Rogers Cable is Canada's largest cable television service provider with about 2.25 million television customers, and over 930,000 Internet subscribers, primarily in Southern & Eastern Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. Rogers Cable is a division of Rogers Communications Partnership, itself wholly owned by Rogers Communications Inc.
Rogers was one of the first cable-system operators in Canada, having secured licences covering much of the then city of Toronto in the mid-1960s. One of the first important acquisitions was in 1979, when Ted Rogers purchased a controlling interest in Canadian Cablesystems (CCL), which operated cable companies across Ontario, including the then City of North York, Oshawa/Whitby, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, and Newmarket, and joined the CCL properties with his cable interests. In 1980, Rogers purchased Premier Cable, which controlled the system in Vancouver, parts of Ontario, and had investments in Irish cable companies in Dublin, Galway and Waterford. In 1986 Rogers sold their shares of Irish companies to the Irish state broadcaster (RTÉ) and state telecoms company (Eircom); these cable companies are now part of the UPC Ireland network.
In 1981, Rogers entered the U.S. cable market, obtaining franchises in Orange County, California; Minneapolis; and Portland, Oregon, and purchased the cable system in San Antonio. These assets were acquired by Paragon Cable in 1989 for over US$1 billion; Paragon in turn was acquired by Time Warner Cable several years later.
Rogers continued to buy other operators; the largest such acquisition came with Rogers' 1994 acquisition of Maclean-Hunter, at that time also among the largest cable operators. Through its acquisition of Maclean-Hunter, Rogers has also briefly owned cable systems in the United States, which it promptly sold to Comcast in 1994. In March 2000, Rogers agreed to swap systems with Shaw Communications, exchanging its systems in British Columbia for Shaw systems in Quebec and Ontario. The deals gave Rogers and Shaw more consistent service footprints in Eastern and Western Canada respectively.
On September 9, 2009, Rogers Cable filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent Shaw Communications from acquiring Mountain Cablevision of Hamilton, Ontario, on the basis that the two companies had agreed not to encroach on each other's respective territories (Rogers in Eastern Canada, Shaw in Western Canada), and speculated that Shaw would make other acquisitions in Eastern Canada after buying Mountain. Shaw argued that the agreement violated unfair competition laws. The suit was quickly thrown out by the Ontario Superior Court, arguing that the non-compete agreement limited competition, and that Rogers' claims of future harm were "speculative in the extreme". The sale would eventually go through. In January 2013, as part of a larger exchange of assets between the two companies, Shaw pulled out of Hamilton and sold the Mountain Cablevision business to Rogers.
In 2010, a corporate reorganization resulted in Rogers Cable being dissolved as a distinct legal entity, and its operations absorbed into Rogers Communications Partnership, a general partnership jointly held by Rogers Communications and its subsidiary Fido Solutions.
In October 2015, Rogers announced that it would begin to offer 4K-compatible set-top boxes, beginning in Toronto and expanding to its other markets in 2016. Telecasts of 4K sporting events from Sportsnet and TSN began to be carried on these set-top boxes in January 2016.
In December 2016, Rogers announced that it had scrapped a planned project to deploy an IPTV-based television platform, and would instead license Comcast's X1 platform Shaw launched its own service based on X1, BlueSky, in January 2017. The new platform, Rogers Ignite TV, is currently in employee testing.
Rogers Cable's territories currently consist of: most larger communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, nearly all of New Brunswick, selected areas of eastern Quebec near the New Brunswick border (including Carleton-sur-Mer), and in Ontario: nearly all of the Toronto area as well as the areas of Ottawa, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Barrie, and parts of Hamilton. With the Rogers takeover of Aurora Cable Internet, Aurora, Ontario, along with most areas in York Region will also be added in the Canadian cable territories area.
Over the years, and at various times, Rogers has owned all or part of various cable operators serving areas across Canada, including Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, and Northern Ontario. All of the systems in Western Canada were traded to Shaw Communications in late 2000, in exchange for that company's assets in Ontario and New Brunswick, and many of the others were sold to Cogeco.
Through Rogers Cable, Rogers is the largest shareholder (41.4%) in CPAC, a national public affairs and politics cable channel based in Ottawa, that consists of both an English and French language feeds. CPAC's main programming consists of live and delayed coverage of the House of Commons, and the Senate.
Rogers Cable previously operated a chain of video rental stores known as Rogers Plus; it launched as Rogers Video in 1988, after which it grew by acquiring smaller chains. The Rogers Video chain and Rogers Wireless retail stores were merged into a single chain known as Rogers Plus in 2007. After 23 years in business, Rogers Plus discontinued movie and game rentals in 2011, and the chain's remaining locations were re-tooled as Rogers stores for selling the company's services.
In the beginning of 1995, Rogers along with several other cable companies, added a number of new cable channels under a negative option billing plan. Subscribers opting out of paying for the new channels stood to lose much of their existing specialty channel programming. The participating cable companies were hit by both regulatory and public opinion backlash and ultimately were forced to split the negative-option channels into two separately-purchasable blocks, a move which Rogers had initially opposed as "not technologically feasible".
In July 2009, Rogers Cable announced that on August 18, 2009, they will be replacing PBS members WQLN of Erie, Pennsylvania and WPBS-TV of Watertown, New York on its London and Ottawa systems, respectively, with Detroit, Michigan's PBS station, WTVS. A representative for Rogers said that they were replacing WQLN and WPBS for WTVS, as viewers wanted "a feed that has a higher-quality reception." WQLN and WPBS, however, had shown great concern for Rogers' move, as these are the largest cities in the stations' respective coverage areas and much of their pledges come from Rogers viewers. In addition, both stations first heard of the discontinuance not by Rogers, but by their loyal viewers.
On July 30, 2009, it was announced that Rogers will keep WPBS and WQLN on its systems, after both stations announced a fibre-based connection with Rogers. Additional funds will be allocated to complete the transition; while WQLN announced that they will spend $55,000 to provide a connection, WPBS agreed with Rogers not to disclose the cost of the fibre-optic signal for their own station.
The introduction of Rogers' "Navigatr" user interface in mid-2015 was heavily criticized by users for being poorly designed and harder to use. Rogers began to address these issues with a new version it began to deploy in December 2015.
On May 6, 2016, Rogers was criticized when a nightly 2:00 a.m. reboot of NextBox set-top boxes caused viewers to miss the conclusion of a NHL playoff game between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, which had gone to triple-overtime. The broadcast, was, ironically, being carried by Rogers-owned network Sportsnet 360, prompting The Globe and Mail to compare the incident to the Heidi game. A Rogers spokesperson apologized for the incident and stated that they were investigating the issue, as the reboot was not supposed to occur while watching live programming.