Quebecor Inc.
TSX : QBR.A
TSX : QBR.B

Quebecor Inc.

January 23, 2007 16:39 ET

Videotron Suspends Contributions to Canadian Television Fund

Quebecor calls for thorough review of CTF

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 23, 2007) - Mr. Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor Inc., has written to Mr. Doug Barrett, Chair of the Canadian Television Fund (CTF), to inform him that Videotron, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is suspending its monthly payments to the CTF and asking the Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage, to launch a thorough review of the Fund's management and membership structures. The decision is effective immediately.

In the wake of a similar decision by Shaw Communications Inc., another major contributor to the CTF, Mr. Peladeau expressed his "deep dissatisfaction with the Fund's governance, performance and direction" and complained that "Fund managers pay little heed to the main private-sector contributors to the Fund and give little consideration to their point of view in decision-making."

In his letter, Mr. Peladeau notes that "there is no justifiable reason for the Fund's failure to date to recognize the role of video on demand in the financing and dissemination of Canadian content. In Quebec alone, Illico on Demand logged nearly 20 million orders in 2006, the vast majority of which were for Canadian productions."

Quebecor cannot accept that its contributions should be used to finance the public broadcaster CBC/SRC, and that the Canadian Television Fund should reserve 37% of all production funding for CBC/SRC. The letter comments: "In 2006, CBC/SRC received a total of $1.006 billion in parliamentary allocations and special government grants. It also collected about $105 million in carriage fees for its specialty channels Newsworld and RDI, and for ARTV, of which it is one of the most important shareholders, for a total of $1.111 billion. We fail to understand why the public broadcaster CBC/SRC should, in addition, receive a significant contribution and guarantee from the Canadian Television Fund, which is funded primarily by the private sector."

Quebecor is calling on Minister Oda to undertake a thorough review of the Fund's management and membership structures, in consultation with the private-sector contributors.

In conclusion, Mr. Peladeau stated: "We fully intend to continue being a leading contributor to the financing of Canadian production but we have decided to withhold our monthly contributions to the Canadian Television Fund until significant changes are made to its management and direction."

The Company

Quebecor Inc. (TSX: QBR.A, QBR.B) is a communications company with operations in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. It has two operating subsidiaries, Quebecor World Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc. Quebecor World is one of the largest commercial print media services companies in the world. Quebecor Media owns operating companies in numerous media-related businesses: Videotron Ltd., the largest cable operator in Quebec and third largest in Canada and a major Internet Service Provider and provider of telephone services; Videotron Telecom Ltd., a provider of business telecommunications services; Sun Media Corporation, Canada's largest national chain of tabloids and community newspapers; TVA Group Inc., operator of the largest French-language general-interest television network in Quebec, a number of specialty channels, and the English-language general-interest station Sun TV; Canoe Inc., operator of a network of English- and French-language Internet properties in Canada; Nurun Inc., an important interactive technologies and communications agency in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia; companies engaged in book publishing and magazine publishing; and companies engaged in the production, distribution and retailing of cultural products, namely Archambault Group Inc., the largest chain of music stores in eastern Canada, TVA Films, and Le SuperClub Videotron ltee, a chain of video and video-game rental and retail stores. Quebecor Inc. has operations in 18 countries.

Contact Information