Shaw launches white label X1 service, BlueSky TV

Comcast Xfinity X1 set top box
Comcast said licensing its X1 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. 

Canada’s Shaw Communications has announced the deployment of its licensed version of Comcast’s X1 video platform, which it calls BlueSky TV.

The operator is making BlueSky TV available initially to subscribers in Calgary, but it has plans to roll the platform out to its broader footprint in the “coming months.” Shaw is packaging the video product with its WideOpen Internet 150 broadband service and promotionally pricing it at $75.85 (American dollars) for the first 12 months. 

“Powered by Comcast’s next generation X1 platform, Shaw BlueSky TV leverages the strength of our network to make this new television experience possible for Shaw customers,” said Shaw CEO Brad Shaw, in a statement. “We are proud to be the first in Canada to pioneer Comcast’s ground-breaking technology and to be their first international partner.”

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

BlueSky TV will include a number of features found in the native X1, including the voice remote, the children’s programming area KidZone, as well as the various metadata-filled sports bells and whistles.

“With features like the voice remote and advanced search, X1 has given Comcast customers a completely different video and entertainment experience than what they’re used to in the home,” said Tony Werner, president of technology and product for Comcast Cable, also in a statement. “We’ve seen a tremendous response from millions of customers in the U.S. and we’re excited Shaw’s customers will soon experience the same game-changing TV platform.”

RELATED: Comcast licenses X1 to Canada’s Rogers

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 last month 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.

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