Weaving more OTT fare alongside its baseline pay TV service, Canada’s Shaw Communications said it has completed an integration of YouTube and YouTube Kids apps on its BlueSky TV set-top box platform.
BlueSky TV, Shaw’s next-gen pay TV product, is powered in part by Comcast’s cloud-based X1 platform. Other cable operators with X1 syndication deals include Cox Communications and two other Canadian MSOs – Videotron and Rogers Communications.
As part of the integration, Shaw has also tied YouTube content with set-top search and the BlueSky TV voice remote.
Shaw, like Comcast and Cox, has also integrated Netflix on its new wave of set-tops, which support both managed video services as well as apps that are delivered via the internet. Shaw has also integrated CraveTV, an SVOD service that includes series from premiums such as HBO, Starz and Showtime with BlueSky TV.
As part of its bundling strategy, Shaw is touting the pairing of its WideOpen Internet 150 tier, which included unlimited data, with the BlueSky TV service, noting that the combo starts at $65 per month for the first six months with a two-year “ValuePlan” commitment.
Shaw launched BlueSky TV across its properties in April 2017, and has been leaning on the relatively new offering to help moderate the loss of pay TV subs. As of February 28, Shaw’s cable video sub base had dropped to about 1.63 million.
“The addition of YouTube to Shaw BlueSky TV allows Shaw customers to spend less time searching for their favourite videos and more time watching them,” Chris Kucharski, president, consumer, at Shaw. “Whether they’re entertaining friends and family, listening to a playlist or following a tutorial, our customers can have their content all in one easy-to-use platform — and it’s all just a voice command away.”
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