Rogers is Canada's second-biggest communications group (behind BCE), and one of its best-known and most iconic businesses. There are three principal divisions. Rogers Wireless is the country's leading mobile telecoms provider, with 10.8m voice and data subscribers at the end of 2019, representing 33% overall share. Subsidiary prepaid brands include Fido and Chatr. Rogers Cable is Canada's #2 service provider by subscribers, offering basic cable, digital cable and high-speed internet services, operating mainly in the Eastern and Central areas of Canada. The group served some 1.6m cable TV customers and 2.5m cable broadband subscribers. Rogers Ignite is the group's OTT streaming TV service, launched in 2018. It had 473k subscribers in 3Q 2020. A joint attempt with Altice to acquire and break-up rival broadband operator Cogeco was rejected in 2020. Rogers remains a minority shareholder in Cogeco. The group's third arm is Rogers Media, which owns a broad portfolio of television, radio, consumer and business publishing interests. This is increasingly focused on sports broadcasting led by sports cable station Rogers Sportsnet, and an accompanying streaming channel. The company has exlcusive broadcast rights to NHL games, and owns the Toronto Blue Jays MLB team as well as a large stake in a collection of other sports teams. The media portfolio also includes more than 50 radio stations, national shopping network The Shopping Channel, multicultural broadcaster OMNI, local news network City, and a sizeable collection of magazines including Maclean's, Chatelaine and Hello! Assembled by founder Ted Rogers in a series of bold acquisitions since the 1960s, it was one of the first companies worldwide to assemble a "quad play" offering which encompassed both wireless and fixed line telecoms, as well as cable and internet. Rogers is also involved in radio and print media as well as video sales and rentals. The group was led by its founder right up until his death at the end of 2008, and is still controlled by his family. Son Edward Rogers is chairman and his mother and two sisters sit on the board. Even without Rogers himself at its head, the business is well-positioned to maintain its commanding position in Canada's communications sector. Joe Natale is CEO. Revenues for 2019 were C$15.1bn with net income of C$2.0bn. Wireless accounts for more than half of revenues.
Capsule checked 22nd January 2021
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Historical profile information for Rogers
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Oct 2016: Canadian telecoms and media giant Rogers said Guy Laurence has stepped down abruptly after three years as CEO. No reason was given for Laurence's departure, but net profits for the latest quarter more than halved, despite a small increase in revenues and good growth in the mobile division. The decline reflects write-offs against failed streaming service Shomi, a would-be rival to Netflix that failed to find an audience. Laurence will be replaced as CEO by Joe Natale, a former head of rival telecoms group Telus.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Nov 2014: Upstart media group Vice unveiled its latest partnership with a more traditional established peer, announcing a $100m joint venture with Canadian group Rogers to develop Canadian-focused news and entertainment content. Rogers is Canada's second largest communications group and the local leader in mobile and cable TV. Vice will oversee the daily management of a newly created "state of the art" studio in Toronto, whose output will be distributed primarily via Rogers' various broadcast platforms. It could also lead to the launch of Vice's first branded TV channel in Canada. The group is in similar negotiations for the US with local partner A&E Networks. Vice's other content and investment partners include HBO, for whom it produces a youth-oriented current affairs show, and 21st Century Fox. Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith said "This is a total experiment. People have been talking about a convergence of mobile, online and TV for a long time, and I believe we are going to be the first to ever program one."
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Aug 2014: Two of Canada's leading media groups have teamed up to launch their own rival to Netflix. Rogers and Shaw will launch new service Shomi in November, offering on-demand streaming via mobile devices, online or via the Xbox 360 network. At launch it will offer around 11,000 hours of TV content as well as 1,200 movies for a monthly subscription of C$8.99. Although there is some overlap with content also offered by Netflix a large proportion will be exclusive to Shomi.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th May 2014: The new CEO of Canadian media & telecoms group Rogers announced a complete overhaul of the company's management structure, designed to provide greater agility. Guy Laurence joined Rogers at the end of last year from Vodafone UK, and the new structure bears a passing resemblance to that of his former employer. "When you remove overlap and reduce bureaucracy, and you create agility, then it takes less people in management," Laurence told the media. "So there will be job losses at the management level. No doubt of this." Among the most noticeable changes were the abrupt departures of top group marketers John Boynton and Shelagh Stoneham, and the creation of new roles of group COO Mike Adams and Rogers Media's SVP marketing Dale Hooper. They become chief customer officer and chief brand officer respectively. Former BlackBerry marketing head Frank Boulben joins the company as chief strategy officer.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Mar 2014: Canadian telecoms and cable group Rogers Communications, one of the country's top advertisers, reappointed Publicis as its lead agency following a three month review contested by seven other agencies. Publicis has held the account for the past seven years, and has now had its brief widened to cover Francophone marketing and other disciplines. Proximity retains CRM. The pitch had particular significance for Duncan Bruce, Publicis Canada's chief creative officer and now president. It was his first without brother Andrew Bruce, promoted to Publicis North America CEO last year. "It was the first time in 15 years I have presented without my brother," he said. "It felt like I was presenting without my right arm."
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