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Yahoo hitches onto Rogers for broadband

The deal is meant to give the Web portal a foothold into broadband markets and revenue from subscriptions.

Yahoo on Tuesday launched its partnership with Canada's Rogers Cable, marking the Web portal's latest effort to piggyback onto a high-speed Internet service provider.

The unveiling comes about seven months after the two companies announced their partnership. The deal entails Yahoo programming the default home page for Rogers' cable broadband service with Web content and services--such as 2GB of e-mail storage, spam controls and streaming video.

While the companies did not disclose financial details of the deal, previous deals with broadband providers offered Yahoo a cut of subscriber fees and revenue sharing from selling other Web services.

Rogers becomes Yahoo's latest broadband partnership, joining the likes of SBC Communications in the United States and BT in the United Kingdom. For Yahoo, these deals are meant to give the Web portal a foothold into broadband markets and revenue from subscriptions. In fact, much of Yahoo's paid revenue and subscriber growth last quarter--totaling $104 million from 6.4 million paid users--comes from these partnerships.

Yahoo CEO Terry Semel this year raised the company's subscriber target from 7.5 million to 8 million, although he did not give a timeframe to achieve this goal. Much of this expected growth will stem from these and other broadband deals.

"We will have more access partners this year," Semel said in an interview last week. He did not say when these partnerships would launch nor did he say with whom.

Still, Yahoo has had a difficult time striking deals with U.S. broadband providers, with SBC its only domestic deal. Cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have taken matters into their own hands by developing Web portals for their broadband services. Meanwhile, other digital subscriber line (DSL) giants such as Qwest Communications and Verizon Communications have partnered with Microsoft's MSN.