Shaw Communications

Shaw Communications Inc.
Traded as TSX-V: SJR.A (voting)
TSX: SJR.B (non-voting)
NYSE: SJR (non-voting)
Industry Telecommunications
Mass media
Founded 1966 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Headquarters Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Key people
JR Shaw (Executive Chairman)
Jim Shaw (Vice Chairman)
Bradley S. Shaw (CEO)
Jay Mehr (President)[1]
Alek Krstajic (President, Freedom Mobile)[2]
Products Cable television, high speed internet, telephone, direct broadcast satellite, network and specialty broadcasting, logistics tracking, radio
Revenue Increase CAD$ 3.578 billion (2006)[1]
Increase CAD$ 2.220 billion (2013)[1]
Increase CAD$ 784 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
14,000 (2014)[3]
Divisions Shaw Broadcast Services
Shaw Direct
Shaw Communications logo, used from 1993 to 1997
Shaw Communications logo, used from 1997 to 2012

Shaw Communications Inc. is a Canadian telecommunications company that provides telephone, Internet, mobile, and television services as well as mass media related services all backed by a fibre optic network. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Shaw provides services mostly in British Columbia and Alberta, with smaller systems in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario. Through its subsidiary Freedom Mobile, Shaw provides mobile services in urban areas of British Columbia, Alberta, and Southern Ontario. The company's chief competitor is Telus Communications.


Shaw was founded as Capital Cable Television Company, Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1966.[4] The company changed its name to Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. and went public on the TSX in 1983. The company grew during the 1980s and 1990s through acquisitions of firms including Classicomm in the Toronto area, Access Communications in Nova Scotia, Fundy Cable in New Brunswick, Trillium Cable in Ontario, Telecable in Saskatchewan, Greater Winnipeg Cablevision[5] (serving areas east of the Red River), and Videon Cablesystems of Winnipeg (serving areas west of the Red River), which had itself previously acquired Vidéotron's assets in Alberta. However, two swaps, in 1994 and 2001, with Rogers Cable have resulted in its assets being restricted to Western Canada and a few areas of Northern Ontario.[6] In 1999, Shaw spun out its media properties into a second publicly-traded company, Corus Entertainment.[7][8]

Prior to 2003, Shaw owned cable systems in the United States previously owned by Moffat Communications, serving six communities in Florida (Eastern Pasco County, Clermont, Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, West Palm Beach and Doral), and the Houston, Texas suburbs of Kingwood, Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston. In February 2003, the Florida systems would be sold to Time Warner Cable (with the West Palm Beach and Doral systems later sold to Comcast, and the other systems spun off to Bright House Networks), while the Texas systems were sold to Cequel III, as part of its then-Cebridge Connections subsidiary (now Suddenlink Communications).[9][10]

In 2008, Shaw entered the AWS spectrum auction with the intention of possibly becoming a wireless phone provider. The auction ended July 2008, giving Shaw Communications enough spectrum to build a wireless network in its home provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.[11] This spectrum ultimately went unused and was sold to Rogers Communications in January 2013.[12]

In July 2009, Shaw announced its acquisition of Mountain Cablevision[13] in Hamilton, Ontario, ending a ten-year-old non-competition agreement[14] with rival Rogers Cable. The purchase was approved by the CRTC on October 22, 2009.[15][16] The acquisition was Shaw's first cable property east of Sault Ste. Marie since the 2001 swaps with Rogers and Cogeco. Shaw's re-entry into Southern Ontario would be short-lived, as its Hamilton system would be resold to Rogers in January 2013.[12]

Expansion to broadcasting

On April 30, 2009, Shaw announced a deal to acquire three television stations — CHWI-TV in Windsor, Ontario, CKNX-TV in Wingham, Ontario and CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba — from CTVglobemedia. CTV had indicated that it would shut down the stations, all of which were incurring extensive financial losses, later in the year if a buyer could not be found, and had placed them on the market at a price of just $1 each.[17] However, it was reported on June 30, 2009 that Shaw has backed out of the deal and is declining to complete the purchase.[18] CHWI-TV would remain on the air as is; CKNX-TV would become a repeater of London station CFPL-TV in September 2009, while CKX-TV would close down entirely in October 2009.

In February 2010, Shaw announced an agreement with the financially troubled Canwest, whereby Shaw would buy an 80% voting interest, and 20% equity interest, in the restructured entity of Canwest, pending approvals from the CRTC and others.[19] Three months later, following negotiations with rival bidders, the company said it would purchase the entirety of Canwest's broadcasting assets, including the interests in the CW Media subsidiary partially held by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.[20] Canwest's newspapers were not part of the Shaw deal and were sold separately to Postmedia Network.

The acquisition was completed on October 27, 2010, after CRTC approval for the sale was announced on October 22, forming the Shaw Media division.[21]

Shaw headquarters in Calgary


In November 2012, Shaw underwent a corporate re-branding, introducing an updated logo and slogan, along with a new promotional campaign featuring animated robots (with particular focus on two, Bit and Bud) that live in a representation of Shaw's infrastructure, depicting them as being responsible for how their services work. The campaign was designed by the Vancouver-based agency Rethink, who were also responsible for Bell Canada's beaver characters Frank and Gordon.[22][23]

In April 2013, Shaw Business Solutions took over Enmax's Envision subsidiary, which had built a fiber-optic network throughout Calgary. The acquisition was

Shaw Communications logo, used 2012 to current.

completed for $225 Million.[24]

In 2014, Shaw partnered with Rogers Communications to launch Shomi, a subscription video on demand service[25] but shut down Shomi in November 2016.

In February 2015, Shaw Communications announced that they would close operations for service call centers in Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna, and consolidate operations in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal. 1,600 of Shaw's 14,000 employees were affected by the consolidation and cuts.[26] The company offered affected employees the option to relocate to its centralized offices, apply for a new job at their location, or leave the company with a severance package for former employees unable to relocate.[26][27]

In 2013, Shaw attempted to begin developing an IPTV-based platform for its television services. However, after experiencing issues developing the platform, Shaw took a $55 million write-down in June 2015, and announced that it was licensing and trialing Comcast's cloud-based X1 architecture.[28][29] In January 2016, as the first stage of the platform's implementation, Shaw launched its mobile television app FreeRange TV, which allows Shaw subscribers to stream selected TV channels and on-demand content. The FreeRange TV app utilizes Comcast's existing X1 infrastructure.[30][31]

Freedom Mobile

On December 16, 2015, Shaw announced its proposed acquisition of independent wireless provider Wind Mobile from its investors in a deal worth approximately $1.6 billion.[32] The transaction closed on March 1, 2016.[33] Under Shaw, the company rebranded to Freedom Mobile in November 2016.

Divestment of media assets

Shaw announced on January 13, 2016 that it would sell Shaw Media to Corus Entertainment, a company also controlled by the Shaw family, for $2.65 billion.[34] The acquisition was completed on April 1, 2016; it was funded with $1.85 billion in cash and 71,364,853 class B non-voting shares of Corus.[35]

The sale of Shaw Media did not include its 50% stake in the Shomi streaming service, which remains owned by Shaw Communications.[34]

Other activities

Shaw is the parent of Shaw Broadcast Services (previously Shaw Satellite Services, Canadian Satellite Communications, or Cancom) and, through Shaw Broadcast Services,[36] Shaw Direct, one of Canada's two national direct broadcast satellite providers. For many years it also owned a number of radio stations and specialty television services; these assets were later spun off into Corus Entertainment in an effort to satisfy a now-repealed CRTC policy discouraging cross-ownership of cablesystems and specialty services.


Internet usage-based billing

In December 2010, Shaw filed complaints with the CRTC to have competing internet video services such as Netflix classified as broadcasters under Canadian law.[37] In the same month, Shaw introduced usage based billing on internet plans and lowered plan caps an average of 25% while introducing overage fees of $1 to $2 per gigabyte.[38] On February 8, 2011, Shaw agreed to put a hold on usage based billing for its services and to this date continues to not charge customers any overages for surpassing Internet Data caps.[39]


Customer service complaints are frequent among Canadian cable, mobile and Internet users, and Shaw ranked second-to-last for customer satisfaction among five cable TV providers in Western Canada in a 2013 survey by J.D. Power and Associates. It ranked last for Internet providers.[26]

Eponymous buildings

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Shaw Senior Leadership". Shaw Communications Inc. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  2. "Shaw Closes WIND Acquisition". Shaw Newsroom. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  3. "2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Shaw Communications Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  4. "Shaw History". Shaw Communications Inc. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2014-11-16.
  5. "Shaw Cablesystems receives approval from CRTC to purchase Greater Winnipeg Cablevision". Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission. 1992-12-23. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
  6. "Milestones". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  7. "Canuck players plan splitting up of WIC". Variety. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  8. "Corus lines up behind Canuck Shaw's assets". Variety. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  9. "Pasco: Time Warner to expand with Shaw purchase". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  10. "Cequel III to buy Shaw's Texas systems". CED. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  11. Post, Financial (2008-06-23). "Wireless spectrum auction". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  12. 1 2 "Shaw hangs up on its cellular plans". The Globe and Mail. January 14, 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  13. "Shaw Communications - Page Not Found -" (PDF). Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  14. Theresa Tedesco and Jamie Sturgeon (Oct 24, 2009). "Cable rivals drop gloves". Financial Post.
  15. "Shaw Communications press release: Shaw Closes Mountain Cablevision Transaction" (PDF). October 22, 2009.
  16. "Shaw Communications gets CRTC approval to buy Mountain Cablevision in Hamilton". Canadian Press. Ottawa: October 22, 2009.
  17. CTV Accepts Shaw Offer to Buy Local Stations, CTVglobemedia press release via TradeMarkets, April 30, 2009
  18. Grant Robertson, "Shaw cancels deal for 3 CTV stations". The Globe and Mail, June 30, 2009.
  19. Shaw moves for Canwest control,, 2010-02-12
  20. Pav Jordan (2010-05-04). "Shaw to buy Canwest TV unit". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  21. Shaw Communications (press release) (2010-10-22). "Shaw announces acquisition of Canwest Broadcasting assets expected to close October 27, 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  22. "Shaw robot mascots recall Bell's beavers". Financial Post. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  23. "Shaw Rebrands, launches national campaign". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  24. "Shaw Buys Enmax Envision". Retrieved 2013-04-31. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  25. "Shomi set to go to wider audience". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  26. 1 2 3 De Vynck, Gerrit (February 12, 2015). "Shaw says 1,600 employees must choose: relocation or severance". BNN. Bell Media. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  27. Stephenson, Amanda.'Shaw communications relocating customer care operations; 1,000 jobs in Calgary affected'.Calgary Herald, February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  28. "Shaw to Trial Comcast's X1 Platform". Multichannel News. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  29. "Shaw: Why We're Testing Comcast's X1". Multichannel News. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  30. "CES 2016: Shaw Puts Comcast's X1 to Work". Multichannel News. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  31. "Shaw targets Telus with mobile app offering live TV, on-demand content". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  32. Dobby, Christine (December 16, 2015). "Shaw to buy Wind Mobile for $1.6-billion". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  33. "Shaw enters wireless market with closing of Wind Mobile deal". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  34. 1 2 "Corus Entertainment acquires Shaw Media for $2.65-billion". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  35. "Shaw Communications completes sale of Shaw Media to Corus Entertainment". Shaw Newsroom. Shaw Communications. April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  36. "Shaw Broadcast Services". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  37. "Companies like Netflix should be regulated by CRTC: Shaw". The Canadian Press. The Globe and Mail. December 9, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  38. "". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  39. Shaw, Gillian (2011-02-08). "Shaw puts brakes on usage-based billing". Retrieved 2011-11-18.
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