& cplSiteName &

Rogers Pencils In X1 Launch for 2018

Mari Silbey

Canadian cable company Rogers is undergoing a period of significant change, but so far it looks like that change is mostly for the better.

In its latest quarterly report, Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) bested analyst earnings estimates with a performance that prompted the company's stock price to soar into record territory. The gains came from Rogers' wireless business, but there was positive news on the cable side of the house as well. Notably, customer churn was down for the fourth quarter in a row, and Rogers appears to be holding reasonably steady overall as it works on new initiatives to boost the cable business going forward.

Among those initiatives, Rogers is developing its new IPTV service based on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s X1 video platform. The plan is to soft launch the service in early 2018, and then expand outward from there. (See also Rogers Embraces 'Comcast North' Strategy.)

"Right now, we're going through a process of methodically going from lab trial to tech trials and employee trials and soft launch and then a full launch," noted CEO Joe Natale. Though he added that, "It will take a number of years before we fully replace the entire base."

For the quarter, Rogers lost 25,000 video subscribers, but gained 11,000 Internet and 2,000 phone subs. Cable revenue was flat compared to the year previous at C$870 million (US$693 million), with Rogers benefiting from the success of its Ignite Internet offerings.

On the wireless side, Rogers reported revenue of C$2.05 billion (US$1.63 billion), up 6% from the prior year. It gained 93,000 net new postpaid wireless subscribers, and 14,000 net new prepaid subs.

All told, Rogers' total revenue for the quarter was C$3.59 billion (US$2.86 billion), matching analyst estimates, and it posted an earnings per share number of C$1.00 (US$0.80), far above analyst estimates of C$0.94 (US$0.75), according to Bloomberg. The company's stock price is up 24% on the year.

Want to know more about video and TV market trends? Check out our dedicated video services content channel here on Light Reading.

One of the big variables on the road to success for Rogers is the company's change in leadership. Natale, a veteran of Telus, took over as CEO in April after former CEO Guy Laurence stepped down abruptly last October. Expectations have been high for Natale, and the Q2 earnings report is a positive start to his tenure. (See Rogers Says See Ya to CEO Laurence.)

In the company's earnings call, Natale emphasized several areas he wants to focus on in the business. They include customer experience, network investments, innovation to drive growth and cost efficiency.

"In short," said Natale, "we are committed to delivering an ever improving experience for our customers while we continue to focus on enhancing the fundamentals, and that is revenue growth to drive higher margins, profit, free cash flow and return on investment as these are the key drivers of shareholder value."

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/21/2017 | 2:01:23 PM
Curious if they'll follow in Comcast's heels and put Netflix on their iteration of the X1? Or is that going to be a Comcast only phenomenon?
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
What Does Automation Mean to You?
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives