Rogers to offer all Sportsnet content in streaming service

Rogers Media is offering a direct-to-consumers streaming service for all the content on its six Sportsnet television channels.

For $24.99 a month, sports fans can ditch cable and get the games online

Toronto Blue Jays' Gavin Floyd delivers to the Minnesota Twins in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game on March 30 in Fort Myers, Fla. Rogers is to begin streaming all its Sportsnet content, including baseball, on April 1. (Tony Gutierrez/ Associated Press)

Rogers Media is offering a direct-to-consumers streaming service for all the content on its six Sportsnet television channels.

That means NHL, MLB and NBA games, as well as junior hockey, soccer, tennis and dozens of other sports events that have until now been available mainly through an expensive cable package.

The internet service called Sportsnet Now will stream to mobile, tablet or online at a cost of $24.99 a month.

For existing cable, IPTV, and satellite customers, the service, which begins Friday, is free.

"We are committed to driving innovation in sport — and with this service, we're bringing sports to our audiences in a new and exciting way," Rick Brace, president of Rogers Media, said in a news release.

Rogers has been streaming content selectively to existing customers, but this is the first time it's offered stand-alone streaming. 

Going after cord-nevers

At a time when consumers are increasingly ditching cable, or never signing up for it, Rogers is looking to retain sports fans.

"This service is ideal for sports fans who do not have a TV subscription, but still want to watch live sports," said Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL properties at Rogers.

The model of cable subscriptions is shifting with the advent of skinny basic cable, which forced the broadcast distributors to offer a package of TV channels at $25 a month.

Free trial

Those packages disappointed most consumers, in part because desirable stations such as Sportsnet remained pricy.

Rogers is offering a seven-day free trial in an effort to woo sports fans.

The content includes:

  • Live streaming of Sportsnet Ontario, East, Pacific, West, ONE, and 360.
  • NHL games subject to regional availability.
  • MLB, NBA, junior hockey, soccer, tennis, Grand Slam of Curling, IndyCar, CIS, Tour de France, and other sports events.
  •  Original programming such as Tim & Sid, Sportsnet Central, Hockey Central, Gotta See It, Misplays, Plays of the Month, and Sportsnet Presents.