Shaw launches $600 Gateway set-top to combat competition

Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR) is betting that a new cable box it's selling for $600 will stop subscribers from wandering off to competing provider Telus (Toronto: T.TO). The Gateway box is probably worth the money--at least feature-wise--since it delivers "better picture quality, more storage, the ability to record six shows at once and Internet capabilities," according to the Calgary Herald.

On the other hand, 600 smackers is 600 smackers.

"You charge me for boxes and Telus doesn't, why would I go to you?" asked Dvai Ghose, a Canaccord Genuity analyst quoted in the Herald story.

Jay Mehr, Shaw's senior vice president of operations said that the box isn't for every customer. "It's a high end solution; it makes an awful lot of things possible," he said.

Shaw will implement the box's features in stages to "make sure we get it right and pace our way through it," Mehr said. Subscribers will similarly pay it off in steps of $17 a month over 36 months.

For more:
- the Calgary Herald had this story

Related articles:
Getting customers I: Shaw turns to a la carte
Shaw lays off 500 employees, about 4% of its Canadian workforce

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