January 16, 2008 10:39 ET

S-VOX Applauds CRTC's New Ownership Rules to Preserve "Diversity of Voices"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2008) - The new policies introduced yesterday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to preserve a diversity of voices in the broadcasting system represent an important step in the right direction, said Bill Roberts, President and CEO of S-VOX.

"We applaud the CRTC for recognizing the value of maintaining the greatest possible diversity of television programming," Mr. Roberts said. "The Commission has laid the groundwork for future measures that will ensure Canadians continue to enjoy real choice when they watch TV."

In addition to maintaining its current policies governing the number of conventional television and radio stations that a single owner may control in the same market, the CRTC has established a new policy that restricts cross-media ownership.

The Commission is responding to growing concerns that consolidation within the broadcast industry could place a large ownership group in a dominant position, effectively reducing the diversity of content available to viewers.

S-VOX is an independent multimedia enterprise that operates the analog multi-faith channel VisionTV, as well as two digital services (One: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel and The Christian Channel). The company recently entered into an agreement with Rogers Media to acquire the CHNU-TV and CIIT-TV stations, operating in Vancouver, British Columbia and Winnipeg, Manitoba respectively.

Mr. Roberts said S-VOX looks forward to an upcoming CRTC proceeding that will address the future of the specialty television and broadcast distribution undertaking (BDU) sectors.

"Small, independent television services make a significant contribution to the range of viewing choices that consumers enjoy," Mr Roberts said. "At the same time, they face increasing challenges in their ability to reach audiences. We are heartened by the CRTC's commitment to preserving the diversity of programming choices by ensuring diversity in the delivery of services, and we will welcome the opportunity to explore ways of maintaining a place in the system for independent players."

S-Vox has called for a mandatory "basic" package consisting predominantly of Canadian owned and operated channels capable of delivering Canadian content and programming diversity.

S-VOX (www.s-vox.com) is a diversified multimedia enterprise that offers high-quality television and digital content for individuals seeking spiritual awareness and personal growth. S-VOX properties include: VisionTV, Canada's multi-faith and multicultural television broadcaster, along with the digital television services One: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel and The Christian Channel. Other ventures include: Vision TV International, a partnership with Toronto-based Ellis Entertainment that develops, produces and distributes original programming for the global marketplace; and Christian Media Sales, a product marketing and media buying company.

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