shomi OTT, subscriber losses weigh down Shaw Q1 profits

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 17 January 2015

Canadian triple-play provider Shaw Communications has announced a drop-off in its pay-TV subscriber base for its fiscal first quarter.

Consumer cable video subscribers declined by 11,923, while 18,372 satellite video subscribers walked away. The losses flattened first quarter profits by 7.3%, with net income falling to $227 million year-on-year.

Those numbers included higher amortisation and an equity loss related to new streaming service shomi, a joint venture with Rogers Communications that is still in beta. Company CEO Brad Shaw said he was pleased with the results of the service so far, so commercial launch is still on track.

The company did see consolidated revenue of $1.39 billion for the first quarter ended 30 November, 2014, which was up 2% over the comparable period last year. However, total operating income before amortisation was $606 million, a slight decline compared with $608 million last year.

Nonetheless, Shaw played up the company's strengths.

"We are off to a solid start in fiscal 2015 with positive operating momentum across our businesses," he said. "Cable and Internet net growth year-over-year reflects the shift in the competitive dynamic in western Canada. We continue to make decisions and launch initiatives driven by the imperative to bring quality, reliability, innovation and value to the customer and viewer experience. During the quarter we expanded our Wi-Fi hotspots to 55,000 and in November launched shomi, a subscription VOD service with the most popular movies and TV shows available OTT and on set top boxes."

He added: "We welcomed the ViaWest management team and employees to Shaw with the completion of the acquisition in early September and look forward to capitalising on synergies and growing the datacentre platform operations in the North American market."