Rogers, BzzAgent team in Canada


TORONTO -- Canadian cablecaster Rogers Communications on Monday said it has picked up the exclusive rights to sell access to BzzAgent's advertising industry word-of-mouth media network in Canada.

The move came as Toronto-based Rogers boasted of "solid" subscriber growth in its core wireless and cable TV businesses.

Rogers said its media arm will license the U.S.-based BzzAgent brand exclusively in Canada and develop campaigns for the consumer channel under the name BzzAgent Canada.

"One of the world's most-recognized media companies has just made an unprecedented commitment to word of mouth in 2008. Canada has become the focal point for the future of the industry," Dave Balter, founder and CEO of BzzAgent, said in a statement.

The BzzAgent network comprises about 360,000 unpaid consumers -- with around 10% of that base in Canada -- who volunteer to experience and discuss products and services with friends and family.

Also Monday, Rogers forecast total sales for fiscal 2008 to range from CAN$11.2 billion ($11.14 billion) to CAN$11.5 billion ($11.54 billion), which exceeded analyst estimates.

Rogers reported that higher basic cable subscriber recruitments, and more customers for its digital cable, high-speed Internet and residential and wireless phone divisions.

Rogers is scheduled to report its latest earnings Feb. 22.