A Big First Month for Canada’s TV Everywhere? Well, Big Is Relative

Rogers Communications issued a press release this morning touting the “success” it’s had in the opening month of its TV Everywhere initiative, 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 December, the program didn’t exactly have a bad start — but then again, it’s probably not as big as Rogers might have hoped.

In the cable company’s press release, David Purdy, VP of video product management, is quoted as saying, “With over 1.8 million Rogers On Demand Online page views in just over one month, Canadians are telling us they are ready to take TV beyond the box and have already made Rogers On Demand Online a great Beta launch success.” But let’s put things into perspective: Rogers has about 2.3 million cable subscribers, which means that only 2 percent of its customers have even tried out the service — so it’s not like its subs are rushing to adopt the service.

So why aren’t more people giving it a whirl? It could be due to lack of premium content. Rogers touted 20 content partners and about 1,000 hours of exclusive content at launch, which has grown to more than 1,500 hours at the time of the press release. But 1,000 hours of content isn’t much in the grand scheme of things — not when Comcast’s TV Everywhere service, dubbed Fancast Xfinity TV, launched with more than 12,000 video assets.

And the video that Rogers is offering might not be the most interesting content — even to Canadians. Take, for instance, Structures, “the unique, award-winning architecture and history series showcasing Toronto buildings and heritage that invites viewers to take a fresh look at their surroundings,” or Ride Guide Productions, “a weekly snowboard, freeski and mountain bike television series,” both of which are given as examples of premium video available on the system.

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