Rogers cuts new ten-year tech and product deal with Comcast

Rogers, Canada's largest cable operator, has inked a new, ten-year deal to gain access to Comcast's latest video streaming devices and broadband gateways.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

April 24, 2024

3 Min Read
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(Source: Vittaya Sinlapasart/Alamy Stock Photo)

Rogers Communications will continue to take advantage of Comcast's product roadmap under a new ten-year deal that covers Comcast's latest wave of video streaming devices, broadband gateways and home security products.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the agreement should allow Comcast to drive more scale out of the products, technologies and software platforms it is developing for its own use.

And it also means that Rogers, Canada's largest cable operator, will continue to tap into technologies and products developed by Comcast. Rogers, which merged with fellow Canadian operator Shaw Communications about a year ago, ended Q1 2024 with 2.72 million video customers and 4.18 million broadband subscribers.

Rogers' current-gen pay-TV product, Ignite TV, is powered by Comcast's X1 platform through a technology syndication agreement. Comcast has similar X1 syndication deals with Cox Communications and Canada's Videotron. Rogers' X1 syndication agreement also tied into a long-term strategic deal signed between the companies in late 2016. Prior to today's announcement, Rogers has also adopted Comcast designs for DOCSIS 3.1 gateways and other whole-home networking products.

Rogers tunes in Comcast's 'EntertainmentOS'

Under the new, ten-year deal, Rogers will deploy products powered by EntertainmentOS, Comcast's global operating system for streaming devices and smart TVs. Products that feature EntertainmentOS include the Xumo Stream Box, a streaming device that supports a wide range of apps and services (including select operator pay-TV apps) and an integrated guide and voice remote. Comcast, Charter Communications and Mediacom Communications are currently deploying the Xumo Stream box (Charter and Comcast lead the Xumo streaming joint venture).

Xumo TVs sold at retail in the US are also powered by EntertainmentOS, but it was not immediately clear if smart TVs will tie into the new agreement between Comcast and Rogers. Rogers has been asked for more detail on what specific EntertainmentOS-based products it will deploy in Canada.

Update: Additional commercial details, including device details, will be shared closer to launch, a Rogers official said in response to questions.

Comcast confirmed a report from Wednesday that the new Rogers streaming device won't be the Stream Box. Instead, Rogers will use a white-label device that runs Comcast's software, similar to devices powered by EntertainmentOS that are distributed to Sky customers in Germany and the UK (Comcast owns Sky) and Foxtel customers in Australia.

Rogers seems keen on EntertainmentOS' ability to integrate and aggregate streaming services from multiple sources. Citing new research commissioned by the operator, Rogers said some 55% of Canadians believe the number of streaming apps available is overwhelming, and that accessing all streaming apps on a unified platform has risen to become the most appealing TV feature.

Rogers' new deal with Comcast also covers Comcast's latest broadband gateways, including those developed for the cable industry's "10G" initiative, which is focused on symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds, lower latencies and enhanced security.

One likely candidate is the XB10, Comcast's first DOCSIS 4.0 gateway. The XB10 is equipped with Wi-Fi 7 and a new "unified" DOCSIS chipset from Broadcom that supports both options of DOCSIS 4.0: Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX), Comcast's primary approach to D4.0 network upgrades, and Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD).

Update: Rogers has DOCSIS 4.0 on its roadmap and has been testing the technology, but is not yet releasing many specifics.

"We plan to bring the best of DOCSIS 4.0 to Canadians, building off of Comcast's roadmap," the Rogers official said, noting that more details will become available closer to launch.

Rogers noted it will be the first Canadian operator to deploy Comcast's new "Storm-Ready WiFi" product, which is equipped with cellular backup and a rechargeable battery. Comcast's version of the product provides up to 16 hours of backup connectivity and uses Verizon's mobile network as the backup. Rogers operates its own mobile network.

Rogers said it will also offer new home security hardware, including sensors, from Comcast to complement Self Protect, Rogers' smart home service/platform that today supports connected products such as cameras and doorbells.

The Toronto-based operator said it will announce commercial details as products and services linked to the Comcast agreement are made available starting later this year.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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