“Maybe they are trying to run it into the ground. Look, the talent at Shaw, most of it, does not want to work for Shaw, it is owned by Canadian cable and telecom behemoth Rogers. There’s not a chance in hell that they are going to leave and take their talents with them,” said Walt Tweedie, a media expert at Carleton University. “I think it is going to be a bad thing.”
“At this point in time, I don’t think Shaw is going to get a good deal. I think it will get a fair one, and I suspect that the good deal will be something between $20 and $22 billion for Rogers,” said Davis. “The priority is to run the business. Trying to do any sort of financial gymnastics around what Rogers’ value is, isn’t going to work.”
“I don’t think it is going to be the type of jobs that have been cut with Provigo (Rogers’ past acquisition) or Jazz (Rogers’ merger with Jazz). They are going to try to operate the business with fewer employees and more automation,” said Tweedie. “I think it’s very likely it will be in head office, the operation side.”
At the very least, these cuts are likely to result in a decrease in the number of channels on subscriber packages. While cable subscriptions have slowly declined in Canada, higher-quality, specialty channels have sprouted up and changed the landscape, raising the question of whether more channels will be shut down as a result of this deal.
“You look at all the specialty channels that have come out in recent years, and they have been very good at securing exclusive content that is just not possible from the vast majority of cable providers to carry on their linear channels,” said Tweedie. “The major concern for us now is that there are a number of very popular niche channels that have developed, that are going to lose distribution. There are a lot of established specialty networks. One or two or three could possibly go.”
“There is definitely concern that more channels are going to get shut down, and consumers are going to see the price of their basic television package go up,” said Tweedie. “There is a question: ‘what are you going to buy, will you actually watch the shows or will you be forced to pay for channels that you may not want to watch.’”