SBD/October 14, 2011/Media

Rogers Communications Will Stream Maple Leaf Games Live On The Web

Rogers will stream regular-season Maple Leafs games live online
Rogers Communications Inc. announced Friday that it will make Maple Leafs games “available on the Web to its digital cable subscribers, who can get access to the Rogers on Demand Online platform,” according to Susan Krashinsky of the GLOBE & MAIL. It marks another step for the cable, Internet and mobile provider “in a larger strategy to push its sports content and offer viewing options on more devices to keep customers within its system.” Rogers last summer began offering Blue Jays games online. The company last March began “offering a handful of Leafs games from the team’s own cable channel, Leafs TV, on the Web,” but now regular-season games “that Rogers broadcasts on its Sportsnet cable channel will be streamed live online for a broader range of subscribers.” Rogers “had to negotiate with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) for extra digital rights, and is now attempting to do the same with competing networks, such as TSN, which have the rights to the remaining Leafs games, and other sports content.” For now, the Maple Leafs content “does not include mobile.” Rogers VP/Video Products David Purdy said, “The reason we bought the Jays was that we felt that in the digital world there was going to be increased migration … to on-demand viewing. With sports, it’s one of the few things you have to watch live for it to have real value.” MLSE does “its own streaming of Leafs games on its Leafs TV website -- including those that are also broadcast on Sportsnet -- and on mobile phones.” MLSE “has been experimenting with pricing schemes for digital viewing” (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/14).
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