Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Rogers On Demand Online is a big pile of fail


Rogers, one of the rarified members of Canada’s cable and wireless oligopoly, has rolled out Rogers on Demand Online, a rather tepid answer to Hulu, the American service that allows U.S internet users to watch television shows on their computers and mobile devices (international users can’t access the service).

But where Hulu offers tons of choices, Rogers on Demand Online has precious little to watch, and what’s there isn’t worth seeing in the first place. If that were the worst of it, Rogers offering would be just another Canadian also-ran digital service, but RODO increases the suck by region-locking almost everything if you aren’t in an area serviced by Rogers cable. As a Rogers Wireless subscriber, I can get onto the site, but since the Rogers hegemon goes from Ontario eastward, I can watch very few of the available shows. That’s right, Rogers region-locks people IN CANADA.

Much as I love living in Canada (socialized medicine, gay marriage being A-OK and opting out of the Iraq war being but three highlights) we’re utterly pathetic when it comes to digital media. I was able to attend the Banff TV Fest this year as part of my scribe duties for Techvibes, and if I ever had any doubt that the TV industry in Canada is headed straight down the toilet, three days of listening to TV execs being utterly clueless about the internet sealed the deal. Here’s hoping Canadians, who have oodles of talent and technical skill, stop chasing the futility of a place in old media, pick up some camcorders, and route around broadcasting straight to the internet.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

2 Responses to “ Rogers On Demand Online is a big pile of fail ”

Jason says:

Of course, Rogers is an ISP too, so when we try to share our new media on the Internet, eg. using BitTorrent, they may just slow it down to “ease congestion.” That’s why we need (1) net neutrality laws, and (2) to split up content providers and content carriers.

Eight companies reinventing online television | Freyburg says:

[…] to online television. They profile everything from Hulu (not available in Canada, and despite Rogers lame attempts, we have no equivalent) to online networks like Revision3 and Next New […]

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