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

Videotron Ltd.

August 09, 2007 15:52 ET

Steady Growth for all Services of Videotron in Q2 2007

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2007) - The customer focus adopted several years ago and the commitment to delivering the best customer experience in terms of service, products and technology have been driving fast-paced growth at Videotron. For the second quarter of 2007, the Company reports steady customer growth for its four products: cable television, Internet access, cable telephone and wireless telephone service.

"During the 12-month period ended June 30, 2007, we recorded a steady growth rate for all our products with increases of 135,000 customers for illico Digital TV, 63,000 customers for cable television, 144,000 customers for cable Internet access services, 221,000 customers for cable telephone service, and 31,000 phones for our new wireless telephone service, launched in August 2006," said Robert Depatie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Videotron. "We are very pleased to see that our efforts are paying off. At the end of the day, our approach in the competitive telecommunications environment is yielding healthy benefits for both the Company and its customers."

CABLE TELEVISION

As of June 30, 2007, Videotron had a total customer base of 1,585,000 across its service area. In the second quarter of 2007, Videotron posted a net increase of 26,000 subscribers to its illico Digital TV service, bringing the total to 679,000. Consumer response to illico on Demand continues to be enthusiastic. In the first half of 2007, the service logged more than 11 million orders. Popular favourites included exclusive illico on Demand distribution of the television program Le Banquier, hosted by Julie Snyder, as well as the television program Taxi 0-22, starring Patrick Huard, and the movie Bon Cop Bad Cop. Videotron remains the only Video on Demand provider in its service area to offer a catalogue of more than 1,000 titles. The interactive service was launched in 2003.

INTERNET

Videotron grew the customer base for its cable Internet service by more than 26,000 in the second quarter of 2007, bringing the total to 854,000, a 3.1% quarter-over-quarter increase. The customer satisfaction rate with the service is close to 97%. A group of more than a hundred Videotron customers continues to participate in beta testing of a new ultra-fast Internet access service based on Cisco Wideband® technology. The service will be launched before the end of the year and will support speeds of up to 100 mbps.

TELEPHONY

At the end of the second quarter, Videotron's cable telephone service passed the symbolic 500,000-customer mark, maintaining the growth rate it has been registering for more than two years despite the lifting of winback restrictions on the incumbent telephone companies.

As of June 30, 2007, there were 31,000 activated phones on Videotron's wireless telephone service, more than double the 12,000 phones at December 31, 2006. Videotron launched two exclusive handsets during the second quarter: the Sony-Ericsson W710i, designed for active people with its built-in pedometer, calorie counter, odometer and tachometer, and the Nokia 6126, Just for Laughs Edition, loaded with exclusive content.

In June, Videotron announced special programming on all its platforms as official presenter of the Just For Laughs Festival/Festival Juste pour rire.

INVESTING IN QUEBEC

In June 2007, Quebecor Media committed to making a capital investment of more than $500 million to build a new-generation, state-of-the-art wireless network in Quebec. This major capital project will materialize if, among other things, some of the spectrum that will soon be auctioned by Industry Canada is set aside for new entrants in order to promote the emergence of real competition in the industry. At the present time, the three major mobile operators in Canada have more spectrum than they need in order to meet their obligations to customers and provide advanced mobile broadband services. Their domination of the Canadian market has dramatic consequences, and consumers and the country's economy are paying the price. Canada ranks last among OECD countries in mobile penetration. Moreover, investment in mobile telecommunication networks has been stagnant for several years, preventing the industry from functioning as an economic catalyst and contributing to GDP growth. Finally, wireless rates are considerably higher in Canada than in the U.S. for both voice and data services, undermining economic productivity.

Meanwhile, Videotron continues to invest in its infrastructure, network and people. Work on upgrading the network and increasing bandwidth from 480 MHz to 860 MHz in the central Quebec region continued in the first half of 2007. In the Quebec City area, the same process was completed in February 2007.

Videotron is also stimulating employment in Quebec, having created nearly 1,500 new jobs in three years. The Company recently announced plans to add 600 employees at its customer service centres in eastern Quebec and those of its partners in the Saguenay, Gaspe Peninsula, Beauce and Quebec City.

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, 2007, Videotron was serving 1,585,000 cable television customers in Quebec, including 679,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is the Quebec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 854,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. As of June 30, 2007, 31,000 phones were activated on Videotron's wireless telephone service and the company was providing cable telephone service to more than 503,000 Quebec households and organizations.

Contact Information

  • Videotron Ltd.
    Isabelle Dessureault
    Vice President
    Corporate Affairs and Vox
    514-380-7501
    Mobile: 514-295-0304