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Canada: Rogers Touts HD Success

Rogers Cable Communications is reporting what it considers substantial growth in the last year with HD subscribers in Canada. Since January 2005, the company's HD customers have more than doubled to 100,000 HD households, according to published reports.

Canadian retailers quoted in several publications predict that HD sets are shaping up to be one of the hottest products for the holiday selling season, which got underway several days ago in Canada (even without an American-style Thanksgiving as a start-point). Some retailers are predicting sales of most types of HD sets are expected to more than double from the past two years, as models have increased and prices are steadily decreasing.

Within the past week, Rogers began offering Raptors NBA basketball games in HD (ch. 506) and plans to air up to 15 weekly NBA pro and NCAA college broadcasts, thus providing more than 30 hours of original HD sports content per week. Rogers' digital tier now feeds 28 HD channels from coast to coast, with two more HD venues soon to be made available on a premium basis.

About one-third of its digital subs also opted for a DVR, as well, Rogers reported in a statement. The hard-disc recorder comes enclosed in a Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 8300HD with a dual tuner that can record and store up to 20 hours of HD or 90 hours of SD programming.