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83% of Canadians Oppose Basic Cable Status for 5 New Channels

    Show strong preference for Pick and Pay option

    TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - More than 8 in 10 Canadians surveyed oppose
mandatory inclusion of five proposed new channels in their digital basic cable
service while showing strong support for the option to pick and pay for
channels they watch. The channels are currently seeking licences from the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
    When given programming descriptions and costs per month for each of the
proposed channels, Canadians strongly rejected their addition to digital basic
cable in favour of being made optional. The results were:-   Metis Michif Television, programming to and about Metis people
        (15 cents per month). "make optional" 92%
    -   Canada One TV, programming about multicultural themes and values
        (50 cents per month). "make optional" 86%
    -   Canal Savoir, French language programming about multicultural themes
        and values (2 cents per month). "make optional" 82%
    -   The Accessible Channel, programming for the visibly impaired
        (20 cents per month). "make optional" 80%
    -   All Points Bulletin, information and public service announcements
        related to law enforcement (6 cents per month). "make optional" 71%Seventy-nine percent (79%) of respondents agreed that, "a basic cable
subscription should only include a very limited group of channels with broad
appeal. All other channels should be available to consumers who want them and
are prepared to pay for them."
    "Canadians want to have the choice to pick and pay for the channels they
watch. That's what digital service should provide," said Phil Lind,
vice-chairman of Rogers Communications Inc. "There is very limited support for
having these five channels added to digital basic service, however we have no
objection to their availability as optional services."
    The national 1,000 respondent study of adult cable and satellite
subscribers was conducted in English and French for Rogers Cable by the
Strategic Counsel between March 18-22, 2007 (Please visit: It was done on a
proportionate-to-provincial-population basis. Seventy percent (70%) of
respondents were cable subscribers and 30% were satellite subscribers. The
margin of error for a sample of 1,000 respondents is plus or minus 3.1%,
nineteen times out of the twenty.

    Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RG) is a diversified Canadian
communications and media company engaged in three primary lines of business.
Rogers Wireless is Canada's largest wireless voice and data communications
services provider and the country's only carrier operating on the world
standard GSM/GPRS technology platform; Rogers Cable is Canada's largest cable
television provider offering cable television, high-speed Internet access and
video retailing; and Rogers Media is Canada's premier collection of category
leading media assets with businesses in radio, television broadcasting,
televised shopping, publishing and sports entertainment. For further
information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit