Rogers to offer on-demand TV service on tablets starting in 2011

Rogers will be joining Bell early next year when it allows customers to watch television content on tablets, including the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and the upcoming Playbook.

As The Globe and Mail reports, it’s a response to the entry of companies like Netflix onto the Canadian market. More and more consumers want “on-demand” programming, and Rogers is playing catch-up by providing this service:

“Instead of having to think about different services with different prices and different passwords, the value we can bring to people, is that it’s seamless. If people get that out of us, they’ll stay with us,” said John Boynton, Rogers’ chief marketing officer.

Most major cable and satellite providers in Canada offer similar services on the Web, and Bell TV Online is available on the Samsung Galaxy, with some live programming on the iPad and on-demand coming soon. It’s all a way of protecting their long-standing businesses against new competitors.

Among the most prominent alternatives is Netflix, which recently launched in Canada. It costs far less than a cable subscription, and can also be viewed online, on tablet devices, or on TV through certain gaming systems and Blu-Ray players.

I guess Rogers must really be feeling the heat if they’re letting customers view programs on their tablets for no additional charge — the Rogers I know would add a “Programming You’ve Already Paid For But Want To Watch Elsewhere So You’re Screwed” surcharge of $40 to your bill for something like this.