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April 22, 2020 8:20 am  #1


COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

Rogers' profits are way down, thanks to the virus, a drop in demand for wireless and cable, a plunge in ad sales and, perhaps most importantly, the complete shutdown of sports. 

I continue to wonder what might have happened had they not abandoned Shomi and let Bell's Crave take the entire Canadian-owned streaming market. But we'll never know. 

Still, poor Rogers. Their first quarter profits were only $3.42 billion. How will they possibly survive? 

Most here know how much I dislike this company and its practices and I'm fairly sure I'm not alone. But I don't celebrate their hard times. My guess is that this will result in two things - higher prices for subscribers at some point as they try to make up for the lost revenue. And potentially significant layoffs, a tactic they employed in the hundreds during the 2008 recession. That was a terrible time. This is surely worse. 

It's been noted here many times how Corus is struggling. If this continues, Rogers may be another Canadian media property to keep a close eye on.

Rogers pulls 2020 outlook, misses estimates as coronavirus crisis deepens 

 

April 22, 2020 9:54 am  #2


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

Rogers will (or has likely done) try to get some cash back from the NHL for that horrible rights deal considering the 2019/2020 season has been postponed...I'm sure there is a clause that states 'season cancelled' as opposed to 'season postponed' so the NHL doesn't have to give anything back right away...they will continue to raise internet fees...people are using less TV and more internet...and like Corus, they will look to share/syndicate more radio programs nationally...cheaper to put a show somewhere else than hire people to do it in a local market...

 

April 22, 2020 10:48 am  #3


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

"Still, poor Rogers. Their first quarter profits were only $3.42 billion. How will they possibly survive?" 

The $3.42 billion was 1st quarter revenue (sales) and not profit.  Net profit for the quarter was $352 million down from $391 million same quarter last year. And COVID-19 was only a factor near the end of the quarter, so impact was relatively light.

The real affects of the virus and economic recession will be felt by Rogers and all companies much more in the current quarter and for the rest of the year.  This is why they are not making any predictions for 2020, because they don't know.  The COVID-19 pandemic and the results of the related recession are just beginning.

Rogers and Bell traditionally make the real big money in their other divisions more than broadcast/media,

It will be interesting to see what arrangement they have or can make with the NHL. Gary Bettman is a tough New York lawyer and negotiator, only plays hardball, so any concessions or changes as Johnny B stated would be a clause in the contract, he is not known to negotiate changes. 

Shomi was losing money and would have been even now.  Rogers was wise to dump it and let Bell have the business. Crave has only been profitable in the last year or so, and even then not a huge money maker for Bell.

Crave has improved and is starting to have success with their original productions. Bell purchasing the Pinewood Studios in Toronto last year indicates they may be planning more co-productions with international producers and ultimately some of these new ventures will likely end up on Crave and their specialty channels, and CTV as original programming. 

Last edited by paterson1 (April 22, 2020 10:50 am)

 

April 22, 2020 12:04 pm  #4


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

I think my point is that while Crave took a while to catch fire, it was foreseeable that it would someday be successful and an eventual moneymaker. By getting hold of HBO, Starz and Showtime properties, all out of the U.S., it's practically assured that it has enough exclusive content that many will want to subscribe. 

The fact it has no de facto Canadian-based competition (Netflix, Disney+ et al are all American-based) only makes those rights easier to get. And Rogers is left with nothing or no way to catch up, as this new way of watching TV becomes more and more the norm - especially given the unforeseen enforced stay-at-home condition created by the virus. 

Oddly, Ted Rogers was often cited as a visionary who could see where the future of technology lay, and more often than not, got there first. The loss of Shomi, to my mind, proves how different the company is without his guidance. I wonder if he'd still been around if they would have abandoned the thing as readily as they did. Now they're essentially shut out of that market and playing catch-up would be prohibitively expensive - if they could even find content to use on it, since Bell owns most of it.

     Thread Starter
 

April 22, 2020 12:57 pm  #5


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

     Thread Starter
 

April 22, 2020 1:35 pm  #6


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

"The fact it has no de facto Canadian-based competition (Netflix, Disney+ et al are all American-based) only makes those rights easier to get. And Rogers is left with nothing or no way to catch up, as this new way of watching TV becomes more and more the norm - especially given the unforeseen enforced stay-at-home condition created by the virus."

 
Crave does have some Canadian based competition with CBC Gem, which actually is not bad and not talked about much here. And the new Corus STACKTV which is teamed up with Amazon Prime would be Canadian based competition for Crave as well.  So there is some, and who knows Rogers may eventually want to get back into the game.

Sort of like when Bell initially purchased CTV then sold most of the network and it's specialty channels only to turn around and buy them all back years later.   But I agree it will be harder for Rogers now, and they definitely will need to partner or have an alliance with a US or foreign service if they are going to get in the streaming game again. The upside is that Canada is a relatively small market and outside interests seem open to partner with Canadian media, which in a business context is better for both.

Last edited by paterson1 (April 22, 2020 1:36 pm)

 

April 22, 2020 1:48 pm  #7


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

You think CBC Gem is a competitor to Crave? I guess in name only, but I'm willing to wager there's no real competition. CBC's service is an afterthought to Bell's. There really is no comparison between the two other than they're both offered on the web in Canada. I have never heard anyone talk about the CORUS service, and in effect, it's an Amazon Prime offshoot or add-on. 

Either way, love it or hate it, I would argue that Crave has become the de facto "Netflix"-like service in Canada. And it basically goes it alone here. CBC Gem could only wish it had the numbers - or the programming!  

     Thread Starter
 

April 22, 2020 1:55 pm  #8


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

I think Crave getting the exclusive streaming rights for HBO was the nail in the coffin for Shomi - and Rogers never stood a chance since Bell already had the TV rights once they swallowed Astral. Crave benefited from years of aggressive expansion by both Bell and Astral.


 
 

April 22, 2020 2:18 pm  #9


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

I tend to agree, Once they got HBO and added Starz and Showtime, the writing was on the wall. Or screen. 

But in those early days, Rogers could have bid for those shows as well. The fact that they didn't is one reason why there's no Shomi to show you. Would they do it differently if they could turn back the clock? Hard to say, but seeing where the industry is going, they might just reconsider. 

     Thread Starter
 

April 22, 2020 2:26 pm  #10


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

Don't forget: TMN begat Crave. Having premiere movies available was a brilliant stroke of a pen.

 

April 22, 2020 2:30 pm  #11


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

RadioAaron wrote:

I think Crave getting the exclusive streaming rights for HBO was the nail in the coffin for Shomi - and Rogers never stood a chance since Bell already had the TV rights once they swallowed Astral. Crave benefited from years of aggressive expansion by both Bell and Astral.

And Bell  is by far the best at cross promotion and tie in's of their properties. Rogers, Corus, CBC etc don't do this nearly as well. In fact in my opinion Bell is doing a better job of this than many US companies.

Sure CBC Gem is competition, they are in the same business, and I never said they were any threat to Crave or Netflex.  I have no idea what Gem's numbers are but they have really been expanding their offerings and movies, and more foreign content.  Naturally they are not in the same league as Crave or Netflix but for what it is worth, I know people that really enjoy their content and movies. And these friends also subscribe to Netflix and Disney, but have mentioned various times how good Gem is with some great content and programming. 

STACKTV is relatively new and Corus has only been seriously advertising it for a few months.  Corus is finally taking a page from Bell with much better cross promotion with STACK, Global, specialty channels and radio.  So let's see how this rolls out and see if STACK and Amazon have anymore add on services like Crave.

Last edited by paterson1 (April 22, 2020 2:36 pm)

 

April 22, 2020 2:58 pm  #12


Re: COVID-19 Hitting Rogers Profits Hard

I tried Stack, paid for the service and got commercials outside of the live channels... not impressed, no longer a sub