SBD/August 3, 2011/Media

Rogers Expanding Online Sports Streaming To Include Blue Jays, Rogers Cup Coverage

Rogers' service lets fans watch Jays games online, avoiding MLB.TV blackout restrictions
Blue Jays Owner Rogers Communications is allowing fans "to watch live streams of the rest of the Jays' regular season on mobile phones and over the internet," according to Raju Mudhar of the TORONTO STAR. The streaming began with last night's game against the Rays, and fans have to sign up to access the programming. The games are available "to Rogers customers through their Rogers on Demand service and its mobile counterpart," which has a C$5 surcharge. Baseball has "long been leading the way in terms of web offerings of live games, mostly through MLB.TV." But webcasts of those games "are still subject to blackout restrictions -- so many Canadian fans who attempted to use the MLB web service were out of luck, since the entire country is considered to be a part of the Blue Jays home territory." Rogers Senior Dir of Sports & On-Demand Anthony Antonelli: "Up until now you could not watch the Jays on any of those other platforms here, so that's what makes this new and exciting." Mudhar reports Rogers also announced the upcoming Rogers Cup tennis tournament "will also be available." Antonelli: "We're going to carry up to three matches on both platforms for consumers, so fans will have the ability to toggle between men's and women's tournaments" (TORONTO STAR, 8/3). The GLOBE & MAIL's Susan Krashinsky notes the programming is part of Rogers On Demand Online, the company's "version of the well-known 'TV Everywhere' strategy." Rogers VP/Video Products David Purdy said, "Streaming sports and news is a big part of our strategy." He added the company is "actively negotiating with several rights holders" to add more sports content to its Web and mobile platforms. Purdy also indicated that Rogers is "willing to negotiate with competing TV and wireless providers to allow them to provide access to the games" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/3).
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