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Rogers OMNI to spend $50 million on ethnic programming

Toronto, - OMNI Television (Rogers Media Television), today announced that it has actively initiated its $50 million commitment to develop and license third-language/ethnocultural programming and other
multicultural initiatives.

Rogers claims the support positions OMNI Television as the industry's first, and only, major source of funding for the independent
production of non-official language programming.

Development funding has been initiated for projects including:

* A Canadian woman's private journey to better understand her Muslim faith;
* A documentary on the Underground Railroad, to be produced in three
* A documentary on Russian women in the Diaspora,
* A study on a unique ethnic settlement in rural Ontario;
* A series on the Arab community in Canada

"OMNI television is proud to support these new programmes now in development," says Malcolm Dunlop, Vice President, Programming for Rogers Media Television. "We're at the forefront of an exciting era in Canadian television production."

Earlier this year, OMNI Television also awarded funding to more than 12 independent producers from previously under-served ethnocultural communities such as Afghan, Armenian, Ethiopian, Hungarian, Somali and Vietnamese.

Commenting on the wide range of projects supported by the station, Madeline Ziniak, Vice President and General Manager for OMNI Television, stated:

"With our ongoing commitment to the development of diversity television, we have granted $1 million in support of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to ensure the participation of ethnocultural Canadians. We have helped fund a recent, national Canadian ethnocultural conference, and have made a significant contribution to the publication of an anthology of Canadian Ethnic Journalists."

Interested producers can access funding criteria at OMNI Television's website: <> .

OMNI Television, comprised of diversity television stations OMNI.1 (CFMT) and OMNI.2, is a free over-the-air system owned by Rogers Communications under its Rogers Media Television division. Combined, the OMNI stations have significantly expanded the variety of languages, number of hours and choice of programming being offered for ethnocultural communities in the Toronto/Hamilton area, providing programming in more than 30 languages to ethnocultural groups encompassing no less than 40 communities. With the launch of OMNI.2 in September 2002, ethnic programming on OMNI.1 (CFMT) now principally serves the local European, Latino and Caribbean communities,
while OMNI.2's programming focus is reflective of the local Pan Asian and African population.

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