Rogers Media Bringing iVillage to Canada

Rogers brings popular American women's portal north as Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network launches here.

TORONTO -- Rogers Media is pacting with NBC Universal’s iVillage.com property to target Canadian women just as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network launches in Canada from March 1.

The long-term agreement will see Toronto-based Rogers launch the iVillage Canada web portal in spring 2011 to extend NBC Universal’s online community for women across North America.

The deal was unveiled by John Curbishley, senior vp of business development at iVillage and Pary Bell, vp of digital product for Rogers Media, a division of domestic cable and mobile phone giant Rogers Communications.

Rogers, which operates a network of Citytv-branded TV stations countrywide, is playing catch-up with rival broadcasters Corus Entertainment and Shaw Media to chase the female demo for advertisers.

Corus, besides launching OWN Canada, also operates W Network, Canada’s womens’ cable channel, and Cosmo TV, while Shaw Media’s popular female-skewing cable channels include HGTV Canada and Food Network Canada.

Rogers last year relaunched its Chatelaine.com website, an extension of its female-skewing Chatelaine magazine title.

But pacting with iVillage will give Rogers a female-skewing portal to draw in domestic audiences and advertisers.

Rogers is hiring a slew of Canadian editors and writers to customize iVillage.com for the local market, as well as using editorial from the U.S. and British-based iVillage.co.uk site.

Besides selling ad space on the iVillage, Rogers will represent existing iVillage network sites, including iVillage.com and iVillage.co.uk, to Canadian advertisers.

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