Tim Hortons hitched, Shomi born, Twitch adopted and NHL expecting: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
The biggest news of the week came right at the beginning, with reports that Burger King and Tim Hortons were working out a deal. A day later, they made it official.
The two chains will unite under a new holding company based in Canada. Both of the brands will continue to operate the same way, so you won't have to order your double double with a Whopper.
Tim Hortons' interest in the deal? A chance to significantly expand south of the border, an elusive goal that they haven't been able to achieve after years of trying. A goal that won't come at the expense of the company's Canadian presence.
"We're going to keep all of the fantastic things we've done in Canada, we're going to build on that. But this brand deserves to go around the world", said Tim Hortons CEO Marc Caira in an interview on The Exchange with Amanda Lang.
For the Timmies faithful who are worried the chain will change under new ownership, Tim's took out a two-page ad in major Canadian newspapers assuring them their double-doubles will stay the same.
Competing with Netflix
Rogers and Shaw are teaming up to launch a Netflix-like streaming site in Canada. It's called Shomi, and the two telecom giants are bringing it to Canadians in November.
The service will offer 340 TV series and 1,200 movies, with 30 per cent Canadian content, and cost $8.99 per month, similar to the cost of a Netflix subscription.
At launch, the service will only be available to Shaw and Rogers TV and internet subscribers for what's being called a 'beta period' of six months to one year, at which point non-subscribers will be able to get their hands on it.
They'll have their work cut out for them in competing with Netflix, as one-third of English-speaking Canadians already subscribe to the U.S. company's service.
Betting on video game streaming
It's not just Rogers and Shaw looking to capitalize on people's desire for streaming content. Amazon is spending $970 million to buy Twitch, a site where users watch live streaming video of other people playing video games.
Why would the online retailer bet nearly $1 billion that users want to watch people play games, rather than be playing themselves? Because it works.
The site accounts for more than 43 per cent of all U.S. live streaming traffic, according to analysis by online video analytics site Qwilt. On an average night, Twitch has a viewing audience roughly the same size as popular U.S. cable channels like Comedy Central and MTV.
Games are also growing quickly as a spectator sport, with international competitions attracting millions of viewers — all through Twitch.
NHL expansion rumours
From digital sports to a more traditional kind, hockey fans in Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec and Toronto were given reason to get their hopes up as reports circulate that new NHL teams might be coming to town as part of a big expansion push.
It's been 14 years since the league added teams in Minnesota and Columbus, and the addition of four new teams could put as much as $1.4 billion dollars into the owners' pockets through expansion fees.
The NHL is staying quiet, and likely wouldn't say anything until a final announcement is made. But Glen Hodgson, Chief Economist of the Conference Board of Canada and author of Power Play: The Business Economics of Pro Sports says there are several markets that could handle an expansion team, including Toronto.
In an interview with The Exchange, Hodgson said "there's no doubt that Toronto is a big enough market right now to have two even three NHL teams. and the market's going to grow over the next 20 years".