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Videotron Now Offers More HD Channels, and Rolls Out its Long Term Programming Vision

Montreal, November 3, 2006 — Videotron announces it will carry as of November 6 the following channels in high definition (HD) for its Montreal, Gatineau and Saguenay regions’ illico digital television customers: Super Écran HD, Canal D HD, Ztélé HD and Canal Vie HD. This will bring to 20 the number of channels broadcast by Videotron in HD. The following channels supplement Videotron’s HD offer: SRC (in French), CBC, CTV, Global and Toronto City TV, as well as the East Coast American TV stations ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS; the theme channels Rogers Sportsnet, TSN and Discovery Channel; pay-per-view The Movie Network and two TV on-demand channels from Viewers Choice.

"Our goal and strategy were always very clear, we want to ensure a long term vision for our programming and our broadcasting grid to meet the various needs of our customers", said Mr. Claude Sauvé, Vice President, Television Distribution Contents, VOD, Internet and Wireless.

"As the first mass television broadcaster serving more than 1.5 million households in Quebec, Videotron faces unique regulatory challenges. We must ensure a judicious programming combination in analog, digital and HD modes on the same network, in an environment where our Company’s operations are subject to numerous regulatory constraints", adds Mr. Sauvé.

Videotron’s HD Offer
Illico digital customers will have free access to the new Astral HD services: Super Écran HD, Canal D HD, Ztélé HD and Canal Vie HD. To benefit from this free offer, illico subscribers must first be equipped with a HD terminal and television set, and a subscriber to the digital version of these channels. The following HD services are also offered free of charge: SRC (in French), CBC, The Movie Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. For $5.99 a month, subscribers can also add the following HD channels: CTV, Toronto’s Global and City TV, Rogers Sportsnet, TSN and Fox. On-demand movies and events are also available through illico on-demand – where viewers can watch for 24 hours as much as they want the program they chose – and through Viewers Choice HD on-demand.

Where Competition Gets the Rub
"Competition boasts about offering much more to their subscribers while, in fact, they count in their offer and have subscribers sometimes pay for time shifting of channels all associated with the same broadcaster, or have them pay for channels broadcasting a single content, like a film or a monthly event occurring at specific hours. For example, some American channels broadcasting in HD in western and eastern U.S. States are classified as two separate services while those channels offer mostly the same programming ", said Claude Sauvé.

"At Videotron, each individual channel is counted separately, and it is through our video on demand service and the Viewers Choice à la carte television that we broadcast our wide array of additional features. Today, Videotron is glad to offer subscribers a large variety of HD channels and contents carefully selected for the greater advantage of our Quebec customers in the short and middle term", concludes Mr. Sauvé. It should be reminded that illico on-demand was the first in Canada to offer HD contents on a video on demand service.

Modernization in the Quebec City region
As soon as January 2007, residents in the Quebec City region will benefit from an increased HD offer on a modernized top-quality network.

In 2005, Videotron announced a major 26 million $ investment in this region to increase its network’s bandwidth allowing it to offer leading edge technology services in digital and HD television as well as in Internet and telephone services for years to come. For example, adding capacity to the network will allow the broadcasting of hundreds of digital TV channels (SD) or of several HD channels. At the beginning of 2007, Videotron’s investment in this modernization will total 30 million dollars. This amount adds to other substantial investments made since 1995, and will provide the Quebec City region with one of the most performing networks in Canada.

Other modernizations are scheduled in 2007 for Sherbrooke, Granby, Cap-de-la-Madeleine and Victoriaville in order to give access to Videotron’s overall HD offer throughout our service area.

Videotron Ltd. (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television system and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of June 30, 2006, Videotron was serving 1,521,000 cable television customers in Québec; including 545,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 726,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. In addition, Videotron provides residential and commercial telephone service to more than 283,000 customers in Québec. Since August 2006, Videotron also offers wireless phone service. 


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