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.[4] 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.[5]

Cogeco Inc.
TypePublic
TSXCGO
TSXCCA
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded1957
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada[1]
FounderHenri Audet
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
  • Philippe Jetté (President & CEO)
  • Patrice Ouimet (Senior Vice President & CFO)
ProductsCable TV, Internet, telecommunications, broadcasting
RevenueIncrease CA$2.33 billion (FY19) CA$2.15 billion (FY18)[2]
Increase CA$1.11 billion (FY19) CA$1.01 billion (FY18)[2]
Increase CA$432 million (FY19) CA$351 million (FY18)[2]
Total assetsDecrease CA$6.95 billion (FY19) CA$7.18 billion (FY18)[2]
Number of employees
4,500[3] (2019)
SubsidiariesBreezeline
Websitecorpo.cogeco.com/cca/
www.cogeco.ca

Cogeco Inc. is a publicly traded company (TSXCGO) and is controlled through multiple voting shares (accounting for 71.29% of votes) by the Audet family's holding company Gestion Audem Inc.[6][7][8] 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 (TSXCCA) which owns the Canadian and U.S. cable and telecom operations.[8] The name Cogeco is an acronym for Compagnie Générale de Communication ("General Communications Company").[9]

HistoryEdit

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,[9] 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.,[10] which was in 1972, Cogeco's first acquisition.[11][12] 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.[13]

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.[14] Between 1998 and 2001, Cogeco increased its footprint in both Quebec and Ontario with the acquisition of an additional 19 cable systems.[11] In a turn of events, in 2009, and again in 2010, Rogers invested substantially in both Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Cable Inc.,[15][16] resulting in some speculation surrounding the two rivals.[17]

In 2011, the company increased its radio station assets by acquiring Corus Québec, a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment,[18] 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.[11] Also that year, the company purchased Métromédia for CA$41 million to later sell it in 2018 to Bell Media for an undisclosed amount.[19]

In February 2012, the company also sold its cable system Cabovisão in Portugal to the European media group Altice.[20]

In July 2012, the company expanded into the U.S. market by acquiring the cable system operator Atlantic Broadband.[11] In December that same year, it acquired Peer 1 Hosting, an internet infrastructure provider,[21] and later in October 2015, merged it with its Cogeco Data Services, forming a new subsidiary called Cogeco Peer 1.[22]

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[23] for US$1.4 billion,[24] making the company the eight largest hybrid fibre coaxial cable operator in North America.[25]

In February 2019, the company announced it sold Cogeco Peer 1 to private equity firm Digital Colony for CA$720 million.[26] Cogeco Peer 1 later changed its name to Aptum Technologies.

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.[27] Cogeco's controlling shareholders, the Audet family, indicated shortly thereafter that they would not support the offer.[28][29] 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.[30] 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.[30] 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.[31] The offer expired that November.[32]

Following the acquisition of systems in Ohio in 2021, Atlantic Broadband rebranded as Breezeline in early 2022.[33]

Digital servicesEdit

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.[34]

In August 2018, Cogeco announced that it would convert its cablesystems to IPTV using MediaKind platforms.[35]

Internet accessEdit

 
A marker post alerting to the presence of Cogeco optical fiber

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.[36]

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.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Cogeco Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "Cogeco 2019 Annual Report" (PDF). corpo.cogeco.com.
  3. ^ "Cogeco employees in North America". corpo.cogeco.com.
  4. ^ "Cogeco Organizational Structure". Cogeco Corporate Website. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Cogeco Communications Inc". About Cogeco Communications Inc. Archived from the original on 13 April 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Federal Corporation Information - 068854-1 - Online Filing Centre - Corporations Canada - Corporations - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada". www.ic.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 23 May 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Gestion Audem Inc - Company Profile and News". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Ownership – Broadcasting - CRTC" (PDF). crtc.gc.ca. 11 June 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  9. ^ a b ez2me2009 (14 April 2011). "Station identification for CKTM-TV, which included the Cogeco logo and its meaning". YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  10. ^ "CKTM-TV". History of Canadian Broadcasting. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d "Cogeco History". corpo.cogeco.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Cogeco Inc. | History of Canadian Broadcasting". www.broadcasting-history.ca. Archived from the original on 27 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  13. ^ Audet, Henri. "Henri Audet Biography". History of Canadian Broadcasting. Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  14. ^ "History of Rogers Communications Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2020 – via International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 30. St. James Press, 2000.
  15. ^ "Rogers Purchasing 3.2 Million Shares of Cogeco Cable Inc. and 1.6 Million Shares of Cogeco Inc". About Rogers. 26 November 2009. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Rogers Purchasing Additional Shares of Cogeco Cable Inc. and Cogeco Inc". About Rogers. 4 November 2010. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  17. ^ "What's up between Cogeco and Rogers". The Globe and Mail. 26 November 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Cogeco Media". Cogeco Media. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Cogeco sells Metromedia division to Bell Media for undisclosed price". The Globe and Mail. 5 January 2016. Archived from the original on 17 December 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Sale of Cabovisão – Televisão por Cabo S.A. to European Group ALTICE" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Cogeco Cable Inc. to acquire Peer 1 Network Entreprises, Inc" (PDF). 18 July 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Presenting Cogeco Peer 1". Cogeco. 19 October 2015. Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Cogeco Communications Inc. Announces the Completion of Atlantic Broadband's Acquisition of All of the Metrocast Cable Systems". Cogeco Communications Inc. Announces the Completion of Atlantic Broadband's Acquisition of All of the Metrocast Cable Systems (in French). 4 January 2018. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Cogeco achète des actifs de MetroCast pour 1,4 milliard US | Médias et télécoms". La Presse (in Canadian French). 10 July 2017. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  25. ^ "About Cogeco Communications Inc". About Cogeco Communications Inc. Archived from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Cogeco Peer 1 Sold". Corpo Cogeco. 27 February 2019. Archived from the original on 23 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  27. ^ Deschamps, Tara (2 September 2020). "U.S. cable company makes $10.3B bid for Cogeco, would sell Cdn. assets to Rogers". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  28. ^ "Achat de Cogeco: un refus «définitif» des Audet". La Presse (in French). 7 September 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  29. ^ Zivitz, Noah (2 September 2020). "Rogers, Altice target Cogeco for $10.3B takeover; Audet balks". BNNBloomberg.ca. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  30. ^ a b Posadzki, Alexandra; van Praet, Nicolas (4 September 2020). "Rogers vows to keep Cogeco headquarters in Quebec if deal goes through". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  31. ^ "Cogeco owner rejects latest multi-billion takeover offer from Altice, Rogers | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  32. ^ Posadzki, Alexandra (18 November 2020). "As Cogeco bid expires, Rogers CEO says deal 'just wasn't meant to be'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  33. ^ Winslow, George (10 January 2022). "Atlantic Broadband Rebrands as Breezeline". TVTechnology. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  34. ^ "Cogeco Annual Report 2006" (PDF). cogeco.ca. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  35. ^ Frankel, Daniel. "Cogeco: MediaFirst Rollout Will Exist Alongside TiVo". Multichannel. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  36. ^ "Cable Television Laboratories Inc. SPECS News & Technology Newsletter". August 2002. Archived from the original on 20 May 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2021.

External linksEdit