Vidéotron Ltée
TSX : QBR.SV.B
TSX : QBR.MV.A

August 02, 2005 16:09 ET

Videotron Maintains Momentum in Second Quarter

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 2, 2005) - Videotron today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2005. The positive numbers reflect significant customer growth for all of the Company's services: cable television, Internet access and residential telephone service.

Videotron has become the leader among telecom companies offering IP (Internet Protocol) telephone service. After less than two quarters, the Company had more than 41,800 subscribers to its new cable telephone service and customers continue flocking to Videotron's reliable, affordable alternative to conventional telephone service. After launching its telephone service in Montreal South Shore and Laval in the first quarter of 2005, Videotron rolled out the service in the West Island on May 25 and the Quebec City area on July 11. The consumer response in Quebec City has been particularly promising thus far.

In addition to steadily expanding its cable telephone service into new markets, Videotron added 18,000 customers to its cable modem Internet access service during the second quarter. The subscriber base for Videotron's illico Digital TV service increased from 355,200 to over 381,000 during the quarter and grew by more than 92,400 over the 12-month period ended June 30, 2005. The illico on Demand service registered record numbers with 475,900 paid orders placed from Videotron set-top boxes during the quarter, not counting the highly popular free orders which increase customer satisfaction and foster loyalty.

Highlights of the second quarter included important progress in diversified content offerings, the launch of a major network upgrade plan in the Quebec City area, and the renewal of Videotron's collective agreements with its unionized employees.

The age of digital TV: the ultimate in entertainment

Enhancements continue to the exclusive illico on Demand service, which Videotron offers in conjunction with Archambault Group. Archambault signed an important agreement with Warner Bros Entertainment to carry its productions. Videotron, the provider of the only Video on Demand service in its service area, becomes the first major cable company in Canada to deliver Warner films on demand. illico on Demand now offers a catalogue of over 1,000 titles. In June, Videotron launched a barker channel to promote the films and other content available on illico on Demand.

illico Digital TV delivers freedom of choice, full-featured interactivity and access to a host of exclusive services, combined with crisp, rich image, clear sound and robust reliability. Videotron's unique a la carte subscription option lets customers pick and choose among an impressive selection of channels. On June 5, 2005, Videotron added RAI International, the international service of Italy's largest television network, to its channel line-up. The eagerly awaited launch has proved highly popular with customers.

In June, Videotron further expanded its offerings with the introduction of a Supertrio Italiano package that includes three channels: Video Italia Canada, Leonardo World Canada and Sky TG 24 Canada. At the same time, to make digital television and the associated array of exclusive services still more affordable, Videotron lowered the prices of its set-top boxes.

Quebec firsts on Videotron's High-Speed Zone

Experts expect strong growth to continue in the booming interactive gaming market. In May, Videotron and Reeves Interactive announced the launch of Microplay OnlineTM, Quebec's first French-language networked multiplayer gaming service. Subscribers to Videotron's High Speed Internet service can now play online games in French on a province-wide private network. Videotron is the first cable provider to offer a service of this type over its own servers.

In June, for the first time in Quebec, a prestigious boxing event was webcast live on the Internet. A partnership between Videotron, INTERBOX and La Cage aux Sports made it possible for boxing fans to watch the Lucian Bute / Jose Spearman fight live, exclusively on Videotron's High-Speed Zone.

Also during the second quarter of 2005, Videotron changed the French name of its basic cable Internet access service to Internet intermediaire.

A dynamic, constructive work environment that supports growth

Videotron management was pleased by the ratification of its agreement in principle with the executives of its unions. The union membership voted by wide margins in favour of the agreement, which extends Videotron's collective agreements until December 31, 2009 in the Montreal and Quebec City areas, January 31, 2010 in the Saguenay Lac St-Jean region, and August 31, 2011 in Gatineau. Videotron management's goal at the bargaining table was to secure the increased operational flexibility the Company needs in order to proceed with investments for purposes such as network upgrades and new product launches.

The success of new products such as the cable telephone service also means the Company needs to respond to strong consumer demand. Videotron is therefore continuing its recruitment campaign to fill a large number of openings for customer service and technical support staff at its customer contact centres in Montreal, St-Hubert and Quebec City. Videotron has six call centres in Quebec.

Videotron ltee (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 and residential 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, 2005, Videotron served 1,443,000 cable television customers in Quebec; including over 381,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is the Quebec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 568,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. Videotron was also providing residential telephone service to more than 41,800 customers in Laval, South Shore Montreal and the West Island.

Contact Information

  • Videotron ltee
    Marilou Hamer
    Communications Coordinator
    (514) 380-7772