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Kick off the Toronto Blue Jays season with Rogers Anyplace TV

Blue JaysI’m a die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fan.

How much of a fan, you ask? Well, for our honeymoon last summer, my husband and I took a road trip to Buffalo to catch a game of the Blue Jays triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons.

One night later, we were sitting right behind home plate to watch as the Blue Jays took on the Tampa Bay Rays.

Today marks the start of the Blue Jays 2014 season. And while I’d rather be in Tampa Bay catching the game in person (and soaking up some sun), I’ll be able to watch the first Blue Jays game of the season while I’m on the go in Toronto with Rogers Anyplace TV.

Here’s how Rogers customers can watch all 162 Blue Jays games this year:

  • Rogers digital television customers can live stream the games on their computer and tablet with Rogers Anyplace TV and their Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE or Sportsnet 360 subscriptions;
  • Rogers wireless customers can tune in on their smartphone via the Rogers Anyplace TV mobile app.

Sportsnet will also be following the Blue Jays with real-time alerts from the free Sportsnet Mobile app, available for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android. Plus fans can join a live chat with Sportsnet’s team of writers on sportsnet.ca during key games and find all the latest news and updates for their favourite team.

Last summer, when the Blue Jays were about to win their 11th straight game, my husband and I were on the move.

When the game began, we were listening to Sportnet 590 the FAN broadcast in the car en route to the Burlington GO Station to catch a train back to Toronto. We sat in the car as long as we could.

When it was almost time for the train, we had to figure out another way to listen to the game. Then I remembered we could watch it on our smartphones!

We cheered every home run as the train rolled on – don’t worry, we had headphones so as not to disturb everyone.

By the time we got to Toronto, the Blue Jays were up handily. We turned off the game as we transferred from the GO Train to a streetcar, then resumed watching on the Rogers Anyplace TV app.

The Blue Jays ended up winning that game 13-5.

Here’s to a fabulous 2014 season, wherever you catch the game.

Where’s the oddest place you’ve watched a Blue Jays game using the Rogers Anyplace TV app?

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Checking out Next Issue

Next IssueHello, my name is Sarah and I’m a magazine fanatic.

I admit, I read too many magazines: Maclean’s, US Weekly, Real Simple — my list is endless. And because I don’t always bring my magazines to the recycling bin in a timely fashion, my husband has been less-than-impressed with one of my favourite pastimes.

So imagine our excitement when Next Issue launched in Canada last fall. Not only do I get to read all my favourites, including dozens of titles I didn’t regularly pick up from the newsstand, but there’s no recycling mess left behind.

Next Issue is a subscription-based digital magazine service Rogers Media launched last fall through its Rogers Publishing division. It offers unlimited access to more than 100 of the world’s best magazines, including Chatelaine, Maclean’s and popular U.S. titles, starting at $9.99 per month.

We gave bloggers Jack Harding and Rebecca Stanisic a chance to trial Next Issue on their Rogers smartphones and tablets for the past few months. We caught up with them to find out their thoughts on the service.

What do you think of Next Issue so far?

Rebecca: It’s fantastic. I can read it on my smartphone or iPad. The load time is quick and there are so many different magazines to choose from. I can pull up recipe magazines, style magazines or, my personal favourite, Entertainment Weekly for all the juicy news on my favourite TV shows and movies. My husband has different interests so it’s nice that both of us can choose from a huge selection and find something we really like.

Jack: It has allowed me to keep up with a lot of reading that I most likely wouldn’t have done otherwise. I used to be guilty of subscribing to magazines and never reading them. Then, six months later I have stacks of unread magazines that I have to throw out.

What are your favourite magazines on the app?

Rebecca: Entertainment Weekly and Chatelaine have been two of my go-tos.  We also pull up Rolling Stone a lot.

Jack: Next Issue has allowed me to not only keep up on my fashion and tech news, but it has allowed me to read more interviews, learn more about the world, and open my eyes to different viewpoints.

What are the perks to reading digital magazines?

Rebecca: It’s still new to me to read digitally, but I am slowly becoming a convert. It’s really great not to have piles of old magazines lying around the house and going into the recycle bin. And if I added up my subscriptions or cost of the magazines I picked up once and a while, this is definitely more economical. Plus, Next Issue travels with me wherever I go so that convenience is nice.

Tell us: Where’s the weirdest place you’ve read a magazine on Next Issue?

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How your sharing helped Parker Jackson graduate high school

Parker JacksonIf you met Parker Jackson two years ago, he would have told you he didn’t expect to ever graduate high school.

Now, Parker has completed his final course and filled out his intent to graduate form.

He credits his success to a tablet, part of mobile tech unit donated to the Rogers Love to Learn youth program at Leave Out Violence- Nova Scotia (LOVE).

The mobile tech unit is one of 52 donated to our non-profit Rogers Youth Fund partners across the country thanks to your tweets and Facebook shares on Rogers Youth Education Day last September 25. Rogers Youth Fund is Rogers national commitment to help youth succeed in the classroom and beyond.  We wanted to let you know how your assistance last year helped kids like Parker.

Parker, who’s from Halifax, N.S., dropped out of Dartmouth High School. After a few years out of school and unsure of what lay ahead, he decided to return to the classroom and try again. He became involved with Rogers LOVE to Learn Program after learning about it from Sarah MacLaren, the Executive Director of LOVE.

Parker says he took part in Rogers Love to Learn program because he needed help focusing on his studies. When the mobile tech unit arrived from Rogers, he began using a tablet. On the tablet, he was able to download apps to help him understand the formulas in his math courses. In one four-hour session with the tablet, Parker was able to complete half his assignment book. He also credits the program’s volunteers.

“I can promise you that without the tutors, I wouldn’t be graduating this year,” he says. “Those people genuinely care about me and motivate me to do my best.”

Of course, the tablet isn’t just about schoolwork, Parker also enjoys some recreational apps.

“There’s a game called Plague Inc., that’s my favorite game to play. I also like to use it to write poetry and take pictures,” he admits.

Parker has come full circle: now finished school, he’s working at the Halifax and Region Military Family Resource Centre where he helps run youth programs.

When it comes to other youth who may be having difficulty with school, Parker has some advice.

“School is rough, but you’ve got to buckle down and find a way to get it done. Look for support in your community,” he says.

“Don’t forget to have fun while studying because it can be tedious and if you’re stressed you’re less likely to remember things. Try to be in a positive atmosphere.”

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Introducing the team bringing you more hockey on more platforms this fall

Back in November, Rogers Media announced a 12-year, $5.2-billion deal with the NHL, which means more hockey for Canadian fans across all platforms. Today, we’re happy to introduce the team of broadcasters who will anchor our national NHL coverage.

“We know how passionate fans are about hockey, and so we’ve brought together the best anchors to deliver the best hockey experience to Canadians,” said Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties at Rogers.

Here’s the first line of our all-star roster:

  • George Stroumboulopoulos will host Hockey Night in Canada, and will be the studio anchor for Sunday night NHL Hometown Hockey broadcasts on CITY. He’ll also host other NHL broadcasts on Sportsnet and other Rogers platforms;
  • Don Cherry returns with the twenty-ninth season of Coach’s Corner on Saturday nights;
  • Ron MacLean will also return for Coach’s Corner, and  will host Sunday night’s Hometown Hockey Community Celebration;
  • Daren Millard will continue to host Hockey Central @ Noon on Sportsnet 590 The FAN radio and Sportsnet television, along with Toronto Maple Leafs regional hockey on Sportsnet, and will begin hosting Wednesday Night Hockey on Sportsnet this October;
  • Jeff Marek will host Thursday Night Hockey on Sportsnet 360, as well as Friday Night Hockey and the Memorial Cup.

In total, the team will deliver more than 500 regular season games across 13 networks and seven platforms. This includes up to seven games every Saturday night, plus Hometown Hockey every Sunday hosted from communities across Canada, and every game of the NHL Playoffs and The Stanley Cup Final.

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Reserve your Samsung Galaxy S5 now with Rogers

Samsung Galaxy S5This just in: Samsung announced its latest Android device, the brand-new Samsung GALAXY S5, today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Don’t wait to get yours!  New and existing Rogers customers can reserve theirs now on the Rogers Reservation System.

Reserving a device on the Rogers Reservation System means you don’t need to call around to stores looking for stock. You know where you are in line, and can choose which Rogers store will receive your device. Plus, you’ll always know where your device is: You get an email notification when it ships, and the store will call you when it arrives.

Here’s what Samsung announced about the device today: The Samsung GALAXY S5 is a LTE Category 4 Standard device, and includes a Finger Scanner for a secure, biometric screen locking feature as well as enhanced S Health 3.0 to help you stay fit. The personal fitness tracker includes a pedometer, diet and exercise records and a new built-in heart rate monitor.

The Samsung GALAXY S5 also has a 16MP camera with the world’s fastest autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds. Canadian specs will be revealed soon. Click here for more information on the S5.

Rogers customers who purchase the Samsung GALAXY S5 will also have the choice to subscribe to the Rogers Next Program, which allows customers to upgrade their device every 12 months with no early upgrade or connection fees. Conditions apply; visit here for full details.

We’ll have more details to share regarding exclusive offers, pricing and release date soon. Stay tuned to @RogersBuzz on Twitter and RedBoard for the latest.

What feature from the Samsung GALAXY S5 excites you?

Update: March 18, 2014: Today, Samsung officially announced Canadian specs for the Samsung Galaxy S5, hitting Rogers this April. Being a Rogers customer has its advantages with this launch:

  • Light up your Samsung Galaxy S5, with its quad-core processor, on Rogers LTE, Canada’s fastest LTE network, and you can expect smooth HD video streaming and blazing fast downloads with virtually no buffering or lags;
  • Be gone the days of carrying a bulky wallet! All Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones from Rogers will come with the suretap wallet, an app that lets you securely store your credit and debit card information and make payments using your smartphone;
  • Rogers will carry Samsung’s full line-up of next-generation Gear wearables – Gear Fit, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo – starting on April 11. Only with Rogers will you have access to the Gear 2 Neo, which comes with a standalone music player for your favourite tunes on the go. These wearables extend the smartphone to your wrist with real-time notifications, and help keep fitness goals on track with a built in pedometer and a heart rate sensor.

A few weeks ago, we let new and existing customers reserve their spot in line for the device and today, we’re announcing exclusive offers for the first 10,000 who purchase through the Rogers Reservation System:

  • A $50 credit on a virtual Rogers Prepaid MasterCard in their suretap wallet, ready to spend however they want;
  • Customers already enrolled in the Rogers First Rewards loyalty program when they reserve will receive 2,000 bonus points with their purchase of the Samsung Galaxy S5.  Instantly redeem these points for a discount in-store or save to redeem for Rogers products and services, including bonus wireless data, roaming travel packs and more.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available on April 11 at Rogers for $249.99 on select two-year plans. The Samsung Gear 2 Neo, only available with Rogers, will be available for $219.99; the Gear Fit for $219.99; and the Gear 2 for $329.99.

For updates on more exclusive offers coming soon, check back here or visit social.rogers.com. For complete offer details and Samsung Galaxy S5 specs, head over to rogers.com/Samsung.

Reserve your S5 today using the online Rogers Reservation System. The exclusive offers for the first 10,000 to reserve end April 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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Weekend Reading: Rogers Next, the LG G Flex and Facebook news

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This week, all eyes were on Facebook’s latest acquisition, WhatsApp, and how Canadians are using the social network. Plus, we announced an early upgrade program called Rogers Next and are thrilled to reveal we’re bringing Canadians the curvy LG G Flex. Learn more in this week’s edition of the Weekend Reading.

Facebook on the move
Facebook made headlines on Wednesday when it announced a $16 billion U.S. deal to purchase mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Before the purchase  announcement, Facebook released some stats on how Canadians are using the social network.

Canadians are glued to Facebook on mobile, , according to numbers released by the social network. In fact, 15 million Canucks a month scroll through their Newsfeeds via our phones or tablets. In the six-month period from August 2013 to Feb. 2014, the number of mobile users increased by 15 per cent (up from 13 million).

Daily mobile usage is also on the rise, jumping from 9.4 million to 10 million Canadians in the same period.

How do you check your Facebook Newsfeed?

Upgrade your device sooner
Earlier this week, we announced a new way for customers to upgrade their smartphone even faster. Rogers Next, a new subscription program for Rogers customers, will allow customers to upgrade their device after 12 months for $0 on select 2-yr plans.

Customers who enroll in Rogers Next will pay a monthly fee of $24.99 (or $29.99 if you want to include Rogers Device Protection Premium with your Rogers Next subscription). After 12 months, you’re eligible to trade in your current device in good working condition and upgrade to a smartphone of your choice for $0 (up to $250 based on subsidized 2-yr term pricing), with no upgrade or connection fees (If the device costs more than $250 on a subsidized two-year term, then you just pay the difference). You can then choose to continue your enrollment in the Rogers Next program and upgrade again after 12 months.

This is a hassle-free way for Rogers customers to be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphones every year.

We’ll have more information to share about Rogers Next closer to launch, so stay tuned!

What new phone are you waiting for?

Rogers to carry the world’s first curved smartphone

The LG G Flex debuted last fall, and first launched in South Korea, while North Americans got their first glimpse of the curved smartphone at CES this past January.

Now Rogers customers will be able to get their hands on the world’s first curved smartphone, the LG G Flex, when we launch the device later this spring.

A Rogers exclusive, the device will launch running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2., and comes in Titan Silver, with a 13 MB camera, plus a 2.1 MB front-facing camera.

Want to be one of the first to receive this phone? New and existing customers can reserve the LG G Flex now on the Rogers Reservation System.

What do you think of a curved phone? 

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5 Android apps to help you get into the holiday spirit

To do list‘Tis the season to be jolly … Sorry, is that too soon for you? I can’t help it. The winter holidays are my favourite time of the year. The crunch of snow under my feet, the decorations and lights everywhere and the carols all make me feel like a kid again.

So curl up with some warm apple cider and check out these five apps that will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas ($4.99)

Everyone’s favourite Christmas special comes to life in this fun, interactive app. If you can’t wait for A Charlie Brown Christmas to air on TV every year, you’ll love this app.  (It’s great to share with your kids, too!) You can even decorate your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

2.  Mint.com (free)

While a budgeting app might not seem completely in the spirit of the season, Mint is a great way to track your spending. Most of the tracking is automatic, so you won’t need to manually enter the details of every purchase (which makes it so easy to use). Sticking to a budget means no unpleasant surprises come billing season in January.

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas ($5.23)

Of course, the season’s other holiday classic is this Dr. Seuss tale. This interactive storybook app offers three modes: reading the book yourself, having the book read to you, or a mix of the two.

4. Any.do (free)

This is another app that’s not holiday specific, but definitely will save you from checking your list twice. Any.do is a to-do list app that syncs with your Gmail account and has a Chrome plugin so you can easily add tasks. Tasks can also be shared with others, so you can work together to get all the gifts from everyone’s lists this year.

5. The Nightmare before Christmas ($1.05)

Looking for a bit of a different spin on the holidays? This app allows you to give your device a fun Nightmare Before Christmas theme. You can customize icons, your wallpaper and dock faster than you can say Jack Skellington.

Rogers is the first Canadian provider to offer carrier billing for Google Play purchases. Instead of paying via credit card, Rogers customers can now sign up to have their Google Play purchases billed on their monthly Rogers statement. If you’ve already connected your credit card to your Google Play account, you’ll need to remove it in order to see the option for carrier billing.

Check out Google’s step-by-step instructions on paying for your Google Play purchases with carrier billing.

What apps help fuel your holiday spirit?

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How to surf the wave of deals on Cyber Monday

Cyber MondayDecember 2 is Cyber Monday – the online equivalent to the shopping frenzy that is Black Friday.

Cyber Monday began in the United States back in 2005, and just like Black Friday, has begun increasing in popularity north of the border with more Canadian brands hopping on board.

Of course, Cyber Monday has something Black Friday doesn’t: the ability to shop from home, in your PJs if you so desire! There’s no freezing in late-night lineups or worrying about crowds, as all the deals are all just a click away.

We got some tips from Rogers TechXpert Timothy Leslie on how you can get the most out of your Cyber Monday shopping:

  • Draft a wish-list: Establish what your priority purchases will be so that you’re focused on the must-have items and not swayed by all the other tempting deals (this will help you stay within budget, too!);
  • Shop securely: It’s easy to get swept up in an incredible deal. To avoid being scammed, make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate retailer. If you’re not sure, check online forums and read customers’ comments about their experiences;
  • Shop from anywhere: You don’t need to sit in front of a computer all day to get the best deals. Earlier this year, Google released a report saying that 27 per cent of Canadians have purchased something on their smartphone. Rogers customers will never miss a deal, thanks to devices powered by the blazing-fast LTE network –up to two times faster than any other Canadian provider.
  • Join the secret society of shoppers: You can uncover many deals through your social networks. Follow brands on Facebook and Twitter to discover hot deals that may not be advertised anywhere else.

What deals did you get this Cyber Monday?

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Poll shows Canadians want more flexible TV options (and we agree!)

Family TVHappy with the variety of channels you get in your TV package, but want more control over what you’re surfing? You’re not alone.

While more than 70 per cent of Canadians are happy with the number and range of channels they get in their cable packages, more than 86 per cent want more flexibility and choice in the channels they receive, according to new poll by Harris/Decima, on behalf of Rogers.

The poll also found:

  • 78 per cent of respondents subscribe to a cable or satellite service;
  • 60 per cent would pay extra per channel, but 64 per cent say they like having access to TV packages that offer multiple channels and programs in one bundle.

We know our customers want more choice. In 2011, Rogers rolled out a flexible TV packaging trial in London, Ont. More than 1,000 customers were offered the trial’s basic cable package, with the option to add individual channels of their choice in increments of 15, 20 and 30 from more than 100 options. The majority subscribed to these incremental packages, while 8 per cent of customers chose not to subscribe to additional channels beyond their basic package.

Sounds good right? So why haven’t we rolled this out more broadly? Chief Marketing Officer John Boynton told us there are structural barriers preventing us from giving customers what they want.

“The results from our London trial clearly show our TV customers embrace more choice when it comes to their TV packaging and we want to offer it,” said Boynton. “We’ve been advocating change for several years and believe a thorough review of the entire broadcasting system is necessary so we can deliver for our customers.”

While we continue to push for more flexible TV packages, we also want to hear from you. We’re continuing our dialogue with the public around the future of television on our Future of TV forum.  To participate in the forum, log in with your My Rogers username and password. You don’t need to be a Rogers customer to get a My Rogers profile.

We asked people on the street what they would change about their cable TV experience. Watch the video to find out their answers:

Update: Feb. 25, 2014: Last week, the CRTC launched an interactive questionnaire, called Choicebook, as the second phase of its consultation. It’s based on the submissions made to the CRTC during phase one last fall. You can make your voice heard by filling out Choicebook before March 14.

What changes would you make to the current television landscape?

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Come out a winner on Black Friday with these shopping tips

Black FridayBlack Friday is the busiest shopping day in the United States.

While Canadian retailers are starting to get in on the act with their own offers, many Canadians still travel south of the border to enjoy great deals and rock-bottom prices.

If you’re thinking of heading south this week, here are some tips to make the most out of your trip.

Plan ahead

Canadian shoppers who stay in the U.S. for 48 hours are now allowed to bring back up to $800 worth of duty-free goods, so you might want to consider staying for a couple of nights.

You’ll also want to leave early in order to avoid delays at the border (you can also check on border crossing times via the Canadian Border Service Agency’s website).

Make a list and check it twice: Know which stores you want to hit. As well, prioritizing your list is important. The first store you visit should be the one that has your must-have item so you’re not disappointed by sold-out shelves.

Look for deals online

Do you ever watch Extreme Couponing in envy? Websites and Twitter accounts specific to Black Friday savings are a great resource for finding the best high-value coupons.

Be sure to check the fine print before you head to the store and stay on top of any early bird specials as these can offer the deepest discounts.

Stay connected

Your smartphone can be your Black Friday lifeline if you need directions, want to find exclusive online offers, or share the great deals you’ve found on Facebook or Twitter.

Rogers customers who are staying in the U.S. for a couple of days may want to consider getting one of our travel packs, which give a combination of talk, text and data when roaming in the U.S. We recently doubled the amount of data and minutes on select packs while cutting prices.

Just going for the day? Rogers customers can stay connected worry-free with the Rogers U.S. Roaming Internet Rate, which gives you 50 MB of data for up to 24 hours. You don’t need to add this to your account; just turn data roaming ON and it will automatically kick in once you cross the border. (Customers in Newfoundland and Quebec will need to opt-in one time only.)

Send a free text with the word “usage” to 3330 at any time to check how much data you have used. You’ll also get a text message to let you know if you’re approaching  50 MB. If you need more data, it’s only an additional $7.99 and you get another 50 MB to use during the 24 hour period.

To celebrate Black Friday, we’re giving away a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a Moto X and a Nexus 5. To be entered to win one of these prizes, you just need to take a picture of your Black Friday purchase or what you would have liked to purchase and tweet the picture to @RogersBuzz with the hashtag #RogersRoamTrip.

Enter the contest here.

Contest starts at 10 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2013 and continues until 4 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2013. No purchase necessary. Read the full contest rules here.

Are you heading to the U.S. in search of Black Friday deals?

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