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Videotron gains ground for 17th consecutive quarter

Montréal, November 5, 2009 – Videotron is pleased to report customer growth for the 17th consecutive quarter for all its services - Internet access, cable telephony, wireless telephone and cable television which recorded a record increase in the number of subscribers to its digital service during the third quarter of 2009..

“This quarter of continued customer base growth, which saw the opening of a new, $35 million Customer Contact Centre and record growth for illico, demonstrates Videotron’s market strength and leadership in the Canadian telecommunications industry,” said Robert Dépatie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Videotron. “These achievements and our customer satisfaction rate, which is now 99% for customers with three or four services, bear witness to our determination to deliver the best technological and entertainment experience.”

In the quarter ending September 30, 2009, Videotron increased its customer base for cable television services by 27,100 to end the quarter with 1,759,700 subscribers. The popularity of the illico Digital TV service continued to grow, with a record-breaking increase of 52,100 subscribers during the quarter, bringing the total to 1,042,400 households and businesses. The proportion of Videotron cable television customers who were subscribed to the digital service rose to more than 59%, compared with 52% in the same period of 2008.

More premier television events
Videotron continued offering high-quality entertainment during the period: highlights included extensive comedy programming from Videotron’s partnership with Juste pour rire /Just for Laughs such as the immensely popular gala series, and headline events such as Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae, Paul McCartney in Halifax, Il était une fois Guy! Guy! Guy! and Le Moulin à paroles.

Expanded HD offerings
With the recent addition of two new high-definition channels, Golf HD and Planète HD, plus the two added in the previous quarter, Évasion HD and TV5 HD, Videotron now carries 41 HD channels in all including, 21 French-language HD channels, the largest selection in Canada.

Videotron maintained its position as Québec’s Internet access leader, increasing the customer base for its cable Internet service by 35,500 households and businesses during the third quarter of 2009, the largest quarterly growth for the service thus far this year. At quarter’s end, there were 1,145,400 subscribers to the service.

During the quarter, Videotron also continued the roll-out of its latest Internet services, Ultimate Speed Internet 30 and 50, which support speeds of 30 mbps and 50 mbps, meeting the Internet access needs of contemporary families in which several people share a single connection. The new services were made available to more than 500,000 more households and businesses in the Greater Montréal and Saguenay areas during the quarter. At present, nearly 2 million Québec families and businesses throughout the Greater Montréal area have access to the state-of-the-art technology.

During the quarter, Videotron’s cable telephone service continued to register significant growth, adding 44,300 residential and business lines to bring the total to 979,100 subscribers as of September 30, 2009.

Videotron’s wireless telephone service also added subscribers: as of September 30, 2009, there were 79,800 activated handsets on the service, counting both residential and business customers, a quarterly increase of 6,300.

Build-out of Videotron’s wireless network continues
In connection with the build-out of its wireless network, which will be one of the most sophisticated in the world, Videotron announced during the third quarter that it has reached tower-sharing agreements with Rogers and Bell Mobility for numerous sites in Québec and the Ottawa area. Also during the quarter, Videotron reached roaming agreements with wireless providers Rogers Communications Inc. (“Rogers”) and T-Mobile USA Inc., enabling it to offer its future customers advanced wireless services throughout the coverage areas of those providers in both Canada and the U.S. 

To provide the best possible customer service, Videotron opened a new Customer Contact Centre in Joliette in July 2009, creating 271 permanent, well-paid jobs. A hundred advisors are already working at the centre. A third contingent of 50 employees is currently in training and will join them shortly. 

This project, which entails a total investment of more than $35 million, makes a direct contribution to economic development in the Lanaudière region. It was carried out with the support of several major partners, including the Government of Québec, through the local Emploi-Québec office of the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, the City of Joliette and the Centre local de développement (CLD) de Joliette.

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 telephone service. 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 September 30, 2009, Videotron was serving 1,759,700 cable television customers in Québec, including 1,042,400 subscribers to illico Digital TV. Videotron is the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 1,145,400 subscribers to its cable modem service as of September 30, 2009. As of the same date, Videotron had activated 79,800 handsets on its wireless telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 979,100 Québec households and organizations. For the fourth consecutive year, Videotron has been named Québec’s most respected telecommunications company by Commerce magazine, based on a Léger Marketing survey. 


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