Shaw Communications Inc.

Shaw Communications Inc.

September 17, 2009 20:50 ET

Shaw Commends the Government for Directing the CRTC to Protect the Interests of Consumers

Don't Tax My TV

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2009) - Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) (NYSE:SJR) (Shaw) today expressed strong support for the action taken by the Government of Canada to protect Canadian consumers. The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been directed to consider consumer interests with regard to the fee-for-carriage tax.

"You can dress this up anyway you like, but the so called fee-for-carriage is a tax on TV viewers with absolutely no benefit," said Jim Shaw, CEO and Vice-Chairman of Shaw. "We applaud Minister Moore for directing the CRTC to put affordability and the needs of consumer first."

Shaw has consistently argued that fee-for-carriage is a targeted non-discretionary tax that would raise the monthly bills of Canadian cable and satellite consumers by $6 -10 per month. Consumers would be forced to pay the CBC, CTV and Global approximately $500 million more each year with absolutely no additional benefit.

"There is no justification for increasing the financial burden of ordinary Canadians to bail out broadcasters, further shelter the CBC, subsidize over-spending on foreign programming and reward bad business decisions," said Mr. Shaw.

To protect private broadcasters, the CRTC and broadcasters have indicated that it could remove ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS if cable and satellite companies do not agree to impose the fee-for-carriage tax. "The threat of removing US signals reflects the CRTC's growing disregard for the needs of consumers and its complete failure to understand the power of choice in the modern digital communications environment."

Minister Moore stated that in this "period of unprecedented change" in Canada's communications environment, the CRTC and the entire broadcasting industry must "look to the future, to find innovative solutions, always with the consumer in mind."

"Minister Moore understands that investment, innovation and meeting customer demands for choice will take the broadcasting system into the digital future," said Mr. Shaw. "Fee-for-carriage, on the other hand, is an outdated and misguided attempt to reverse the digital revolution by taxing consumers and denying choice. To protect the interests of consumers, fee-for-carriage must be permanently rejected."

About Shaw Communications Inc.

Shaw Communications Inc. is a diversified communications company whose core business is providing broadband cable television, High-Speed Internet, Digital Phone, telecommunications services (through Shaw Business Solutions) and satellite direct-to-home services (through Shaw Direct). The Company serves 3.4 million customers, including over 1.6 million Internet and 775,000 Digital Phone customers, through a reliable and extensive network, which comprises 625,000 kilometres of fibre. Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (TSX:SJR.B) (NYSE:SJR).

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