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Digital "programming bonanza" announced for January

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TORONTO - In an industry-wide programming, distribution and marketing initiative, Canada's new specialty channels have joined forces together with the country's television service providers to announce a month-long programming bonanza for Canadians.

Dubbed "31 Days of Great TV," the month-long event runs January 1 through to January 31, 2005. During that time, Canada's four million "digital homes" will have access to more than 40 Canadian digital specialty channels. The industry-wide initiative is designed to highlight the digital specialty channels and to encourage Canadians to sample and subscribe to these niche services.

The collaboration between broadcasters and distributors represents the television industry's largest joint initiative since the September 2001 launch of Canada's digital services. Behind the initiative are Canada's foremost media companies, including Alliance Atlantis Communications, CanWest MediaWorks, CBC, CHUM Television, Corus Entertainment, CTV Inc, Craig Media, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Rogers Media, Stornoway Communications and Channel Zero. Viewers subscribing to digital services will have access to all new specialty channels throughout January.

Just some of the participating carriers include DTH distributors Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice along with cable companies Cogeco, Rogers, Shaw, Videotron and many other television service providers.

Special themed weekends include: Exclusive (Jan. 1-Jan. 2), Family Time (Jan. 7-9), Adrenalin (Jan. 14-16), and I.Q. (Jan. 21-23).

The themes and the overall campaign will be supported by a comprehensive on-air promotional campaign, debuting on specialty and conventional networks owned by the participating broadcasters, beginning in early December. In addition to the on-air campaign, a companion consumer Web site,, will feature scheduling details and information on how to subscribe to the new specialty channels.

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