The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

Rogers Cable Packages

Rogers cable packages are in a lot of ways like Bell telephone: it is the traditional choice for Canadians in the regions in which it is available.

Rogers offers a number of different cable packages, including not only traditional television, but also internet and phone. Their main Canadian competitor in television is Bell Canada. Shaw is another cable company like Rogers, but rarely directly competes with Bell because they have divided up Canada into exclusive territories (Rogers is based in Toronto). I will look at some of the pros and cons of being a Rogers cable customer and then look at some of the special features they offer by region.

What Are the Pros of Rogers Cable Packages?

Rogers digital cable provides excellent service in a number of different ways:

  • Dependability: Rogers has been in the cable business a long time, and they built much of the cable infrastructure in Canada. As a result, you are going right to the primary source for cable when you join Rogers. You can expect, therefore, to have service that will not break down simply because of a storm (a common problem for satellites) or during peak hours (a common problem for DSL internet like Bell’s).
  • Range of Channels: Because Rogers Cable has been around so long, they provide access to a number of cable channels. Channels like “The Movie Network” and “Movie Central” were invented in the late 1980s, and now continue to exist as HD channels. While cable does not provide as many channel options as satellite, they now provide such options as on-demand viewing and time shifting, to take account of the different time zones in the country.
  • Theme Packages: One of the best things about Rogers Cable Canada is that they provide what they call “theme packs” when putting together channels. For instance, you could purchase a children’s television theme or a sports theme. Since many people don’t want to purchase simply in tiers fro least to most expensive channels, this allows a certain flexibility. The one odd pack is the “multicultural” theme pack, which is pretty much useless unless you speak sixty languages. In this case, you are probably better off subscribing to individual channels.
  • Simple Equipment: Unlike satellite, which requires a number of different pieces of equipment, not least of which is the dish, cable has already been in most areas of Canada. As a result, all you will need is a Rogers cable box and a HD digital terminal, and you will be able to quickly access your favourite television stations.

What are the Cons of Rogers Cable Packages?

  • Confusing Pricing: Rogers has a tendency to create promotions and deals that are unclear in their terms. For example, they will list their prices for packages with a little dagger (the cross symbol used in place of an asterisk). That’s fine, as we’re all used to fine print. However, the dagger doesn’t actually go anywhere. Even when you click on the package, you still won’t know what the fine print is until after you’ve added it to your cart.
  • Monopoly: Rogers has a monopoly in many areas, which can lead to some less-than-stellar customer service. It is especially bad for those who wish to use basic cable. Basic analogue cable is required by the government, and Rogers makes no profit off of it. Dealing with a company that is making no money and which has no competition can be trying at best.
  • Upselling: While having multiple services like high speed internet and Rogers cable phone are a great addition, Rogers’ move into other services has led to an enormous amount of upselling. If you are still using Bell Canada or another service for your internet, home or mobile phone, expect to be periodically upsold on switching over to Rogers if you choose a partial cable package.
  • Limited Locations: Because Shaw and Rogers have basically carved up the country, Rogers is not available in every location or province. Rogers is currently available in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador, but is unavailable in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut. It is also not available in Northern Ontario.

Because of the near monopoly, Rogers cable packages are basically the only option available for those who want cable. However, they do compete with satellite, which has caused Rogers to provide numerous options that are straightforward in their application.

You can find out more about their services on their official website.