Cogeco Inc. is a Canadian telecommunications and media company. Its corporate offices are located at 1 Place Ville-Marie in Montreal, Quebec. The company is structured into three strategic business units (SBU); Cogeco Connexion, Breezeline (previously known as Atlantic Broadband), and Cogeco Media. The company provides a range of telecommunication products and services including cable television, radio and television broadcasting, telephony, and Internet services in Ontario and Quebec in Canada, and in eleven states along the east coast of the United States.
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Products||Cable TV, Internet, telecommunications, broadcasting|
|Revenue||CA$2.33 billion (FY19) CA$2.15 billion (FY18)|
|CA$1.11 billion (FY19) CA$1.01 billion (FY18)|
|CA$432 million (FY19) CA$351 million (FY18)|
|Total assets||CA$6.95 billion (FY19) CA$7.18 billion (FY18)|
Number of employees
Cogeco Inc. is a publicly traded company (TSX: CGO) and is controlled through multiple voting shares (accounting for 71.29% of votes) by the Audet family's holding company Gestion Audem Inc. In turn, Cogeco Inc. fully owns Cogeco Media, and owns 82.96% of the voting rights in Cogeco Communications Inc., a separate publicly traded company (TSX: CCA) which owns the Canadian and U.S. cable and telecom operations. The name Cogeco is an acronym for Compagnie Générale de Communication ("General Communications Company").
In June 1957, Henri Audet (1918-2012) left the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), became president and managing director of Télévision St. Maurice Inc., and was awarded a broadcasting license by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) to operate a television station in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The call sign would be CKTM-TV, and it would become an affiliate of the CBC's French-language network. Télévision St. Maurice Inc. was later renamed Cogéco Radio-Télévision Inc., a subsidiary of Cogeco Inc. He would also become chairman and president of La Belle Vision Inc., which was in 1972, Cogeco's first acquisition. Henri Audet was chairman and CEO of Cogeco Inc. between 1976 and 1993, and later in 1996, was named President Emeritus of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Cable Inc.
Over time the company divested itself of all its on-air broadcast television assets. In 1989, the company obtained its initial presence in Ontario by acquiring cable systems in Burlington and Oakville and in 1996 expanded further in Ontario by acquiring an additional 25 cable systems (303,000 customers for CA$350 million) from Rogers Communications. Between 1998 and 2001, Cogeco increased its footprint in both Quebec and Ontario with the acquisition of an additional 19 cable systems. In a turn of events, in 2009, and again in 2010, Rogers invested substantially in both Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Cable Inc., resulting in some speculation surrounding the two rivals.
In 2011, the company increased its radio station assets by acquiring Corus Québec, a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment, and in 2018 acquired additional radio stations from RNC Média, giving it a total of twenty-two radio stations in Quebec and one in Ontario. Also that year, the company purchased Métromédia for CA$41 million to later sell it in 2018 to Bell Media for an undisclosed amount.
In July 2012, the company expanded into the U.S. market by acquiring the cable system operator Atlantic Broadband. In December that same year, it acquired Peer 1 Hosting, an internet infrastructure provider, and later in October 2015, merged it with its Cogeco Data Services, forming a new subsidiary called Cogeco Peer 1.
In January 2018, Cogeco Communications Inc. announced that its US subsidiary Atlantic Broadband had completed the acquisition of the cable systems owned by Harron Communications which were operating under the brand name MetroCast for US$1.4 billion, making the company the eight largest hybrid fibre coaxial cable operator in North America.
On September 2, 2020, Altice USA announced an unsolicited offer to purchase both Cogeco and Cogeco Communications. Altice announced it would immediately resell Cogeco's Canadian assets to Rogers, which retains large minority interests in both Cogeco companies, while Altice would keep Cogeco's U.S. assets including Atlantic Broadband. Cogeco's controlling shareholders, the Audet family, indicated shortly thereafter that they would not support the offer. It was also rejected by the companies' boards of directors, and Quebec Premier François Legault had also signalled his opposition to losing another major Quebec-based company. Altice and Rogers said they would continue to pursue a purchase, with Rogers promising to maintain a separate management team and regional headquarters for its Quebec operations. In October 2020, Altice made a second offer, increasing it to CA$11.1 billion in cash, which was again rejected by the Audet family. The offer expired that November.
This article contains text that is written in a promotional tone. (August 2021)
Digital cable televisionEdit
Within its Canadian cable operations in Ontario and Quebec, 98% of all homes passed by Cogeco Cable-owned plant are able to access digital cable services.
Cogeco Cable was one of the first major cable operators to deploy its network compliant with the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard to provide all of its Internet Protocol (IP) based services, such as internet access and VoIP as early as 2002.
In April 2009, Cogeco implemented a penalty for surpassing the bandwidth limits for each tier. As of August 2021, Cogeco offers up to gigabit download speeds (30Mbit/s upload) in certain areas which takes advantage of its DOCSIS 3.1 platform upgrades and 180Mbit/s download (10Mbit/s upload) most of its footprint on DOCSIS 3.0.
VoIP digital telephonyEdit
Cogeco Cable launched its digital phone service in June 2005, a VoIP-based telephony service offering customers unlimited local & long distance calling within Canada and to the United States, voice mail, call display, call waiting, visual call waiting, call forwarding, 411-directory assistance, 911-emergency assistance, 611-technical support assistance, 711-message relay services and 0-operator services.
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