Videotron Ltd.
TSX : QBR.A
TSX : QBR.B

Videotron Ltd.

August 26, 2009 09:01 ET

Videotron Thanks its First Digital TV Customer: illico Digital TV Now in More Than a Million Quebec Homes

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2009) - Videotron has announced that its cable television service has passed a new milestone, passing the million-customer mark for its digital service to position the Company as the Quebec industry leader. The popularity of digital cable television is indicative of changing audience habits. Videotron believes that today's viewers want the wide choice and quality content offered by illico Digital TV, as well as the increased flexibility provided by the video on demand service, with its catalogue of 3,500 titles, and by the custom package option.

"There has been a revolution in consumers' cable needs in the past few years," said Myrianne Collin, Vice President, Marketing, Consumer Sector, of Videotron. "We need to realize that viewers no longer want to be prisoners of the television schedule: they want to be able to take control and watch what they want when they want, to pause, to rewind and watch it again as many times as they please, to stop and resume play when it suits them. Illico Digital TV delivers this level of flexibility and that is the reason for its popularity."

Marking the milestone

Videotron will celebrate its millionth illico subscriber by going back and thanking the very first subscriber: Louis Guimond of Le Gardeur, east of Montreal, the first man to set foot on Videotron's digital planet. That was in 1999, when Videotron began marketing its new service, offering significantly improved picture and sound quality. Mr. Guimond will receive a complete home theatre system (including 50" HD TV, Dolby Digital 5.1 receiver and five speakers), an illico high-definition Personal Video Recorder and full Videotron cable television service for one full year, a total $4,000 value.

Digital revolution takes hold

Videotron's digital service was quick to catch on, thanks to its superior quality. By 2003, 20% of Videotron cable television customers had subscribed to illico. Today, the proportion has increased to 57%. Videotron expects the growth to continue, making it likely that the CRTC will keep August 31, 2011 as the deadline for conversion to all-digital broadcasting in Canada. In the U.S., the transition was completed on June 12, 2009.

Video on demand booming in popularity

Illico on Demand has also registered unprecedented growth in recent years. In 2005, Videotron logged 10 million orders (paid and free) for video on demand titles. The number rose to 20 million in 2006, 24 million in 2007, and 45 million in 2008. The uptrend is growing stronger year after year, as an increasing proportion of customers place orders and the number of orders per household also increases. In 2009, there have been more than 35 million orders as of July.

Winning formula

Illico Digital TV's two-way technology, which supports interactive services, sets it apart from the competition. Customers have access to more than 350 channels, including 38 in HD, the video on demand service, customized channel line-ups, and illico Caller ID, which lets customers who subscribe to both Videotron cable telephone service and illico Digital TV see the name and number of telephone callers on their television screen.

Illico on Demand's wide selection of quality programs offers something for every member of the family. There are more than 475 titles for children of all ages, from classics to the latest cartoon series. Comedy fans can watch first-run episodes of Taxi 22 and content from Just for Laughs 2009. Music lovers can enjoy Videotron karaoke, which features more than a hundred tracks, and concerts by local artists. Movie buffs can watch more than 700 films of all kinds, including the classics of Quebec cinema restored by the Elephant project.

With the addition of two new HD channels in June 2009, EvasionHD and TV5 HD, Videotron also continues to offer the largest selection of French-language HD channels in its service area.

Free titles: a competitive edge

Under agreements with TVA and other television networks, Videotron is able to offer the 1 million illico Digital TV households an impressive selection of free titles, including comedy, children's shows and television series.

"The growing customer demand for rich, diverse content is spurring us to continue our efforts to offer customized programming of high calibre," said Ms. Collin. "We are confident that all our customers can find what they are looking for and watch it at the time of their choosing."

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 June 30, 2009, Videotron was serving 1,732,621 cable television customers in Quebec, including 990,308 illico Digital TV subscribers. Videotron is the Quebec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 1,109,900 subscribers to its cable modem service as of June 30, 2009. As of the same date, Videotron had activated 73,483 lines on its wireless telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 934,837 Quebec households and organizations. For the fourth consecutive year, Videotron has been named Quebec's most respected telecommunications company by Commerce magazine, based on a Leger Marketing survey.

Contact Information

  • Media contact only:
    Eve Lacasse
    Specialist, Media and Analysts
    Corporate Communications
    514-380-7772
    Mobile: 514-516-7772