Rogers Communications

From BR Bullpen

Rogers Communication is a Canadian media company headquartered in Toronto, ON that was founded by the charismatic Ted Rogers. The company became one of the principal cable television operators in Canada while Ted Rogers purchased a majority interest in the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000, becoming the team's sole owner a few years later. Rogers Communications also operates a wireless cellular telephone network (Rogers Wireless), which was largely responsible for the company's net worth reaching $34 billion by 2008.

Rogers Communication created the cable sports network Rogers Sportsnet when it acquired the fledgling CTV Sportsnet in 2001. It became the first serious competitor of The Sports Network (TSN) as a cable-based all-sports network in Canada. Its programming was originally centered on the Blue Jays, but in 2005, it acquired the rights to broadcast games of the National Hockey League in Canada for a then astonishing sum of $5.2 billion.

After Ted Rogers' death in 2008, the company's principal ownership passed to his son, Edward Rogers, through his control of the family trust. However, Edward was not selected as the company's chairman, being passed over in favor of Nadir Mohamed, who had run the wireless side of the business (Edward had largely worked on the cable television side). Edward was named Vice-Chairman, although he and Mohamed did not see eye to eye. In 2013, Mohamed retired and was replaced by another CEO from the wireless world, Guy Laurence, former head of the United Kingdom's Vodaphone, and a few months later Edward Rogers stepped down as vice-chairman. In 2016, Joe Natale, another executive formerly with a rival telecommunications firm, Telus, succeeded Laurence who departed abruptly among rumors of tumbling profits.

In addition to its connections with the Blue Jays, Rogers Communications has a large financial interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL and Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. In December of 2017, Rogers' Chief Financial Officer, Tony Staffieri, announced that the company was considering selling some assets such as the Jays in order to free up cash for new investments in its wireless and cable divisions. While the company stated it was still interested in the on-air content provided by the Jays, it believed that it could obtain it simply by bidding for broadcast rights, as it had done with the NHL, and not by owning the team outright.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gregor Chisholm: "Rogers would consider sale of Blue Jays",, December 6, 2017. [1]
  • Kelly Pullen: "The Man Who Would Be King: inside the ruthless battle for control of the $34-billion Rogers empire", Toronto Life, October 16, 2014. [2]