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CTV HD West launches tomorrow; CanCon HD in '04-'05

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CTV Inc.
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HDTV/digital television
TORONTO - Beginning tomorrow at 9 a.m. PT, CTV will launch the new "CTV HD West" feed in high definition to be broadcast across Canada on Bell ExpressVu.

More than 30% of CTV's prime time schedule will be broadcast in HD (mostly U.S. series simulcasts, right now). CTV HD West will be identical to the analog signal now emanating from CTV's Vancouver-based station CTV British Columbia, in terms of programming, presenting HD content when available and digitally up-converted content for all other programming.

CTV is in discussions with other distributors across Canada to carry the signal.

"The launch of the CTV HD West feed reaffirms our commitment to the roll out of HDTV across Canada and underscores our position as a leading content provider of high definition programming in Canada," said CTV Inc. president Rick Brace. "More than 30 per cent of our prime-time schedule is currently broadcast in high definition and will grow annually."

Brace also confirmed that the majority of CTV's Canadian dramatic slate will also be available in high definition for the upcoming 2004-2005 season. Four original scripted series will be presented entirely in HD.

They are: Corner Gas, Season 2 (18 x 30 mins), Degrassi: The Next Generation, Season 4 (22 x 30 mins), The Eleventh Hour, Season 3 (13 x 60 mins) and Instant Star, Season 1 (13 x 30 mins).

In addition to its scripted series, CTV will broadcast a roster of nine original movies and mini-series in high definition. The titles are: Lives of the Saints starring Sophia Loren, Signature Series movie Sleep Murder, Literature Series movie Crazy Canucks and six newly ordered movies of the week: One Dead Indian, Playing House, Friend of the Family, Tripping the Wire, Spirit Bear and Plague City.

On November 19, 2003, CTV debuted its "CTV HD East" signal on Bell ExpressVu and Rogers Cable systems.
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