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New digital product to live-stream more than 1,000 NHL games, including playoffs

Breakfast Television | posted Wednesday, Sep 3rd, 2014

Rogers Communications has unveiled a new digital product that will live-stream more than 1,000 NHL games throughout the 2014-2015 hockey season, live including all playoff games.

Rogers GameCentre LIVE can be accessed through a new mobile app as well as NHL.com. It will be available on computers, smartphones and tablets.

Some of the features of the new product include:
• More than 1,000 games
• All national games, including Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays and Hometown Hockey on Sundays.
• All playoff games, including the Stanley Cup Final
• The NHL All-Star Game, Bridgestone Winter Classic and Stadium Series.
• Regional in-market games for Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, and Leafs on an authenticated basis.
• Out-of-market games in French for the Montreal Canadians (60 games) and Ottawa Senators (54 games)

Rogers wireless data and Hi-Speed Internet customers will get a free subscription until December 31, 2014. For non-Rogers customers, NHL GameCentre LIVE will cost $199.99 for the full season. A French-only package that includes les Canadiens (60 games) and les Sénateurs (54 games) regional games for $59.99 will also be available.

“We talked to fans in local rinks and living rooms across the country and it’s clear, they want access to more of the games and teams that matter to them,” said Keith Pelley, president, Rogers Media.

“We’re bringing fans national games and lifting more local blackouts so they can watch the teams and players they love. We’re also offering the app free to Rogers wireless and Hi-Speed Internet customers until the end of the year. And this is just a warm up – more fan experiences will be revealed before the puck drops.”

Alongside the news, Rogers also announced a new NHL ambassador: hockey legend Mark Messier.

Messier will be participating in a live Q&A on all things hockey Wednesday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. To ask him a question, send it on Twitter using the hashtag #AskMess.

The announcement from Rogers comes a week after it unveiled Shomi, a digital-video streaming service, set to launch in November.

The company added Wednesday’s announcement is “the first of many that will significantly change how Canadians watch hockey. More details will be revealed closer to puck drop.”

Rogers is the parent company of this organization.

Week of Sep. 1, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Aug 31st, 2014

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

We get you ready to head back to school all week long with everything you need to know–in studio and out and about with our Live Eye crew!

On Wednesday and Thursday’s Live Eye, we’re giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizing–be sure to tune in to find out how you can win.

Plus, we’re kicking off our Toronto International Film Festival coverage live from the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Friday.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

5 things to do this weekend: Labour Day Parade, Fan Expo & air show

BT Toronto | posted Saturday, Aug 30th, 2014

Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2014 

Fan Expo Canada: More than 120,000 fans of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and video games gather in downtown Toronto to meet their favourite celebrities, try the latest games and take home some unique collectible items. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Single day: $25-50. Deluxe pass: $115
fanexpocanada.com

Canadian International Air Show: It’s the last weekend at The Ex and what better way to celebrate the end of summer than to spend some time there on Labour Day weekend and see the planes at the 65th annual air show, including CF-18 Hornets, CF Snowbirds and many more. Plus there will be Great War Flying Museum aircraft on display. Saturday to Monday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Exhibition Place. Free with CNE admission. VIP tickets: $125-245.
cias.org

Kurios: It’s the opening weekend for Cirque du Soleil’s newest acrobatic act, which is making its debut in Toronto. Go see the unique costumes worn by the artists, jugglers and acrobats in a show about a 19th-century inventor who creates a machine that defies the imagination. Until Oct. 26. Grand Chapiteau at the Port Lands, 51 Commissioners St. $65-275.
cirquedusoleil.com

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market: It’s the 11th season of this pedestrian-only event that celebrates the downtown neighbourhood by making the streets car-free on the last Sunday of the month. Sunday, noon-7 p.m. Kensington Market. Free.
pskensington.ca

ArtFest Toronto: Now in its eighth year, this summer art show features Canadian painters, photographers, sculptors, jewellers and more. Friday to Monday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Distillery District. Free.
artfestontario.com

If you have a suggestion, email us at torontoweb@citynews.ca, submit it to CityNews.ca or 680News.com or via our iPhone & iPad apps.

With files from Showwei Chu, CityNews.ca

Burger King finalizes deal to acquire Tim Hortons

Romina Maurino, The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Aug 26th, 2014

Burger King and Tim Hortons are teaming up in a US$11-billion deal that will allow the fast food companies to grow in the U.S. and internationally, but promises no changes to Canadians’ morning coffee.

“One of the key value drivers of this transaction is the potential to significantly accelerate Tim Hortons’ international growth potential, like we did with Burger King,” Alex Behring, executive chairman of Burger King and managing partner at 3G Capital, said during a call with investors to discussed the deal Tuesday.

“By leveraging our master franchise joint venture model, our network of global partners and the vast experience of our global management and global development team members, we see no reason why we can’t bring the double-double to the rest of the world.”

The deal comes just over a day after both sides confirmed they were in talks, a possibility which sent their stock surging and created a flurry of speculation about what the combination may mean for the burger and doughnut chains.

Both sides were clear Tuesday that the focus of the deal was growth, given that it will create the world’s third-largest quick service restaurant company, with about $23 billion in system sales and more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries.

“This very clearly aligns with those objectives and priorities that we established, and we clearly said that things like the U.S. for us was a must-win battle, we clearly said that the international markets for us were untapped potential, and certainly this new relationship will allow us to move much quicker as a combined organization than we felt we could move ourselves,” Tim Hortons president and CEO Marc Caira said.

“This transaction will not only allow us to preserve our rich Canadian heritage, but it will allow us to bring even more meaningful benefits to Canada in the long run.”

The company has been owned by a large U.S. chain before, when it was purchased by Wendy’s International Inc. in 1995. It was spun-off from Wendy’s in 2006.

No major changes are expected to the actual brands, and Oakville, Ont., will remain the headquarters of Tim Hortons and Miami will remain the home base of Burger King.

When asked Tuesday if the deal meant Burger King could eventually sell Tim Hortons coffee, the answer was a quick and definitive “Absolutely not.”

“There’s no to mix the product or do any co-branding,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Burger King.

“The real driver here is the growth, and the ability to take such a strong and beloved brand internationally.”

Schwartz will become CEO of the new combined company, with overall day-to-day management and operational accountability.

The new company’s board will include the current eight Burger King directors and three directors to be appointed by Tim Hortons, including Caira, who will also be appointed vice-chairman and focus on strategy and global business development.

Private equity firm 3G Capital will own about 51 per cent of the new company, with Behring as executive chairman and director.

The corporate headquarters of the new global company will be based in Canada, but despite much speculation about the possible tax benefits of such a deal, Behring said taxes weren’t a motivating force for the move. Burger King says it won’t see any meaningful change to its tax rate.

“This is strategic transaction, this is creating a new global leader in the QSR sector, and it’s not being driven by tax rates,” he said.

“Burger King’s effective tax rate is the in mid to high 20s, which is largely consistent with Canadian taxes.”

The companies said there won’t be any changes to the way the franchises are managed or jobs, saying repeatedly the deal wasn’t about synergies but rather growth.

Under the terms of the transaction, Burger King will pay C$65.50 in cash and 0.8025 common shares of the new company for each Tim Hortons’ share. This represents total value per Tim Hortons share of C$94.05 Canadian, based on Burger King’s closing stock price on Monday. Tim Hortons shareholders can choose either all-cash or all stock in the new company.

Tim Hortons shares were up 8.6 per cent to $89.10 on the Toronto stock market, while Burger King ticked down 2.6 per cent to US$31.55. Both shares surged almost 20 per cent on Monday when reports of the deal first surfaced.

Rogers & Shaw team up to launch new subscription-video service

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Aug 26th, 2014

Cable-and-internet giants Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. are partnering to launch a new streaming-video service, set to debut in November.

The subscription on-demand service — called shomi — will feature 14,000 episodes and titles, 11,000 hours of TV shows and more than 1,000 movies. Users will be access the service on a computer, tablet, mobile device, Xbox 360 and cable set top boxes.

The joint venture will be owned equally by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. It will operate as its own standalone entity with its own management structure.

shomi will go head-to-head in the video-streaming space against Netflix Canada, which offers a similar all-you-can-watch-video model for one monthly fee. Earlier this year, Netflix Canada announced that it was raising its price from $7.99 to $8.99 a month for new customers.

The new service will be available first to Rogers and Shaw internet and TV customers and will cost $8.99 a month.

It will combine TV-and-movie recommendations from staff programmers as well as a software-based recommendation engine.

“We’ve taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”

Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media, added: ”We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it. shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we’re so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market.”

As part of its launch, Shomi has secured exclusive past-season streaming rights to titles such as Modern FamilyNew Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

 Rogers Communications is the parent company of this organization.

Canada, meet your Bachelorettes!

Breakfast Television | posted Monday, Aug 25th, 2014

Will it be the lingerie model? The ER doctor? Or maybe the personal trainer? We are a little bit closer to discovering who will win Bachelor Tim’s heart as City unveils the identities of all 25 bachelorettes for season two of original series The Bachelor Canada, hosted by Tyler Harcott. Find out who will get the coveted first-impression rose on the special two-hour premiere, airing Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings) on City.

Fans can learn more about the 25 women looking for love this season as five different bachelorettes are highlighted each morning in exclusive video reveals on Breakfast Television across the country. Following the Breakfast Television debuts, romantic hopefuls can catch up on all of the candid confessions by visiting Citytv.com/BachelorCanada.

Click here for more reveals from The Bachelor Canada.

Announced in April, Canada’s newest bachelor, Tim Warmels, 28, is putting his life on hold in pursuit of the one thing missing from it – true love. The successful entrepreneur and Richard Ivey School of Business graduate is looking for a woman who is happy in her own skin and wants just as much out of life as he does. As the limos pull up on Night 1, will Jennifer the “joyologist” win him over with her positivity? Or will quiet-but-confident Christine make a more memorable impression? Can April Borgnetta’s burlesque moves, Lisa’s edgy style, or Rileigh’s party-girl personality steal Tim’s attention away from the other women?

Ranging in age from 23 to 42 – and hailing from all over the country – the 25 bachelorettes are a diverse collection of character, energy, and background, with one thing in common – the chance to win Tim’s love.

In alphabetical order, Tim’s 25 bachelorettes are:

  • Alison, 27 (nurse), from Montreal
  • Andrea, 30 (dental hygienist), from Kelowna, B.C.
  • April Borgnetta, 30 (wax artist/”vagician”), from Victoria
  • April Brockman, 27 (realtor), from Wasaga Beach, ON
  • Christine, 29 (music teacher), from Vancouver
  • Dominique, 28 (reception & IT/model), from Montreal
  • Jacqueline, 23 (law office administrative assistant), from Toronto
  • Jennifer, 26 (“joyologist”), from Montreal
  • Jenny, 26 (personal trainer), from Vancouver (b. Hong Kong, China)
  • Jewel, 32 (payroll accountant), from Toronto
  • Kaylynn, 26 (ballerina), from Vancouver
  • Kelsey, 28 (sommelier), from Calgary
  • Lisa, 25 (hairstylist), from Calgary
  • Martha, 26 (fashion buyer), from Montreal (b. Cuernavaca, Mexico)
  • Natalie, 27 (elementary French teacher), from Cambridge, ON
  • Raelee, 26 (gymnast/art director), from Calgary (**Previously announced as winner of the ‘Canada’s Choice’ bachelorette contest)
  • Rebecca, 24 (waitress), from Calgary
  • Renée-Anne, 28 (ER doctor), from Sherbrooke, QC
  • Rileigh, 23 (philosophy student/waitress), from Kingston, ON
  • Ritiuska, 33 (engineer) from Calgary (b. Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela)
  • Sachelle, 24 (university recruitment coordinator), from Sudbury, ON
  • Sarah, 31 (personal support worker), from St. Catharines, ON
  • Sharan, 23 (IT sales), from Vancouver
  • Sonia, 42 (lingerie model), from Calgary
  • Trisha, 28 (beauty queen), from Edmonton

As the countdown to the eagerly awaited premiere winds down, learn more about Tim and get an inside scoop straight from the bachelor himself by connecting with him on Twitter @BachCanTim (official hashtag #BachCan) and on Instagram at @timbo0505.

Week of August 25, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Aug 24th, 2014

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

We’re decoding midway food with nutritionist Rose Reisman on Monday.

On Thursday, rapper-producer Kardinal Offishall stops by the BT studios.

Plus, on Friday, a performance from Canadian rock and reggae band, illScarlett!

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

TTC video offers preview of new state-of-the-art streetcars

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

Transit users are getting their first look at the new bigger, safer, more accessible streetcars, which are set to debut later this month on the Spadina route.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has rolled out a new video to help riders get familiar with the state-of-the-art fleet.

In the video, the TTC outlines many of the features that come with the new cars, including more doors for boarding, wheelchair ramps, air conditioning, and bike racks.

The new streetcars also have twice the capacity of the current ones and four doors for boarding and exiting.

The video shows passengers how to open the doors themselves at less busy stops.

In the video, TTC CEO Andy Byford said the news streetcars will get riders where they want to go faster.

“These vehicles feature four sets of doors, so customers will be able to board and exit the streetcar at any of those doors,” Byford said.

“That’s good news because quicker boarding and exiting means less time spent at stops and that means better, quicker service.”

The first of the new streetcars will debut on the 510 Spadina route on Aug. 31, Then, over the next five years, more than 200 of them will completely replace the older fleet.

Currently, around 250,000 riders take streetcars on a daily basis.

Earlier this month, the TTC proposed implementing the proof-of-payment (POP) system on all 11 streetcar routes as early as Jan. 1, 2015, in an effort to speed up commuting time for riders.

Originally, the TTC had planned to phase in POP gradually over the next five years with the rollout of the new fleet of streetcars, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

A city staff report concluded the top reason for delays on the busy King streetcar line is passengers taking their time getting on and off the vehicles.

The TTC board approved a new transit plan at their meeting Tuesday. It includes nine major recommendations for improving TTC service, including time-based transfers and adding more express bus routes.

With files from Jaime Pulfer, 680News.com

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