Rogers offering U.S. series on-demand

'Heroes,' 'Office' and 'Prison Break' among pickups

TORONTO -- Canadian cable giant Rogers Communications on Thursday said it has acquired a slew of U.S. network series from domestic rights-holder Canwest Broadcasting for free on-demand viewing by its digital cable subscribers.

Toronto-based Canwest did not disclose the terms of its deal that sees Toronto-Rogers secure about 60 hours of programming, which includes such top-rated Fox and NBC series as "House," "Heroes," "The Office," "24," "Bones" and "Prison Break."

The primetime U.S. series will air commercial-free as part of Rogers' on-demand service after their first-run airdate on Canwest's twin Canadian networks, Global Television and E!

Rogers, Canada's largest cable operator, and other content carriers have lobbied the country's TV regulator without success to secure access to advertising revenue from its on-demand services.

Canadian conventional networks also have resisted attempts by cable and satellite TV services to compete for VOD program rights and VOD ad revenue in a tightly regulated domestic TV market.

Canwest earlier made programming from three of its cable channels, HGTV, Food Network and National Geographic Channel, available on-demand from Rogers.