Quebecor Media Inc.

Quebecor Media Inc.

March 24, 2010 10:53 ET

Negotiated Fees for Over-the-Air Television Stations: A Step in the Right Direction but Quebecor Media Deplores That its Proposals for Rebalancing Canada's Broadcasting System...

...Were Not Accepted by CRTC

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 24, 2010) - Quebecor Media considers Monday's Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision on the value of private conventional broadcasters' signals to be a step in the right direction that will help streamline the regulatory framework.

Over-the-air broadcasters are the cornerstone of Canada's broadcasting system. Among other things, they are the largest investors in the production of Canadian content. The CRTC decision will enable them to continue playing their vital role.

Quebecor Media deplores, however, that the CRTC has decided to tackle the current structural crisis through a scheme that is not based squarely on a rebalancing of the system, the only solution that can protect consumers. The approach advocated by Quebecor Media would shield consumers from rate hikes by maintaining the total fees paid by cable and satellite service providers at current levels. Quebecor Media would have preferred to see the rate pie now reserved for the specialty channels, which amounts to $1.3 billion per year, shared among all industry players. The advantage of the proposed solution is that consumers would not have to pay higher bills as a result of increased fees paid to the distributed over-the-air television stations and specialty channels.

Quebecor Media therefore regards the CRTC decision as a partial solution until such time as the issue of the fees paid to the specialty channels is addressed.

Quebecor Media Inc. is a subsidiary of Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.A)(TSX:QBR.B), a communications company with operations in North America, Europe and Asia. Quebecor Media owns operating companies in numerous media-related businesses: Videotron Ltd., the largest cable company in Québec and a leading provider of Internet access, telephone and business telecommunications services; Sun Media Corporation, the largest publisher of newspapers in Canada; TVA Group Inc., operator of the largest French-language over-the-air television network in Québec, a number of specialty channels, and the English-language over-the-air station Sun TV; Canoe Inc., operator of a network of English- and French-language Internet properties in Canada; Quebecor Media Network, a printer and distributor of advertising flyers; Nurun Inc., a major interactive technologies and communications agency with offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia; magazine publisher TVA Publishing Inc.; book publishers and distributors Sogides Group Inc. and CEC Publishing Inc.; Archambault Group Inc. and TVA Films, companies engaged in the production, distribution and retailing of cultural products; Le SuperClub Vidéotron ltée, a DVD and console game rental and retail chain; and Quebecor MediaPages, publisher of print and online directories.

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