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Canadian cablers take on Netflix with Shomi

Shomi_2Shaw and Rogers are launching Shomi, a new subscription video-on-demand service, which will go head to head with Netflix in the battle for Canadian SVOD customers.

Announcing the new service yesterday, the Canadian cable operator and media companies said that Shomi will use ‘algorithmic technology to help you pick what you actually want to watch’.

The joint venture will be run a standalone entity with its own – as yet unannounced – management.

The partners said there will be 340 series and 11,000 hours of TV shows on Shomi alongside 1,200 feature films. They added that 30% of that content will be Canadian.

A raft of US drama series will be available at launch in November. Several will come from US studio Fox including The Strain, Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, 24: Live Another Day,and Sleepy Hollow.

There will also be MGM-distributed Vikings, NBCU-distributed Chicago Fire and Warner Bros-distributed comedy 2 Broke Girls.

Shomi will be available on connected devices including the Xbox games console. It will cost C$8.99 a month. Netflix also costs C$8.99 a month for new subs (and C$7.99 for customers that signed up before a price hike earlier this year).

Keith Pelley, president, Rogers Media said: “[Canadians] told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. Shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”

Barbara Williams, senior VP, content, Shaw Media, added: “Shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming.”