OTTAWA - The head of Canada's broadcast regulator criticized Rogers and Shaw for shutting down Shomi -- a platform he called the future of content.
CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in prepared remarks for a speech in Ottawa today that he couldn't help but be surprised to see major players throw in the towel on the platform so soon after it launched.
“The CRTC has watched the development of streaming, video-on-demand services like Crave and Shomi with some interest since they were launched in 2014. It came as a shock, therefore, to hear in September that Rogers and Shaw were closing the doors on Shomi," Blais said.
"Far be it for me to criticize the decisions taken by seasoned business people, but I can’t help but be surprised when major players throw in the towel on a platform that is the future of content—just two years after it launched. I have to wonder if they are too used to receiving rents from subscribers every month in a protected ecosystem, rather than rolling up their sleeves in order to build a business without regulatory intervention and protection.”
Rogers and Shaw announced in late September that its video-on-demand service Shomi would shut down at the end of this month. They launched the service in November 2014.
In his prepared remarks Blais said he wondered if the companies were too used to receiving rents from subscribers every month in a protected ecosystem, rather than rolling up their sleeves in order to build a business without regulatory intervention and protection.
Neither Rogers nor Shaw immediately responded to a request for comment.
Blais gave the speech in Ottawa at the annual conference of the Canadian chapter of the International Institute of Communications.
- With files from BNN