Digital channels growing faster here than in the U.S.

Ottawa, - The buzz around the launch of new digital specialty television channels last fall helped drive the number of subscriptions to digital TV up 13% in the final few months of 2001, according to a new report by Decima Publishing Inc. The percentage increase in subscribers between August/September and November/December 2001 was slightly higher than the previous few months.

"Several digital TV providers had a record fourth quarter of 2001 in terms of subscriber additions, including digital TV leader Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Cablesystems, and even some small cable companies," says Mario Mota, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Decima Publishing. "The launch of more than 50 new digital specialty channels and other digital services such as enhanced television and personal video recorder technology likely helped raise awareness among Canadians about the features and benefits of digital TV."

According to Decima Publishing's research, Canada's two satellite TV providers continued to dominate the digital environment at November/December 2001. Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice had 62% market share versus cable's 35%. These percentages are expected to be 61% and 37% at the end of 2002.

The number of digital TV subscribers topped 2.8 million at the end of 2001 and currently stands at about 2.9 million. Interestingly, Decima Publishing's report also notes that the Canadian cable industry is adding digital subscribers at a faster rate than the industry south of the border. "Our research shows that the Canadian digital cable subscriber base increased by 16% in the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to 11% digital cable growth in the U.S.," Mota notes.

The digital TV market data are contained in Decima Publishing's report called The Digital Domain: Tracking the Growth and Development of the Canadian Digital TV Market. Released today, the report is the third in a quarterly series to provide a detailed breakdown of the digital TV market, including exclusive glimpses into the numbers being posted by non-public companies.

Vol. 1, Report 3 of The Digital Domain contains 150 pages of key digital TV market information, including subscriber statistics, market share data, digital penetration rates of cable operators, and digital TV subscriber forecasts. The report also details the package offerings of each of Canada's digital television providers, and provides concise summaries for each aspect of the competitive landscape.

For more information about The Digital Domain or to obtain a copy of the report, visit or contact Mario Mota.

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