Today, Rogers debuted Sportsnet Now as part of its Upfront announcement, bringing multi-platform, multi-channel sports programming to iOS, Android and the web.
Free for Sportsnet TV subscribers, Sportsnet Now offers 24/7 live viewing on all seven channels, including Ontario, East, West, Pacific, ONE, 360 (formerly theScore) and World.
The idea of streaming live programming is not new, and Rogers has been bundling it for some time with its Anyplace TV product, but Sportsnet Now represents the first phase of a more mature approach to streaming by the company. For example, the product supports quad-screen viewing, which allows for four simultaneous streams on the web. Four family members or friends can also use the same login on different devices, which is far less restrictive than the company’s streaming offerings have been in the past.
Obviously, Sportsnet Now, being released today, is in preparation for the wealth of NHL content coming to Rogers customers in the fall, after the company spent $5.2 billion for 12 years of broadcasting rights for Canada’s Game. Rogers also promises better NFL Thursday Night Football on Sportsnet Now, which “include[s] multimedia rights and additional games beginning this upcoming season.”
Unlike other Rogers streaming apps, Sportsnet Now doesn’t allow for users to set streaming quality, either over WiFi or cellular. While the quality appears to be better while streaming over WiFi, streaming over 3G or LTE will cost towards one’s Rogers data limit. The service is currently limited to Rogers subscribers, but the company says it is working with other providers to bring Sportsnet Now support, similar to the way Bell has gradually rolled out national support for TMN Go.
Bell recently expanded its sports solution, TSN Go, to include live streaming, allowing four simultaneous steams per account across multiple devices.