CRTC's Jean-Pierre Blais Slams Rogers, Shaw Over Shomi Shutdown

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OTTAWA — The head of Canada's broadcast regulator criticized Rogers and Shaw for shutting down Shomi — a platform he called the future of content.

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in prepared remarks for a speech in Ottawa today that he couldn't help but be surprised to see major players throw in the towel on the platform so soon after it launched.

Rogers and Shaw announced in late September that its video-on-demand service Shomi would shut down at the end of this month. They launched the service in November 2014.

jean pierre blais
Jean-Pierre Blais, chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, addresses the Canadian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 in Ottawa. (Photo: The Canadian Press/Justin Tang)

In his prepared remarks Blais said he wondered if the companies were too used to receiving rents from subscribers every month in a protected ecosystem, rather than rolling up their sleeves in order to build a business without regulatory intervention and protection.

Neither Rogers nor Shaw immediately responded to a request for comment.

Blais gave the speech in Ottawa at the annual conference of the Canadian chapter of the International Institute of Communications.