Shaw is no longer going to launch its own sports channel, citing the expense of competing with existing networks which have tied up rights to the major leagues.
“The costs, as we know, have dramatically gone up,” CEO Brad Shaw said in a call with analysts Wednesday, discussing strong third quarter results for the cable giant. “We will not be pursuing a sports strategy going forward.”
In January, the company applied to start its own network..But the cost of fighting for a spot in that sports arena, and the fact that Shaw’s specialty channels offer good leverage in reaching deals with competing cable companies, led to Wednesday morning’s board decision, president Peter Bissonnette said.
Bissonnette added that their specialty channels provide “a degree of reciprocity, it doesn’t have to be sports. It’s one of the benefits of vertical integration.”
Those specialty channels were part of Shaw’s strong results Wednesday, with the Calgary-based company reporting overall profits over the past three months climbed 28 per cent over the same period last year. Shaw reported net income of $203 million, or 45 cents a share, for the quarter ending May 31, compared to $158 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago.