August 26, 2014 6:15 pm
Updated: August 26, 2014 7:44 pm

Rogers, Shaw launch ‘shomi’ video streaming service


WATCH: Cable television giants Shaw, the parent company of Global News, and Rogers are launching a new video streaming service, aiming to take on Netflix. As Mike Le Couteur reports, it may be the only way for conventional TV to survive in this country.

TORONTO — Shaw Communications and Rogers Communications took the wraps off a new video streaming service on Tuesday that will give Canadians access to thousands of TV shows and movies.

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Video-on-demand service shomi, a partnership between the two companies, will be available beginning in early November online and on tablets, mobile devices, Xbox 360 consoles and set-top boxes.

For about $8.99 a month, shomi will offer past-season episodes of hit shows like Sleepy Hollow, Vikings, Chicago Fire, Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story as well as first-run shows.

“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 Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media, in a release.

WATCH: Rogers Media President Keith Pelley and Shaw Media Senior VP of Content Barbara Williams answers questions about the new “shomi” streaming service

“shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we’re so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market.”

At launch, shomi will boast 11,000 hours of TV shows — including 340 series — and 1,200 movies. Nearly a third of the content will be Canadian.

At a press conference in Toronto, Rogers president Keith Pelley said he hopes shomi will eventually carry original programming.

Williams said while some content can be found on other streaming services, shomi “will have a whole range of content that Netflix has not been able to get their hands on.”

Available to the roughly 4.5 million TV and Internet customers of Rogers and Shaw (parent company of Global News), shomi features a user-friendly interface and algorithmic technology combined with a team of programming experts to help consumers choose what they want to watch.

Up to six profiles per account will be available, and consumers can watch on two devices and their set-top boxes at the same time.

Williams and Pelley said shomi will not replace GO apps or the Rogers on Demand service.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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