Shaw Communications, Inc. (NYSE:SJR) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 14, 2016 • 03:30 pm ET

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Shaw Communications, Inc. (NYSE:SJR) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Executive
Bradley Shaw

facility, which is opening this fall. Our Calgary datacenter is the state of the art facility and represents the first Canadian offering developed through our partnership with ViaWest. The launch of this new datacenter will allow Shaw business to help organizations meet their expanding ITs by providing a fully configurable hybrid solution backed by a 16-year track record with ViaWest.

As we move into fiscal 2016, we remain committed to our strategic priorities and advancing our technology roadmap. In Q3, we announced that we are working with Comcast to begin a technical trial of their cloud-based X1 platform and that we will be the first in Canada to capitalize on their cloud technology. We are confident that our partnership with Comcast on the X1 journey will allow us to reinvigorate our video roadmap and bring momentum back to our video business.

At the beginning of October, we launched our new Shaw home gateway, the XG1 which is a whole home PVR with our Moxi user experience. This set top is currently being deployed by Comcast and it is forward compatible with the X1 service.

To-date, we are pleased with the progress of the trial. However, as it remains ongoing, we are not yet at the point where we will provide details regarding the partnership and the specific economics related to the long-term arrangement. The X1 platform that is to be deployed is entirely built on Comcast infrastructure. Commands such sound changes, user interface, and video-on-demand titles will be powered directly by Comcast infrastructure and not processed in Shaw's facilities, so you can appreciate the complexity and the time requirements around the trial to ensure we have a robust service when we officially launch in F16.

Another strategic priority for us is in the broadband space, where there have been a lot of announcements by the industry about gigabyte speed capability. Our customers will always have access to the best network available and we are completely aligned with the cable industry approach, DOCSIS 3.1 advantage and the broad go-to-market differentiated Internet experiences.

Recall that our first digital network upgrade removed the first tier of analog channels. During F15, we removed all remaining analog signals from Vancouver and the lower mainland, and we will continue this as part of our digital network upgrade which we refer to as Phase 2 in F16. At the end of the year, we plan to have over 95% of our customers all digital. This opens up significant amount of additional capacity within our network and plans for us to deliver DOCSIS 3.1 in 2016 remain on track.

The customer experience remains front and center for us. Not only are we launching new products and investing in people and technology, we remain focused on capitalizing on additional efficiencies such as our call center realignment and our commitment to our focus to deliver multi-year program.

Considering both the opportunities and challenges that we face going into fiscal 2016, we are targeting EBITDA to the range between flat and