Star Choice to bring a "better TV experience"

Toronto - Today, Star Choice Communications Inc. announced a new business strategy to distinguish the company as a leading provider of direct-to-home satellite television programming in Canada. The strategy is centered around increased customer interaction that includes the new "Simple Satellite" consumer offer, opening new call centres, launching a direct-to-home sales team, certifying professional installers, enhancing the tools provided at retail and revamping its Web site. This new strategy will be heralded in an integrated marketing campaign.

"The direct-to-home satellite business is highly competitive, yet an underdeveloped category with enormous growth potential," says Michael Kaumeyer, vice president of marketing, Star Choice Communications Inc. "Within that environment, we need to aggressively distinguish and differentiate ourselves from the competition. There is market share to gain and improved customer service to deliver and we intend to capitalize on both."

Star Choice satellite television currently delivers more than 360 channels to its viewers - more than any other provider. Only Star Choice delivers crystal clear digital picture and Dolby surround sound through a dual satellite system via its revolutionary elliptical dish, giving customers more access to more channels.

"Star Choice is a consumer-driven company and our consumers told us our product needed to be more accessible to them. We've responded to them ten-fold," says Kaumeyer. "By adding new and enhanced channels of communication,we've made it easier for Canadians to enter into the Star Choice satellite television experience."

"Simple Satellite"

The Star Choice "Simple Satellite" plan is a new, unique consumer offer designed to make it easier for customers to adopt satellite television. "Simple Satellite" customers enjoy free basic installation by professional installers with lifetime maintenance on the dish and all outside components. In addition, if customers move, Star Choice will install a new dish at their new home at no cost.

Call Centres

By expanding the Customer Care Centre in Fredericton, opening a new bilingual Centre in Montreal this October and another new Centre in Calgary to service the Western region of Canada this November, Star Choice is demonstrating its commitment to providing unparalleled customer service.

Direct-to-Home Sales

The Star Choice Direct-to-Home sales team kicked off in key markets in Southern Ontario. Star Choice Cruisers - vans with fully installed Star Choice systems - will be traveling through neighbourhoods across Ontario re-emphasizing the importance of that once valued face-to-face relationship. Direct Sales representatives can provide the ultimate end-to-end experience.

Star Choice Professional Installers

Star Choice is adding to its network of professional installers and introducing a formal Star Choice certification program, so that customers can be assured that an informed technician is setting up and servicing their dish.

Web Site

The Star Choice Web site is being revamped to make it easier for customers to find the information they require. The new Web site will be easier to navigate, provide timely information on pricing packages, programming, technology, promotions and offer online customer service with updated FAQs and a troubleshooting section. Customers will now be able to purchase products online.

Enhanced Retail Tools - More and Better Information

Distinct, new in-store merchandising and point-of-purchase materials will be in place at retail outlets across the country by mid-September, making Star Choice more visible and accessible to customers. Star Choice has also invested in expanding its already successful retail training program so that retail partners are equipped with the knowledge and ability to service every customer's need.

Integrated Marketing Campaign

Star Choice's new corporate look includes a cleaner logo complemented by a bold new colour scheme of deep red and blue, and introduces consumers to a new tagline - 'You have a choice. Star Choice.' or 'Star Choice. La Libertélé.'

"You have a choice. Star Choice. is more than just a creative concept, it's a philosophy that we stand behind 100 per cent. We're offering Canadians the option to choose the kind of television service provider they want to build a relationship with, instead of having to establish that relationship by default," says Kaumeyer. "Customer expectation in this category is very high, but we plan to exceed those expectations and deliver what the customer really wants from a television experience."

The fully integrated marketing campaign features television, print, billboard and radio advertising created by Due North Communications Inc., direct mail, completely redesigned point-of-purchase materials, public relations, wild postings and interactive consumer promotions.

Star Choice's new television advertising will begin airing in Ontario and Atlantic Canada on September 24 with the 60-second "Manifesto," the first in a progressive series of 30- and 60-second television spots. Radio advertising begins late October.

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