MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 03/01/13 -- Videotron announces that it intends to vigorously contest the complaint filed by Astral with the CRTC following the launch of illico Club Unlimited. Videotron considers the complaint to be without legal merit.
"Contrary to Astral's unsubstantiated allegations that we are in breach of the regulatory framework, the catalogue we are offering illico Club Unlimited subscribers does not violate any condition of our video on demand licence", said Robert Depatie, President and CEO of Videotron. "We fully intend to demonstrate that before the CRTC and to lay bare Astral's true purpose in filing the complaint, namely to block any competition in order to protect and indeed expand its historical monopoly over pay television, which has stood for more than 30 years."
illico Club Unlimited: innovating to meet Quebecers' expectations
Videotron created illico Club Unlimited to meet customers' clearly expressed expectations for a product of this type, a flat-fee plan offering a rich and varied selection of unlimited, on-demand content (movies, television shows, children's shows, documentaries, comedy performances and concerts).
Not only is illico Club Unlimited a response tailored to the needs of its market and of Quebecers, but it aims to compete directly with a foreign, global player, Netflix, which has already signed up approximately 10% of Videotron's customers while making no contribution to the Canadian broadcasting system. illico Club Unlimited differentiates itself from Netflix by offering mainly French-language content, thereby providing a new distribution channel for Quebec productions and another showcase for local talent.
"In recent years, the world - and particularly the broadcasting industry - has seen dramatic changes that are driving the emergence of a new paradigm", said Mr. Depatie. "While Astral has decided to deny the new realities, we regard them as a new opportunity to innovate for the benefit of consumers."
Videotron (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, and Internet access, cable telephone and mobile telephone services. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its interactive Digital TV service and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of September 30, 2012, Videotron was serving 1,852,900 cable television customers, including 1,457,800 subscribers to its digital service. Videotron is also the Quebec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 1,369,600 subscribers to its cable service as of September 30, 2012. As of the same date, Videotron had 378,300 subscriber connections to its mobile telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 1,249,700 Quebec households and organizations. For the seventh consecutive year, Videotron was named Quebec's most respected telecommunications company by Les Affaires magazine, based on a Leger Marketing survey.
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