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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 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Headquarters Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Key people
J. R. Shaw (Executive Chairman)
Jim Shaw (Vice Chairman)
Bradley S. Shaw (CEO)
Peter J. Bissonnette (President)[1]
Products Cable television, high speed internet, telephone, direct broadcast satellite, network and specialty broadcasting, logistics tracking, radio
Revenue CAD$ 5.142 billion (2013)[1]
CAD$ 2.220 billion (2013)[1]
CAD$ 784 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
14,000 (2014)[2]
Subsidiaries Shaw Media
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 and television services as well as mass media related services. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Shaw provides services mostly in British Columbia and Alberta, with smaller systems in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario.


  • History 1
    • Expansion to broadcasting 1.1
      • Attempted takeover of 3 CTVglobemedia television stations 1.1.1
      • Acquisition of Canwest 1.1.2
  • Other activities 2
  • Television 3
  • Controversy 4
    • Internet usage-based billing 4.1
    • Complaints 4.2
  • Eponymous buildings 5
    • Gallery 5.1
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • External links 8


Shaw was founded as Capital Cable Television Company, Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1966.[3] 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[4] (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.[5]

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).[6][7]

In July 2009, Shaw announced that they will be acquiring Mountain Cablevision[8] in Hamilton, Ontario, ending a ten-year-old non-competition agreement[9] with rival Rogers Cable. Approval of the purchase on October 22, 2009[10] by the regulatory body, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has been granted, and it was stated to be in the public's interest.[11] 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 early 2013.[12][13]

In April 2011, Shaw announced that it would not be launching a wireless (i.e. cellular) network until 2012, but later decided not launch a wireless network. In 2008, Shaw had purchased wireless spectrum for areas covering Western Canada and Northern Ontario. As of April 2015, Shaw has not launched a wireless network and has announced no plans to use this spectrum.

In May 2011, Shaw announced its intent to spend $100 million, to convert its analog tiered cable service to digital over a 16-month period starting August 2011. Its 20% of subscribers still on analog tiered cable service would receive a free digital cable box rental. This conversion does not apply to basic cable channels, thus subscribers to basic cable will continue to be able to obtain their signal in analog. Switching to digital has the effect of freeing up bandwidth, which Shaw plans on re-allocating for internet bandwidth. 100 and 250 Mbit/s internet speeds will be phased in throughout this timeframe.

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.[14][15]

In April 2013, Shaw Business Solutions took over Enmax's Envision subsidiary, which had built a fiber-optic network throughout Calgary. The acquisition was completed for $225 Million.[16]

In February 2015, Shaw Communications announced that they will be closing operations for service call centers in Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna. In turn the company will be consolidating operations in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal. They will attempt to augment the efficiency of their customer service. 1600 Shaw employees, that is 11% of its 14,000 workforce will be affected,[17] however the company will offer 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.[17][18]

Expansion to broadcasting

Attempted takeover of 3 CTVglobemedia television stations

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.[19] However, it was reported on June 30, 2009 that Shaw has backed out of the deal and is declining to complete the purchase.[20] 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.

Acquisition of Canwest

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.[21] 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 currently held by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.[22] 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.[23] The Canwest properties are now reorganized into what is now called Shaw Media division.

As part of the benefits package for the acquisition, Shaw will fund improvements to Canadian broadcasting, among them as follows:

  • Convert 67 analog over-the-air television transmitters in non-mandatory markets to digital by 2016.
  • Install a satellite receiver and dish, at no charge, to viewers who lose access to the over-the-air signals.
  • Launch new two-hour morning newscasts in Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
  • Buy more drama, documentary and comedy programs from independent producers.
  • Invest in new media content that will support news and other programming.

Other activities

Shaw is the parent of Shaw Broadcast Services (previously Shaw Satellite Services, Canadian Satellite Communications, or Cancom) and, through Shaw Broadcast Services,[24] 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.

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.[25]


Shaw has been slowly expanding its television offerings over the last few years, with most of the increases occurring in the HDTV part of the dial.

There are full-HD channels that have not yet been picked up by Shaw. Shaw usually picks up channels in HD format that have 60% or more of their programming in HD giving customers more High Definition Content.

Year New HD Services
2004 Movie Central 1 HD
2005 CBC HD, CTV HD, Discovery World HD, Sportsnet HD, TSN1 HD
2006 A&E HD, National Geographic Channel HD, Showcase HD
2007 HDNet, WGN HD
2008 Big Ten HD, Encore Avenue 1 HD, Golf HD, Global HD, HBO Canada HD, Speed HD, Super Channel 1 HD, Super Channel 2 HD, TLC HD, TSN2 HD
2009 AMC HD, History HD, Sportsnet 360 HD
2010 City HD, CNN HD, MovieTime HD, Oasis HD, OMNI HD, Sportsnet One HD
2011 Animal Planet HD, Bravo HD, BNN HD, CHEK HD, CTV Two HD, Discovery Channel HD, Disney XD HD, Family HD, Food Network HD, HGTV HD, YTV HD
2012 FX HD, Movie Central 2 HD, Movie Central 3 HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, Sportsnet World HD, W Movies HD
2013 APTN HD, AXN Movies, Comedy Network HD, DTour HD, Encore Avenue 2 HD, Fairchild TV 2 HD, Global News: BC 1 HD, HIFI, H2 HD, Knowledge Network HD, Lifetime HD, MGM Channel, radX, Slice HD, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Movie Channel, WarnerFilms, W Network HD
2014 CBC News Network HD, TSN3 HD, TSN4 HD, TSN5 HD, Weather Network HD, Yes TV HD
2015 Action HD, beIN Sports HD, Disney Channel HD, LCN HD, Much HD


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.[26] 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.[27] On February 8, 2011, Shaw agreed to put a hold on usage based billing for its services.[28]


Customer service complaints are frequent among Canadian cable, mobile and Internet users, and Shaw ranked second-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.[17]

Eponymous buildings


See also


  1. ^ a b c d "2013 Annual Report" (PDF). Shaw Communications Inc. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Shaw Communications Inc. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Shaw History". Shaw Communications Inc. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  4. ^ "Shaw Cablesystems receives approval from CRTC to purchase Greater Winnipeg Cablevision". Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission. 1992-12-23. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Milestones". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  6. ^ "Pasco: Time Warner to expand with Shaw purchase". Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Cequel III to buy Shaw's Texas systems". CED. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Shaw Communications - Page Not Found -" (PDF). Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Theresa Tedesco and Jamie Sturgeon (Oct 24, 2009). "Cable rivals drop gloves". Financial Post. 
  10. ^ "Shaw Communications press release: Shaw Closes Mountain Cablevision Transaction" (PDF). October 22, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Shaw Communications gets CRTC approval to buy Mountain Cablevision in Hamilton". Canadian Press. Ottawa: October 22, 2009. 
  12. ^ [As reported in the Globe and Mail at]
  13. ^  
  14. ^ "Shaw robot mascots recall Bell’s beavers". Financial Post. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Shaw Rebrands, launches national campaign". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Shaw Buys Enmax Envision". Retrieved 2013-04-31. 
  17. ^ a b c De Vynck, Gerrit (February 12, 2015). "Shaw says 1,600 employees must choose: relocation or severance". Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  18. ^ Stephenson, Amanda.'Shaw communications relocating customer care operations; 1,000 jobs in Calgary affected'.Calgary Herald, February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  19. ^ CTV Accepts Shaw Offer to Buy Local Stations, CTVglobemedia press release via TradeMarkets, April 30, 2009
  20. ^ Grant Robertson, "Shaw cancels deal for 3 CTV stations". The Globe and Mail, June 30, 2009.
  21. ^ Shaw moves for Canwest control,, 2010-02-12
  22. ^ Pav Jordan (2010-05-04). "Shaw to buy Canwest TV unit". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ "Shaw Broadcast Services". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  25. ^ Post, Financial (2008-06-23). "Wireless spectrum auction". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  26. ^ "Companies like Netflix should be regulated by CRTC: Shaw". The Canadian Press. The Globe and Mail. December 9, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  27. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  28. ^ Shaw, Gillian (2011-02-08). "Shaw puts brakes on usage-based billing". Retrieved 2011-11-18. 

External links

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