Shaw to buy Whistler Cable 

Shaw services to be offered locally

By Andrew Mitchell

Whistler Cable, which provides cable television and Internet services through Whistler and Pemberton, is being acquired by Shaw Communications — Canada’s second-largest cable TV operator behind Rogers Cable.

The sale, for an undisclosed amount, was confirmed in a press release and news reports on Tuesday. The Toronto Stock Exchange still has to approve the transaction, but it’s unlikely that could prevent the sale.

Whistler Cable has been privately owned by the Saperstein family, and first broadcast to Whistler back in 1983 after receiving its license in 1979. In the late ’90s the company expanded to Pemberton and launched Whooshnet — a two-way cable Internet service that also started to offer wireless Internet within Whistler Village a few years ago.

Whistler Cable also operates three propriety channels, Cable 6 (community programming), Cable 13 (channel guide) and Cable 19 (Action Sports Network).

Whistler Cable and Shaw Communications did not return the Pique’s phone calls to comment on the sale, but both companies commented in a press release on Tuesday.

“Whistler Cable is an excellent system and a perfect fit with Shaw’s existing systems on the West Coast, as well with the system that we recently acquired from Coast Mountain Communications Inc., which also operates in Pemberton,” said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications.

Whistler Cable owner M.J. Saperstein added: “We are very pleased about joining forces with Shaw. Shaw has a reputation on the West Coast of providing exceptional products and services to their customers, and this will now be extended to the residents of Whistler and Pemberton.”

Shaw also offers satellite television to Canadians through Star Choice.

Whistler Cable isn’t Shaw’s only acquisition. Last week the company acquired Norcom Telecommunications Limited, a cable operation that serves regions of northern Ontario.

The announcement came the same week that Intrawest, the parent corporation of Whistler-Blackcomb, announced a purchase agreement that would see the company acquired by a New York investment firm, Fortress Investment Group LLC.


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