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Shaw Expands BlueSky TV Across Western Canada

Following earlier launches in Vancouver and Calgary, Shaw Communications said it has rolled out BlueSky TV, a new offering based on Comcast’s X1 platform, across its footprint in Western Canada.

In addition to mobile apps, BlueSky TV features a cloud-powered interface for set-tops and a voice-based remote for navigation and search.

RELATED: Shaw Launches ‘BlueSky TV,’ Powered by Comcast’s X1 Platform

Shaw said it’s pairing the full region launch of BlueSky TV with an integrated marketing campaign across digital, social, television, radio, billboard and retail space outlets that also introduces “Bingee,” a new “Shaw-Bot” that’s focused on the new video offering.

Below is a video ad touting the BlueSky TV service:

Shaw said it’s selling BlueSky TV in its new Small, Medium and Large packages. For example, BlueSky TV with the new Small video package is available to new Shaw subs for $30 per month for the first year when it’s bundled with the MSO’s WideOpen Internet 150 broadband tier on a two-year ValuePlan. New customers are also in line to get two free months of CraveTV and Shaw’s The Movie Network channel package, which includes HBO Canada. 

Shaw will be tapping the new platform to help it turn around its video results. In fiscal Q1, Shaw lost 13,146 residential video subs. Comcast, by comparison, added 80,000 video subs in Q4 2016, and added more than 160,000 for the full year.

Fellow Canadian operator Rogers Communications also has plans to launch an IPTV service powered by Comcast’s X1 platform, Cox Communications, another X1 licensee, is using the platform to underpin its new “Contour” TV service.

RELATED: Rogers to Tap Comcast’s X1 Platform for IPTV Shift

Though Shaw’s initial deployment of BlueSky TV has been smooth, the OpenTV and Nagravision units of The Kudelski Group are trying to toss a legal wrench into the rollout. Last month, they filed a patent suit against Shaw that seeks to halt the deployment over allegations that the BlueSky TV platform infringes on six Canadian patents owned by Nagravision and OpenTV.