Rogers announces nets onboard with online VOD

The cableco announced this morning the widespread availability of its online video-on-demand service and nets on board, including Canwest and Corus.

Seven of Canwest’s broadcast networks and three Corus nets have joined the lineup of online programming available on the beta release of Rogers’ new online video portal, Rogers On Demand Online.

Following Rogers’ announcement of the service last week, the network lineup was unveiled this morning to include 27 channels, including Canwest, Corus and Rogers properties. The basic-cable channels of the online on-demand service are being offered to any customer with a Rogers’ account – including Digital TV, Home Phone, Hi-Speed Internet and Wireless – free as a value-add to their account. Rogers Digital TV customers with premium packages will be able to access additional content online that mirrors their current cable account subscription tier.

Networks included in the Rogers’ package include Food Network Canada, Global TV, HGTV, OLN, Citytv, Rogers Sportsnet, Setana, Slice, Showcase, Super Channel, Teletoon, Treehouse, TVO, TVtropolis, Vuguru, Warner TV and YTV.

The announcement today also included the news that Starcom MediaVest Group has signed a deal with Rogers on behalf of their clients – including RIM, Kellogg’s, Kraft, and Samsung – for an exclusive launch sponsorship with the service. Exact details were not available as of press time, but Starcom CEO Lauren Richards commented on the deal to MiC this morning, saying that the company ‘believes in the growth potential of the on-demand platform and will continue to strive to be in at the ground floor of new opportunities for our clients.’

As the Starcom deal indicates, the content on Rogers’ On Demand Online will be ad supported, although the ad units will be in a different format than traditional TV. The programming will feature the same amount of commercial breaks as on TV, but only one commercial will run in each break, and subscribers will not be able to fast-forward or rewind commercials.