Entertainment

Netflix vs. Shomi: What you can expect from the Rogers/Shaw streaming service

By Sean Fitzgerald, 24 Hrs

We’re only a month away from Shomi, folks.

As you may have heard, the new streaming video service, coming from Rogers and Shaw Media, will be available to Rogers and Shaw Internet and cable customers in a beta version starting the first week of November.

The Netflix-like venture will cost viewers $8.99 per month, and by the end of its first year, the service will reportedly include 1,200 movies and 340 TV titles. If you’re planning to use a few sick days from work to hang out on the couch, the 11,000 hours of TV content should keep you busy.

But if you already have Netflix, should you even bother adding Shomi to your digital viewing arsenal? I guess it depends on what you think of the content. Recent deals with Starz Digital Media and 20th Century Fox Television Distribution — which gave Shomi the streaming video rights to titles from FX, FXX and Fox — hint that Rogers and Shaw are taking the streaming thing pretty seriously.

Instead of choosing one service or the other, some customers might opt to use both Netflix and Shomi at the same time, giving potential cord cutters more things to watch if they choose to walk away from cable and satellite television subscriptions for good.

If you’re curious, here are some TV shows that you’ll be able to find on Shomi that aren’t currently available on the Canadian version of Netflix:

SONS OF ANARCHY

FX’s super successful drama about an outlaw motorcycle club reaches the end of the road next month, when it wraps up after the seventh season. This show will likely be one of the early binge-worthy drama titles for Shomi, in the same way that Breaking Bad and Mad Men helped convince Canadian viewers of the appeal of Netflix.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA

It feels like just yesterday that Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito) joined The Gang in Season 2. Now, the hilarious sitcom about a group of self-centred pub owners will be starting Season 10 in the new year, with two more seasons confirmed after that — making it the longest-running live-action comedy series in cable history. I’m sure you’ll be tempted to gorge on this one if you sign up for Shomi.

LOUIE

There’s just so much artistry in what Louis C.K. does with his unorthodox TV series, which follows a fictionalized version of his life and flips between comedy and drama. This high-quality title also comes from FX, demonstrating that Shomi’s deal with FX really fills in the gap in terms of what we’re missing on Netflix.

MODERN FAMILY

It’s won a boatload of Emmys, it’s loved by Michelle Obama and it’s got Sofia Vergara. ABC’s sitcom about unconventional family life has a lot of things going for it. Do you really need to watch this on TV when you’ve also got it on Shomi? Only if you want the newest season, I guess.

THE STRAIN

If you missed out on Guillermo del Toro’s creepy vampire drama this past summer, then you’ll be able to explore it on Shomi before the second season begins production in Toronto again this fall. The scariest thing about the show, though? Probably Corey Stoll’s hairpiece.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY

Since each season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology show works as its own miniseries, you can use Shomi to pick and choose which storyline sounds the most interesting to you. The latest season, which debuts on TV this week, centres on an American freak show set in the 1950s, and features Angela Bassett playing a three-breasted woman.

OTHER TV SHOWS ON SHOMI THAT AREN’T ON NETFLIX: Scandal, The League, Wilfred, The Americans, Tyrant, New Girl, Revenge, 24: Live Another Day, Shameless, Vikings, Sleepy Hollow, 2 Broke Girls, Black Sails and Da Vinci’s Demons.

Twitter: @SeanDFitzgerald

sean.fitzgerald@sunmedia.ca

 


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