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Summary:

Canadian wireless and cable company Rogers Communications launched its flavor of TV Everywhere today, providing subscribers with more than 1,000 hours of movies, TV, sports and other forms of video entertainment. In beta, Rogers On Demand Online is like other authentication initiatives in the works from […]

Canadian wireless and cable company Rogers Communications launched its flavor of TV Everywhere today, providing subscribers with more than 1,000 hours of movies, TV, sports and other forms of video entertainment. In beta, Rogers On Demand Online is like other authentication initiatives in the works from MSOs like Comcast domestically, which provide web access to premium content, provided the user has a pay-TV subscription.

Rogers has content from 17 production partners and 30 channels including Warner Bros., Food Network Canada and the National Film Board of Canada, as well as other distributors that provide content from U.S. networks to the Great White North.

We aren’t in Canada (obvs), so we can’t check it out, but Raju Mudhar, entertainment reporter for Toronto’s thestar.com, wasn’t that impressed:

[A]fter playing around with it over the weekend, I’d judge it a nice-to-have addition as opposed to something revolutionary. Strangely, the selection does not even match what’s available on Rogers-On-Demand service on my digital cable. The way to judge any new service is if it might actually make you change your existing media habits, and right now, I’m not sure where this will fit in for me.

The logos of 20 content providers are listed, but it’s obvious that they are still filling it up with content. Right now, it’s a mixed bag, with older series like The West Wing and CHiPs (!), a few recent episodes of new series, including Community and Cougar Town and some shorts like the trailer for Ninja Assassin. I watched some of all of the above, and it worked fine for me, although, the real proof happens as more people sign up and try it out.

Any of our Canadian readers care to weigh in? Have you tried it? How well does it work? Here in the U.S., Comcast subscribers are supposed to get its version of On Demand Online by Hanukkah.

  1. Just signed up and tested it out. While there is a wide selection of studios in there, the videos/studio is very limited, kind of like Hulu in that regard I suppose.

    The video player is clean and simple, but the video resolution quality isn’t that great and when I click for full screen it doesn’t stretch to each corner of my screen like it should. It’s more centralized in the middle but does reach both the top and bottom borders of my screen.

    Lots of work to do both on the content selection and video quality side, but the navigation to find videos is easy, possibly because there isn’t a ton to look for.

    The Hulu interface is much better so as Rogers moves forward with this initiative I think they should take a closer look at Hulu and try to replicate that enjoyable experience for Canadians.

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  2. Chris Albrecht Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Thanks for the info, Jeremy! Do you think you’d pay extra for it at this point?

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  3. It’s terrible. Poor selection, and I can barely watch anything because “Rogers Cable is not available in your area.” That’s right, Canadians get geo-restricted in THEIR OWN FREAKIN’ COUNTRY. Apparently the fact that I’m a Rogers Wireless subscriber means nothing, even though it got me access to the site in the first place. I love living in Canada, but our digital backwater status continually grates.

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  4. Chris: if I had an iPhone and it was $0.99/month for a subscription I might pay, but otherwise I likely won’t watch anything of Roger’s online unless a) I can’t find it on-demand on my digital cable service and b)I actually remember that I can access it online.

    Warren: I’m kind of surprised that Rogers gives you access at all to their content online if you only have a mobile account with them. Or do you have cable with Rogers as well?

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  5. [...] talking up the total number of users, page views, and streams it’s collected since its On Demand Online Beta launched in late November. With more than 46,000 customers signed up and nearly 2 million page views in [...]

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  6. [...] Xfinity TV. And ExtendMedia powers the On Demand Online offering of Rogers Communications, which launched its TV Everywhere service in [...]

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  7. [...] The deal is a nice win for Brightcove, which gets a small piece of business from Canadian ISP and communications firm Rogers Communications. Rogers has historically been a client of Brightcove rival thePlatform, which it is using to power its TV Everywhere service. [...]

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