Rogers Media Broadens Digital Distribution Leveraging Brightcove’s Video Platform
Over the past few years, Rogers Media, a leading Canadian media company, has transformed its business model to cater to the needs of busy viewers. By turning its focus toward video, Rogers now provides on-the-go audiences with convenient viewing options across all digital devices and distribution channels.
Two of the company’s most popular media brands—City and Sportsnet—have been successful in expanding audience reach through video. City digital programming currently draws three million monthly viewers, while Sportsnet has scaled to reach 30 million viewers annually through multi-platform distribution.
Rogers reaches nearly 90 percent of the Canadian TV viewing public through its massive collection of media brands, including City and Sportsnet. While the City brand delivers content ranging in topics from health, art, politics, and family to US-acquired primetime shows, Sportsnet is Canada’s number-one trusted source for all things sports entertainment. It delivers premium coverage of local, regional, and international events, plus in-depth storytelling. For each of these properties, Rogers offers an accompanying mobile app (City Video and Sportsnet App, respectively), which gives audiences the chance to watch current season programming, all free and on demand.
For Sportsnet’s superfans, Rogers also offers a subscription-based OTT channel, Sportsnet NOW, which delivers 24/7 live stream access to Sportsnet broadcasts and exclusive content not available on TV. Accessible via desktop, iOS, Apple TV, and other connected platforms, Sportsnet NOW offers consumers a way to catch the action without a cable subscription. As a result of extending across these new platforms, the Sportsnet brands increased cumulative monthly viewership by an average of 42 percent in 2016.
By leveraging Brightcove’s video platform, Rogers has successfully enhanced its distribution network to expand overall viewership and audience engagement. For Brightcove’s high-functioning, adaptive platform, superior player technology and customizable features have given Rogers, and Sportsnet in particular, the ability to distribute content wherever its viewers are, at any time, and to any device.
“We know sports fans are looking for news, information, and entertainment many times a day, all times of day, in various locations,” says Kasra Zokaei, director of digital product development, Rogers Media. “So we need to be able to connect with them. “And we’ve been a pioneer in terms of making available our television channels to over-the-top subscribers...It’s very important for us to connect with digital audiences where they are, whether that’s our owned-and-operated properties or social network distribution points.”
The Brightcove player provides fast, uninterrupted viewing for mobile audiences and allows Rogers to individually modify players to meet the needs of its different media brands.
"In general, we’ve found Brightcove’s product plans and roadmaps align nicely with our needs, whether it’s SSAI, Brightcove Social, mobile SDKs, or integration with different ad servers. Brightcove is really a partner to us. There is a strong fit between the needs of our business and what Brightcove recognizes as trends in the media industry and priorities for media companies," explains says Dale Fallon, director of digital product management, Rogers Media.