at Rogers
From Moncton, NB to Victoria, BC Rogers will be launching our next generation LTE services in 28 more cities in 2012. Add that to the seven markets where we’ve already launched and we’ll be in a total of 35 of Canada’s top markets by the end of 2012, covering 60 per cent of the Canadian population.
One year ago, on July 7, 2011, I was lucky enough to join a team of Rogers network engineers for the historic moment they lit up Ottawa with Canada’s first LTE network. It was a fun day, marked with flashmobs and a mobile demonstration of broadband speeds on our LTE bus as it moved through the streets of Ottawa.
The excitement from Ottawa was contagious. We’ve heard from you about the amazing ways LTE is changing your lives. Many of you have reached out to us to let us know you want LTE in your city. And we’re investing to deliver – approximately $2.2 billion in wireless capital investments across Canada in 2011 and 2012, including close to $500 million to bring the first LTE network to the majority of Canadians by the end of 2012. And we’re not resting there. More cities will be launched in 2013. Here’s a complete list of markets where the Rogers LTE experience is already live:
- Montreal and surrounding area
- Ottawa and surrounding area
- St. John’s
- Toronto and surrounding area
- Vancouver and surrounding area
And here’s a list of where our LTE network will be live by the end of the year:
- St. Catharines
- Quebec City
Keith McArthur is VP of Social Media at Rogers
UPDATE (December 5, 2012, 9:10 a.m.): Rogers now expects to launch LTE in Winnipeg next year. Rogers offers the largest and growing selection of the most popular LTE smartphones, tablets and mobile Internet devices. LTE-enabled, devices work on the Rogers 4G HSPA+ network in Manitoba today and will be ready when we launch LTE in Manitoba. In addition, as Rogers customers travel across Canada their Rogers device will automatically benefit from LTE coverage in the many markets where LTE has already launched. The Rogers LTE network is available in select Canadian cities; visit rogers.com/lte for coverage details.
It was about three years ago that we first started talking to customers on Twitter with our @RogersBuzz and @RogersHelps accounts. We knew the conversation wouldn’t always be positive. Today we were reminded that it can sometimes be very negative.
Last night, we launched a campaign to promote our Rogers One Number service on Twitter. It seemed like a natural. Our analysis of social media conversations showed this was the most positive thing Rogers has ever done since we started tracking online conversations in 2009. Customers told us they loved this free service that allows them to extend their wireless number to their computer.
But as you’ll read today in the Toronto Star and elsewhere, our campaign to promote the #Rogers1Number hashtag is being used as an opportunity for customers to highlight any number of concerns or complaints about Rogers.
But you know what? We’re okay with that. We’re in social media to listen, not just to talk. So we’re reading all the comments and helping as many customers as possible. We’ve been listening to customer feedback in social media for years and have made many changes to our products and services as a result.
A big part of why we launched RedBoard is to hear your feedback. So if you’ve found RedBoard for the first time today through the #Rogers1Number hashtag, please take a moment to fill in our survey. This will help us in our efforts to constantly improve our services and the customer experience.
Keith McArthur is VP of Social Media at Rogers
I couldn’t live without my gadgets and I’m not alone.
According to research we released yesterday in the first Rogers Innovation Report, Canadians love their cell phones.The vast majority of Canadian smartphone and tablet owners (85%) say they’re attached to their devices.
How attached? Well, one in 10 (11%) say they wouldn’t want to live without them. And four in 10 (39%) Canadians say they sleep with their devices within arm’s reach – either beside them on the nightstand or in their beds.
Younger Canadians are even more attached to their devices. Among Canadians aged 18 to 24, three-quarters (76%) sleep with their phones within arm’s reach and one in four (23%) snuggle up with their devices in bed.
And we want to use them everywhere. One in four Canadians (23%) want to use their devices in the bathroom, with a minority (3%) even wanting to use their devices while taking a bath or shower.
Canadian smartphone and tablet users are also optimistic that new wireless technologies will keep making their lives better. Some 68% of Canadians surveyed said voice interaction with devices, such as Apple’s Siri, will make their lives better, while 61% feel using their devices for purchases will do the same.
What about you? How attached are you to your device? What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever used your cell?
Keith McArthur is Vice President of Social Media at Rogers
At Rogers we pride ourselves on bringing you the newest technologies first.
We were the first carrier in Canada to launch an LTE network. We’ve quickly expanded that network to become the first carrier to offer LTE in four of Canada’s largest cities. And we were the first Canadian carrier to sell an LTE stick and LTE tablet.
It’s this commitment to being first that has allowed us to secure a very limited number of Samsung Galaxy S II LTE smartphones that we’re shipping to a handful of customers on the Rogers Reservations System today.
While we wish we could get this device to everyone who has reserved the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE on the reservations system today, we’re thrilled to be able to deliver on our first-to-market commitment by shipping Canada’s first LTE smartphones.
We’re also excited to confirm that we’ll continue to fulfill orders for the device as early as next week and expect to have enough devices for everyone in the reservations system.
UPDATE (November 3, 2011, 4:26 p.m): We are pleased to confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE devices have arrived and we will begin shipping tomorrow to all customers on the Rogers Reservation System. Please note, as we are trying to get the devices to customers as quickly as possible, delivery status on the Rogers Reservation System will say “in progress” today and remain that way until Monday. The majority of devices will arrive next Monday with the potential for some to arrive as early as Saturday.
Keith is Vice President of Social Media at Rogers