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Vidéotron launches Super Écran sur demande a new way to watch movies on television

Montréal, May 13, 2004 - Upholding its tradition of innovation, Super Écran is introducing Canada’s first French-language Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service, in partnership with Vidéotron. The launch of Super Écran sur demande (SESD) was officially announced at a news conference this morning. Super Écran subscribers with an illico digital set-top box can now access SESD and order the best movies on television at their convenience, with user-friendly features. Approximately 30 films will be available each month; 25% of the selection will change weekly, with the entire selection changing each month.. Subscribers will be able to view American, Québec and foreign box-office hits uncut and commercial-free. SESD offers Super Écran subscribers the full flexibility and accessibility afforded by Video on Demand (VoD) technology.

“We are very pleased to be joining forces with Vidéotron to bring our customers the benefits of Super Écran’s know-how combined with the illico technological edge,” said John Riley, President of Astral Television Networks. “This new service confirms Super Écran’s leadership in the Canadian broadcasting industry as we continually evolve our offering to respond to changing consumer demand.” The Super Écran pay-television service made Canadian television history in 1983 when it was launched by Astral Media, becoming the first 24-hour movie channel in Canada, and again in 2001 with the introduction of 4 multiplex channels delivering a wide choice of programming.

“The Super Écran sur demande concept fits perfectly into Vidéotron’s advanced product line-up and our firm commitment to bringing our customers unique, exclusive services,” commented Robert Dépatie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vidéotron. Vidéotron launched its VoD service, supported by its stateof- the-art two-way fibre-optic broadband network and digital illico platform, one year ago. “We expect that SESD will soon become a beacon on the entertainment landscape.”

Benefits of SESD
SESD subscribers will have the freedom to order a film whenever they want and to watch it when and as they please. They will be able to pause, rewind, fast forward, stop and resume play later, as with a video cassette or a DVD. Subscribers will also be able to watch a film as many times as they wish, in DVD-quality picture and sound, for as long as the film remains on the SESD menu.

In a competitive marketplace, SESD offers Vidéotron customers clear advantages. SESD is not carried by satellite television services. However, all illico customers who subscribe to Super Écran can access SESD.

Vidéotron will soon offer M on Demand (MOD), Astral Media’s English-language paytelevision service.

Rates and introductory offer
SESD is available on an optional basis, for an extra $5.99 per month, to Vidéotron illico customers who subscribe to Super Écran. The following introductory offer will give customers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with all the advantages of SESD:

• For new illico subscribers or illico subscribers who have not been subscribers to Super Écran during the past month: one free month of Super Écran;
• For illico subscribers who are already subscribers to Super Écran: one free month of SESD;
• For new Super Écran subscribers: one free month of SESD.

Super Écran is North-America's only French-language pay-television network offering first-run movies, exclusive series and variety shows on four 24-hour channels, uncut and commercial free. Super Ecran is an Astral Media pay-television network.

Astral Media is one of Canada’s leading media companies, active in specialty, pay and pay-per-view television, radio and outdoor advertising. Astral Media’s solid and dynamic presence in the country’s major markets rests on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted media for all its audiences.

Vidéotron ltée, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development and Internet access services. Vidéotron 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. Vidéotron serves 1,437,000 cable customers in Québec; including over 273,000 illico subscribers. Vidéotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed cable Internet access with more than 460,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. 


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