Canada's Shaw dumps IPTV plans, will license Comcast's X1 platform instead

Canada's Shaw Communications has given up on plans to launch an IPTV-based video service and will instead license a white-label version of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) X1 platform.

"We are currently working with Comcast to begin a technical trial of their cloud-based X1 platform and be the first in Canada to capitalize on Comcast's cloud technology," Shaw chief executive Brad Shaw said in a statement.

Shaw will write down $55 million spent developing its IPTV initiative and will become the second cable operator to license the cloud-based X1, with Cox Communications signing on to its own partnership in January 2014.

The company did not reveal a timeline for deployment. Comcast has said that churn among triple-play users with the advanced video platform has been reduced by 30 percent, with average revenue per user (ARPU) increasing significantly.

Comcast, however, has struggled to achieve satisfactory deployment rate for X1, which requires lengthy service appointments and expensive premises equipment.

For its part, Shaw announced its X1 plans as it was simultaneously revealing an 8.3 percent decline in fiscal Q3 earnings. The operator lost 24,524 cable video subscribers in the quarter, ending up with 1.88 million. (The company also has about 851,000 satellite TV subscribers.)

"The Internet is changing the way we live, communicate, work and share," Shaw said. "In this new world, scale is important and Shaw is committed to building global partnerships that deliver best in class, customer experiences."

For more:
- read this Toronto Star story
- read this Huffington Post Canada story
- read this Seeking Alpha post

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