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Demise of Shomi, sale of media unit take bite out of Shaw Communications profit

CALGARY _ Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) saw its first-quarter profit cut to less than half what it was a year ago, hurt by the demise of Shomi _ its video streaming joint venture with Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B).

The companies shut down Shomi late last year, two years after the video-on-demand service launched.

Shaw earned $89 million or 18 cents per share for the quarter ended Nov. 30 compared with a profit of $218 million or 43 cents per share a year ago.

The company says the wind-down of the Canadian cable companies’ alternative to Netflix resulted in a $107-million provision in the quarter.

The three-month period also saw lower income as a result of its sale of Shaw Media to Corus Entertainment (TSX:CJR.B) last year.

Revenue was up 14.9 per cent to $1.31 billion from $1.14 billion _ mostly because of the acquisition of Freedom Mobile _ formerly called Wind _ last year. Shaw’s older business segments also gained revenue.