Broadcaster Magazine

Rogers, Shaw swap cable assets

Rogers Communications of Toronto and Shaw Communications of Calgary have swapped cable assets in Ontario and British Columbia.

Under the deal, Shaw will pick up Rogers’ cable assets in British Columbia, primarily in the Vancouver market, in exchange for Shaw’s cable operations in Ontario and Quebec.

“These transactions will continue our clustering strategy in Central and Eastern Canada,” Ted Rogers, president and chief executive of Rogers, said in a release.

The new cable operations, when combined with Rogers’ proposed merger with Videotron, will create a super-cluster of approximately 3.5 million customers in Ontario and Quebec connected by fibre.

“We are also looking forward to serving our approximately 200,000 new customers in the province of New Brunswick,” added Rogers.

The deal will also make Shaw Communications the most clustered and interconnected cable company in Western Canada with approximately 1.86 million subscribers. Shaw pays $75.9 million for gaining 23,000 more subscribers.

The deal also involves the merger of @Home Canada and Excite Canada into a high speed Internet portal. Rogers will be a majority owner with 51 per cent while Shaw and Excite@Home will own 22.5 per cent each. Cogeco and Moffat Communications will also be invited to become partners. The deal is still subject to CRTC approval.

Rogers will invest $125 million for 49 per cent of a new “Internet backbone” company involving Shaw and Vancouver-based 360networks.

In March, Shaw made a major investment in the global fibre-optic network company.