Chief executive Brad Shaw says internet and television services will increase. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a price increase for their internet and television services, chief executive Brad Shaw said Thursday after the company’s annual meeting in Calgary.

Shaw’s chief competitor in Western Canada, Telus Corp., has already announced price increases that will take effect Feb. 25.

Shaw told reporters that the details of the cable, internet and wireless company’s price increases haven’t been decided but they will most likely take effect in April.

He said the cost of getting rights to sports programing is getting higher for Shaw and other Canadian television service providers, even though audiences are falling.

“It’s a real concern,” Shaw said. “How are Canadian companies even going to be able to compete?”

He said that Shaw doesn’t get special treatment from Toronto-based Corus Entertainment — a publicly traded company that’s partly owned by the Shaw family and Shaw Communications.

Corus owns more than 40 specialty television channels, some acquired along with the Global television network that it acquired from Shaw in April 2016.

“Even though they’re both family controlled, the family really says (they’ve) got to stand on (their) own,” Shaw said.

He said Corus has had a “fight on its hands” because of competition with other forms of entertainment, such as Netflix, but added that its most recent quarter was promising.

Corus reported last week that its overall revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 30 totalled $467.5 million, up from $457.4 million and above the estimate of $451.2 million. Its television division had the biggest revenue increase, rising to $426.2 million from $415.5 million a year earlier.

Despite the higher first-quarter revenue, Corus profit attributable to shareholders fell to $60.4 million, from $77.7 million a year earlier, partly because of its accounting for a revaluing of a TV brand that will be retired and replaced this year.

Shaw Communications, on the other hand, beat analyst estimates for both profit and revenue over the same period — mainly because of its Freedom Mobile wireless division. Its main cable and internet business, however, saw virtually no revenue growth as it lost video subscribers and home phone customers.

However, the profit margin at Shaw’s wireline residential services was up significantly from last year’s first quarter as management focused on optimizing its consumer business’ by removing costs where possible.

A year ago, Shaw Communications announced a major employee buyout program aimed primarily at its residential consumer business, as part of adopting to a new generation of network technology using the Comcast X1 platform.

Brad Shaw told reporters Thursday that it was “absolutely the right move” given the company’s need to be agile and more automated but added that the loss of 3,000 people “it’s a little bit emotional.”

Just Posted

Police say someone fired paintballs at people outside drug consumption site in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Police in southern Alberta are investigating after they say… Continue reading

Is federal carbon tax killing jobs? Experts say answer isn’t ‘black and white’

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says the federal carbon tax is killing… Continue reading

New book assesses Trudeau government’s record of living up to pledges

OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal… Continue reading

Walk raises awareness, money for overdose awareness in Red Deer

More than 90 people gathered in Red Deer to break the stigma… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP looking for missing man

Ponoka RCMP is asking the public to help find a man who… Continue reading

WATCH: Snakes, lizards and more at the Western Canadian Reptile Expo in Red Deer

The 10th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo is this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday and Sept. 3 The Tony Connelly Singers provide an opportunity to… Continue reading

Extinction bites: countries agree to protect sharks and rays

GENEVA — Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark… Continue reading

Trudeau and Trump hold face to face meeting on sidelines of G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — Justin Trudeau met face-to-face with U.S. President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Study reveals new details of overseas Cold War intelligence effort by Canadians

OTTAWA — Canada enlisted citizens who travelled to Communist countries during the… Continue reading

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — As leaders of the now-fractious Group of Seven countries… Continue reading

Central Alberta Bucs fall to Calgary Wolfpack in crazy AFL Championship game

The Central Alberta Buccanneers came up just short in pursuit of their… Continue reading

Regina police officer charged with impaired driving after hit-and-run

Regina police say a member of the force has been charged after… Continue reading

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

OTTAWA — Samantha Reusch is aiming to help young Canadians identify misinformation… Continue reading

Most Read