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THE MOVIE NETWORK LAUNCHES THE MOVIE NETWORK HD, A 24/7 HIGH DEFINITION CHANNEL, ON MAY 1, 2005

April 4, 2005 (Toronto) - The Movie Network announced today that it will launch

The Movie Network HD (TMNHD) on May 1, 2005. Offering a 24-hour schedule of premium HD programming, TMNHD is a High-Definition channel available free of charge to subscribers of The Movie Network.

With hundreds of movie and series titles, The Movie Network HD will have the greatest amount of HD content of any Canadian movie service in eastern Canada, offering HD content available from HBO and Showtime in addition to The Movie Network's own original Canadian drama series and Hollywood blockbuster movies from the major studios. Programming will include popular series such as Fat Actress, G-Spot and Deadwood and recent movies such as Elf, White Chicks, Dogville and Kill Bill Vol. 2 in an uncut and commercial-free environment.

"Canadians are rapidly changing the way they watch television and are increasingly demanding theatre-quality picture, superior audio and the ability to customize their viewing to watch what they want, when they want," says Domenic Vivolo, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Astral Television Networks. "Following the launch of our SVOD channel last year, The Movie Network's offering of a new HD channel is an important next step in responding to viewer demand for a superior viewing experience. TMNHD will have the highest HD content of any Canadian movie service in eastern Canada and will provide subscribers with the ultimate theatrical environment at home."

As a pioneer in broadcast technology, The Movie Network was the first broadcaster to provide regularly scheduled programming in HD and Dolby Digital 5.1. surround sound almost three years ago. The launch of a channel dedicated exclusively to HD content is the next step in The Movie Network's evolution towards offering subscribers best-in-class entertainment. The network has also made a commitment to delivering all its original Canadian series in HD which includes the premiere of Terminal City, Stuntdawgs and Slings & Arrows, season 2.

In addition to The Movie Network's investment in HD technology, the service also offers subscribers The Movie Network OnDemand, a subscription video on demand service that is currently being rolled out across eastern Canada and which reports transactions in excess of 2 million per month*.

For more information on TMNHD and a list of movie and series titles offered in HD, please visit
http://www.themovienetwork.ca/programming/hd.php

The Movie Network is an Astral Media network available in eastern Canada. With premiere access to blockbuster movies, critically-acclaimed HBO and Showtime series, and first-rate Canadian programming, this pay-television service presents Canadians with some of the best television entertainment available. The Movie Network service includes five 24-hour multiplex channels - M, MMore, MExcess, MFun! and MFest - which deliver diverse and entertaining programs in an uncut and commercial-free television environment. The Movie Network also offers The Movie Network OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in select areas across eastern Canada. For more information, please visit www.themovienetwork.ca.

Astral Media is one of Canada's leading media companies, active in specialty, pay and pay-per-view television, radio and outdoor advertising. Astral Media's solid and dynamic presence in the country's major markets rests on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted media for all its audiences. www.astralmedia.com

* Based on figures for December 2004 which reported 2.2 million transactions with a take-up rate of 65% among those who currently have access to the TMNOD service.

Media contact
Natalie Jones, (416) 956-2010, extension 6283
njones@tv.astral.com

 


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