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No. 30: Rogers Communications

Toronto

Revenue: $2.352 billion

Profit: $95 million

Rogers Communications is charging ahead with its plan to evolve into an integrated media company with investment-grade status.

Company’s cable asset swap last year along regional lines was a good start, but then its acquisition of cabler Videotron fell through. Undeterred, Rogers turned around and purchased Cable Atlantic. It also made strong bids on the content side and won a handful of digital specialty channel licenses, three of which are due to launch in September.

When Canada’s broadcast regulator did an about-face, deciding it would be OK for cablers to control analog specialty channels, Rogers quickly upped its interest in SportsNet from 40% to 80%. The channel serves as a perfect platform for recent acquisitions the Toronto Blue Jays baseball and Phantoms football teams.

“Rogers’ cable, media and wireless divisions will promote the Jays and Phantoms through their distribution and content platforms,” promised Rogers prexy and CEO Ted Rogers. “Likewise, the Rogers brand will be promoted by our sports teams.”

Rogers is also applying for four more analog stations.

However, the company’s long-term debt has mounted to $2.5 billion, and it is being sued by a group of high-speed Internet customers who claim that Rogers@Home let them down one too many times. Plus, some shareholders are stonewalling plans to privatize the company’s underperforming wireless division.

But Rogers intends to stay the course, expanding “both organically and through acquisitions, while focusing on convergence opportunities.”

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