45. Shaw Communications

Revenues 2014: CAD 5.241 billion (€ 3.575 billion)



Shaw Communications Inc. (NYSE: SJR) is the second largest Canadian media business. Founded as a cable and telecommunications company in 1966, today Shaw controls a large share of the Canadian cable and Internet market, as well as television channels. In 1999 television and radio channels were outsourced into the Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) independent company. The majority of Shaw Communication and Corus Entertainment is run by the Shaw family. 

General Information


Shaw Communications Inc.
630 3rd Ave. Sw, Ste. 900
Calgary, AB T2P 4L4
Phone: +1-403-750-4500
Fax: +1-403-750-4501 

Branches: Cable, satellite-TV, televison channels
Legal form: Public company
Geschäftsjahr: 9/1 - 8/31
Founding year: 1966 


Tab. I: Business performance Shaw Comm.
Revenues (CAD Mio.)5,4885,2415,1424.9984.7413.7183.3913.1052.7742.459
Profit (CAD Mio.)880887746761562534536671388458
Share price, end of year (USD Mio.)23,5026,8224,3420,0820,2022,0118,0120,3324,8415,01



Tab. II: Business Performance Corus Ent.
Revenues (CAD Mio.)833803,5842.3825.2767.5722.1787.2768,7726.3683.1666.8
Profit (loss) (CAD Mio.)156.1159,9149141120(51)129.810735.571.1(23.1)
Share price, end of year (CAD)22,5625,7223,3219,7521,618,2219,1923,3821,1616,8211,75






Management Team, Shaw Communications Inc.:

  • James Robert “J.R.” Shaw, O.C., AOE, Executive Chair
  • Jim Shaw, Vice Chair
  • Bradley Shaw, Chief Executive Officer
  • Peter Bissonnette, President
  • Barbara Williams, Executive Vice President, Broadcasting & President, Shaw Media
  • Ron McKenzie, Senior Vice President, Business
  • Arnaud Robert, Senior Vice President,, Technology Strategy
  • Trevor English, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Capital Markets
  • Jay Mehr, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
  • Chris Kucharski, Senior Vice President, Consumer
  • Jim Little, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Mark Porter, Senior Vice President, Human Resources
  • Zoran Stakic, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
  • Rhonda Bashnick, Senior Vice President, Finance
  • Peter Johnson, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Louis Desrochers, CM, AOE, Q.C., LLD, Honorary Secretary of Directors


Board of Directors, Shaw Communications Inc.:

  • James Robert “J.R.” Shaw
  • Jim Shaw
  • Bradley Shaw
  • Peter Bissonnette
  • Adrian Burns
  • George Galbraith
  • Richard Green
  • Lynda Haverstock
  • Gregg Keating
  • Michael O'Brien
  • Paul Pew
  • Jeffrey Royer
  • JC Sparkman
  • Carl Vogel
  • Sheila Weatherill
  • Willard Yuill


Executives Corus Entertainment Inc.:

  • John Cassaday, President und CEO
  • Heather Shaw, Executive Chair
  • Judy Adam, Vice President, Finance
  • Scott Dyer, Executive Vice President, Shared Services and Chief Technology Officer
  • Gary Maavara, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Corporate Secretary
  • Kathleen McNair, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Communications 
  • Doug Murphy, Executive Vice President and President of Corus Television
  • Tom Peddie, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Vorstand Corus Entertainment Inc.:

  • Fernand Bélisle
  • John Cassaday
  • Dennis Erker
  • Mark Hollinger
  • Barry James
  • Wendy Leaney
  • Ronald Rogers
  • Catherine Roozen
  • Terrance Royer
  • Heather Shaw
  • Julie Shaw



The story of Shaw Communications Inc. begins in the 1950s. Francis Shaw, who came from a background in agriculture, invested in various branches of trade and purchased the first cable network in the province of Ontario in 1953. Francis Shaw encouraged his sons Les and James Robert to join in with the management of the family company. When James Robert ‘J.R.’ Shaw planned an expansion of the business in the Alberta province, he saw an opportunity for expansion in cable network providers. In 1966 he founded the company Capital Cable Television Co. Ltd. and received a license to run a cable network in the province’s capital city of Edmonton.

In 1983 Capital Cable Television Co. Ltd. was renamed Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. and the company went public. Up until the 1990s Shaw grew steadily with the purchase of cable network providers in Canada. To avoid fighting for the same customers as business rival Rogers Communications Inc., the two companies swapped geographically widespread cable networks in 1994 and 2001 and met in 2000 to negotiate an arrangement that would ensure they would not stand in direct competition with one another. Shaw’s cable networks were located in West Canada, (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) and Roger’s in the East (Ontario, Quebec, Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island). The Non-Competition-Agreement was reversed in 2009, when Shaw purchased a cable network provider in Ontario for 300 Million CAD. The Canadian watchdog CRTC approved the takeover without any restrictions.

In response to the apprehension that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) would take action against the simultaneous ownership of telecommunications channel and media content and the grouping thereof, Shaw Communications Inc. 1999 regrouped their television and radio channels into Corus Entertainment Inc., a new formal independent company, listed on the stock exchange. As with Shaw, the Shaw family holds the majority of shares in the newly established company.
In 2010 Shaw Communications Inc. completed their largest business acquisition, of around two billion CAD (1.2 billion CAD cash and the transfer of debts 846 million CAD) and purchased the CanWest Global Communications Corporation broadcasting station. Canadian media company CanWest filed for creditor protection in autumn 2009. The reason given was the high debt burden of the television, film and newspaper company, whose external growth was financed by credit, however CanWest’s revenue could no longer cover debt repayments. The acquisition was passed by the CRTC with several liabilities for Shaw.



James Robert ‘J.R.’ Shaw (born 1934) is the patriarch of the media business dynasty and CEO of the Shaw Supervisory Board. Alongside the Shaw family, the following families were and are involved in the Canadian media and telecommunications market: the Aspers (CanWest Global Communications Corporation: bankrupt in 2009 and business divisions now under ownership of Shaw Communications and Corus Entertainment), Griffiths (WIC Western International Communications Ltd.: 2000 takeover and break down of companies between CanWest, Corus Entertainment and Shaw Communications), Péladeaus (Quebecor Inc.) and Rogers (Rogers Communications Inc.). However, thanks to internal and external growth, James Robert Shaw and the family members control the second largest media conglomerate, comprising Shaw Communications Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc.. James Robert Shaw’s family members Jim, Bradley, Heather and Julie also work for the family business.

Jim Shaw never graduated from the University of Calgary, since his father asked him to join the family business in 1982. Jim Shaw Chief was the Executive Officer (CEO) of Shaw Communications from 1998 to 2010. ‘Unprofessionalism’ at a business meeting with investors was cited in his resignation. His brother Bradley was the CEO successor.
Bradley S. Shaw has been the CEO of Shaw Communications since November 2010. The son of James Robert Shaw has been in the company’s supervisory board since 1999.

Heather Shaw graduated in Economics at the University of Alberta (Bachelor) and the University of Western Ontario (MBA). Heather Shaw has been the Executive Chair of the Corus Entertainment Inc. Supervisory Board since 1999.

Julie Shaw has been working for the family business since 1986 and has been the Vice President of the Corus Entertainment Inc. Supervisory Board since 2008.
Peter J. Bissonnette has been the President of the Shaw Communications Inc. Supervisory Board since 2009.

John Cassaday is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Corus Entertainment Inc..

Business Fields


The cable business area presents a summary of triple-play offers to end users. The company’s origins are in cable network providers. Thanks to digitalisation, the portfolio developed from a pure cable television provider to an Internet and telecommunications business. In 2011 Shaw Communications offered around 2.3 million households cable television, 1.8 million customers had Internet access through the company and around 1.23 million customers made calls through Shaw’s network. In addition to business with private customers, the digital networks are also used by business clients.

With three satellites Shaw Communications Inc. owns and hires out its capacity to broadcast digital signals to the North American continent. Operating under the name of Shaw Direct, the company offers satellite television to around 909,000 private customers in Canada. In addition to private customer business, Shaw also provides services for companies. The Satellite Services division is a service provider for other, usually local and regional cable providers, whose signals are then broadcast via Shaw’s transponder capacities. Their service provider portfolio (Shaw Tracking) also includes the supply of a technical infrastructure for logistics companies, which enables satellite supported communication and the tracking of vehicle fleets.

Media: In 2010 Shaw acquired Global Television Network (Global) and 18 specialist channels. CanWest Global Communications Corporation acquired these for 2 billion CAD (see History). The full Global programme is broadcast to around 95 per cent of Canadian households. Shaw Communications expanded its business portfolio with this purchase and now owns further phases of the value chain as an integrated media and telecommunications company thanks to its grouping and distribution of media content.

Corus Entertainment Inc.:

Corus Entertainment Inc. is the owner of advertising-financed full and specialist channels, subscription-funded pay TV offers and content producers, which generate profits through the worldwide licensing of entertainment programmes for children and related sales in merchandising and publishing. The annual turnover of this division totalled around 630 million CAD in 2011.

Radio: Corus Entertainment Inc.’s radio division incorporates 37 channels. The media company broadcasts to seven of the ten most populated areas in Canada’s radio market. The radio channels are financed through advertising and contributed 196 million CAD to the company’s annual turnover in 2011.


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