Rogers Gears Up for NHL Session - Analyst Blog

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Recently, Rogers Communications Inc. ( RCI ) announced that it will broadcast 500 regular-season National Hockey League (NHL) games in Canada from the next season. In Nov 2013, the company entered into a 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement with NHL for national rights to NHL games on all platforms and languages.

The agreement will include all games, the playoffs and the Stanley Cup final which Rogers will be able to stream live through the Internet on mobile devices, satellite radios and televisions.

The 12-year agreement will start from the 2014-2015 session and will continue up to the 2025-2026 session. Rogers will pay approximately $5 billion to NHL throughout the 12-year term. The company has decided to sublicense the networks to national broadcasters CBC and TVA Sports, to air selected regular and post-season games.

Rogersis the largest telecom operator in Canada with a significant heterogeneous portfolio consisting of wireless, wireline, cable TV and TV broadcasting networks. The company, together with BCE Inc. ( BCE ), completed the acquisition of a 75% stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

With this acquisition, Rogers can deliver high quality sports content anywhere, anytime, on any platform through its wireless/cable networks and broad range of media assets.

Recently, Rogers announced that the company is on the verge of introducing online streaming services to counter severe competitive threat from low-cost online streaming service providers such as Netflix Inc. ( NFLX ) and The new service will be called "ShowMi." The digital rights of the NHL games can be utilized using the "ShowMi" network.

Nevertheless, Rogers' cable operations are currently facing increased competition. BCE Inc.'s entry into cable TV services through its subsidiary Bell Canada has increased competitive pressure. The company is aggressively rolling out IPTV network.

Another competitor, TELUS Corp. ( TU ), is also rapidly gaining market traction. At this juncture, a major deal will NHL will definitely help to strengthen Rogers' top line. Rogers currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: BCE , NFLX , RCI , TU

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