Rogers’ Comcast X1-powered IPTV platform will soft launch in Q1 2018

Rogers head office with logo

During Rogers’ recent Q3 2017 earnings call, the Canadian telecom giant revealed that its upcoming IPTV platform, which is set to be powered by U.S. telecom Comcast’s X1 technology, will soft launch in Q1 2018.

Rogers’ CEO Joe Natale also stated that an internal employee trial related to the company’s upcoming X1 platform will launch next month. On the call, Natale said the following regarding impending launch of Rogers’ IPTV platform.

“We’re going to really work hard to iron out what I believe at this point will largely be process issues, order issues et cetera, plus anything else on the platform side through the course of that trial. And then we’ll have in late Q1 right now as the plan a soft commercial launch. A soft commercial launch meaning we’ll kind of open up the universe of customers to a broader set of employees and also a portion of our customer base with really the goal of hardening our capabilities in further,” said Natale.

Rogers shelved its own proprietary IPTV platform offering in late 2016, leading to the company recording a non-cash asset impairment charge ranging between $475 million CAD and $525 million. Comcast, the company providing the technology powering Rogers’ IPTV platform, is one of the largest cable and internet service providers in the United States.

Rogers’ Q3 2017 results are strong, with the the carrier’s revenue coming to $3.581 billion CAD, a number that is up three percent over the same period last year. Focusing in on specific wireless numbers, Rogers netted $2.138 billion, up five percent from Q3 2016. Wireless revenues now represent 59.7 percent of the carriers total revenue.

Fibe TV, Bell’s IPTV platform and Rogers’ main competition in the space, launched back in 2015.

Update 10/19/17 6:04: Updated with direct quotes from Rogers’ Q3 earnings call transcript.

Update 10/19/17 11:50: The story has been updated to reflect Rogers’ CEO Joe Natalle’s comments regarding the carrier’s IPTV platform during the company’s Q2 2017 earnings call.

Source: Rogers, Seeking AlphaGreg O’Brien, Christine Dobby