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ExpressVu to add 76 new channels

Toronto, - Bell ExpressVu today announced it will add 76 new channels to its 300 channel line-up this year.

"We're launching a whole new world of entertainment for our customers," Timothy McGee, Bell ExpressVu President, told a press conference held in Toronto and broadcast via live satellite feed to audiences in Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal.

"Bell ExpressVu has led the way in choice and value in programming and we're now building on that offering with more of what Canadians want in their television - more high definition TV, more interactive TV and more local and international programming."

McGee said Bell ExpressVu would add 11 high definition channels to its line-up, bringing the total to 13 and making the company the leader in high-definition programming.

Bell ExpressVu is also expanding its conventional digital lineup with 11 new French, 11 new English local channels, 10 Pay per View channels, and 15 new Galaxy Pay Audio channels, as well as three multicultural local channels and two French specialty channels - Euronews and Paris Premiere.

The expanded service will also see Bell ExpressVu add seven English specialty channels and an extensive new lineup of international channels, including Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Polish and Greek programming.

The announcement coincided with the inauguration of Bell ExpressVu's expanded Toronto Broadcast Center, a highly sophisticated facility instrumental in delivering programming to Canadians from coast to coast.

On hand with McGee were special guests Steve and Cathy Tait, Bell ExpressVu's first customers, who signed up the day it launched on September 10, 1997.

"Our subscriber base has grown to more than 1.3 million customers since the Taits signed on with us five years ago," McGee added. "This has established Bell ExpressVu as the clear leader in satellite television in Canada."

Bell ExpressVu is also the leader in overall digital television with an all-digital signal and approximately 38% of the total digital market.

"In five short years, Bell ExpressVu has created 1,500 new jobs, invested $1.5 billion in building a state-of-the-art digital satellite television platform, provided customers with 300 crystal clear all digital video and audio channels wherever they live in Canada and brought choice and competition to the marketplace," McGee said.

As a result of the launch of Canadian satellite, 1.1 million Canadians, a large proportion of whom live in remote and rural areas, have subscribed to multi-channel television services. Last year, these additional subscribers contributed more than $300 million in new subscription revenues for Canadian broadcasters.

In the past five years, subscribers to Canadian satellite have generated more than $800 million in new subscription and advertising revenues for Canadian broadcasters, and ExpressVu alone has directly contributed an additional $75 million to the creation of new Canadian programming through the Canadian Television Fund and other funds it supports.

"The expanded programming and services we have announced today underscore our commitment to provide Canadians with choice and great value in their TV programming. Additionally, they underscore our commitment to the Canadian broadcasting industry as a whole," McGee said.

With more than 1.3 million customers, Bell ExpressVu broadcasts more than 300 digital video and audio channels. Bell ExpressVu was launched in September, 1997 and since then has become the largest direct-to-home satellite company in Canada and the fastest growing in North America. Bell ExpressVu is a limited partnership, wholly owned by BCE Inc.

New programming additions to Bell ExpressVu line-up in 2003

Local Television Services - 25 channels

French Language Local TV - 11 channels

- Rivière du Loup (2); TVA - CIMT, TQS - CFTF
- Rouyn-Noranda; TVA- CFEM
- Sherbrooke (3); SRC-CKSH, TQS-CFKS, TVA-CHLT
- Chicoutimi (2); TVA-CJPM, TQS-CFRS
- Rimouski; TVA-CFER
- Quebec City; SRC-CBVT
- Winnipeg; SRC-CBWFT

English Language Local TV - 11 channels

- Thunder Bay (2); CBC-CKPR, CTV-CHFD
- Kenora; CTV-CJBN
- Winnipeg; A-channel; CHMI (Craig)
- Calgary; A-channel; CKAL(Craig)
- Toronto; Toronto One; (Craig)
- Victoria; CHUM-NewVI
- Medicine Hat; CBC-CHAT
- Prince George; CBC-CKPG
- Peterborough; CHEX (Corus)
- CBC's Northern Artic West

Multi Cultural Local TV - 3 channels

- Vancouver; Channel M (Multivision Television)
- Montreal; CH Multicultural CJNT(Global)
- Toronto; OMNI.2 (Rogers)

Specialty Pay Audio and Pay per View Channels in standard definition

French Language - 5 channels

- Euronews; (24 hr news service from a European perspective)
- Paris Premiere; (From France - Paris fashion, arts and entertainment)
- PPV; 3 channels of movies and events

English Language - 29 channels

- Leafs TV; Sports; programming dedicated to Leaf fans
- documentaries, highlights, pre-season games (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment)
- Galaxie Digital Audio; 15 new individual music genres for example: Rap, Hip Hop, Smooth Jazz, Opera, Reggae, Latino; (CBC)
- MTV2; music videos; (Craig)
- Stampede; Western series, movies; (Craig)
- MuchLoud; rock music videos; (Chum)
- Green Channel; environmental programming and issues; (WETV)
- EWTN; global catholic network
- MuchMoreRetro; music videos from the 70's; (Chum)
- PPV; 7 channels of movies and events
- Third Language Services - 6 channels
- ATN B4U; Bollywood movies, broadcast in Hindi
- ATN Alpha Punjabi; Punjabi channel
- ATN Tamil; Dramas, sitcoms, talk shows for the Tamil community
- TV Polonia; Polish programming
- Odyssey 1 and 2; Greek programming

HDTV - 13 total channels, 11 new, 2 existing

- CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, PBS from Boston and Seattle
- CITY-TV; Toronto; (Chum)
- Toronto One; (Craig); later this year
- Pay-TV, PPV movies and events in HD-TV

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