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Rogers stops R&D on its own IPTV system, picks Comcast platform with 2018 launch

TORONTO _ Rogers Communications has decided to go with a U.S. platform for its next-generation video services and has discontinued work on its own IPTV research and development, triggering a writedown worth about half a billion dollars.

As a result of the change, Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) says it will record a non-cash asset impairment charge in the range of $475 million to $525 million in its fourth quarter.

The Toronto-based company said earlier this year that its own Internet protocol television service would be launched before the end of 2016.

It now expects to launch a new IPTV service in early 2018, using technology developed by Comcast, one of the biggest cable and Internet service providers in the United States.

The interim chief executive of Rogers, chairman Alan Horn, says the change will be good for customers because they will have access to the most advanced features on the market with the Comcast technology.