Shaw expands licensed X1 platform to Vancouver

Comcast Xfinity X1 set top box
Shaw just deployed the first BlueSky homes last month.

Canada’s Shaw Communications announced the next phase of its deployment of the licensed white-label X1 platform from Comcast, with the BlueSky TV brand now extending into Vancouver. 

Packaged with 150 Mbps internet service and priced at $99.90 for the first 12 months, BlueSky TV features the X1 interface and voice remote, as well as many of the search and personalization gizmos integrated into the native Comcast X1 platform.

Shaw just deployed the first BlueSky homes last month. In Shaw’s first-quarter earnings call last month, company President Jay Mehr said Shaw has around 200,000 X1 capable set-tops after having steadily built its inventory over the last 18 months. 

RELATED: Shaw launches white-label X1 service, BlueSky TV

"We are now pleased to bring the premium service to hundreds of thousands of families and homes in the Lower Mainland, and give them the television experience they can't get anywhere else. Just say it, then see it,” Mehr said in a statement announcing the Vancouver deployment. 

Shaw follows Cox Communications, which has already begun deploying its white-label version of X1 in the U.S., which it calls “Contour.” Canada’s Rogers Communications announced in December that it is also licensing the platform. 

Speaking to investors in November, Matthew Strauss, executive VP and general manager of video services for Comcast, said licensing the platform isn’t highly profitable in a direct sense. But expanding the platform to other footprints enables broader data collection and improved advanced advertising capabilities. 

“It gives us scale and allows us to have more R&D and more exposure outside our footprint,” he added.