The Suite Life on Deck sets sail on Family Channel with record-breaking premiere ratings

October 13 debut of Disney series the biggest series premiere ever on
    FamilyTORONTO, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - The highly anticipated new Disney series The
Suite Life on Deck attracted record ratings on Astral Media's Family Channel
for its October 13, 2008, debut. As part of a special Thanksgiving Day
marathon, Family broadcast the first two episodes of this series, starring
Dylan and Cole Sprouse, back-to-back and audiences ate them up - each episode
beat out the previous record set in March 2008. These ratings follow on the
heels of a successful 2008 broadcast season for Family Channel that saw the
network emerge as Canada's number one pay-and-specialty channel in the country
in a number of demographics, including People 2+.
    Viewers were eager to watch the television premiere of this spin-off of
the successful Disney series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, all the more so
when Family.ca made the first two episodes available online a week prior to
the network broadcast.
    Produced by The Walt Disney Company, the Canadian television premiere of
the first two episodes of The Suite Life on Deck on October 13 garnered
ratings of 408,500 and 405,300(1) respectively, an average of 26% more viewers
than the previous record holder, making it Family Channel's most-watched
series premiere ever. The double premieres were also the number one and two
rated shows among Family Channel's key demographic of 8-14 year olds for
October 13.(2)
    "We're delighted that viewers turned out in record numbers to catch The
Suite Life on Deck, which has quickly found a spot alongside the very best
from Disney," said Joe Tedesco, Vice President and General Manager, Family
Channel and Playhouse Disney. "With hit series like Hannah Montana, Wizards of
Waverly Place, and Cory in the House, Disney is re-writing the book on how to
create engaging live-action comedies that resonate with kids - we're proud to
deliver this to Canadians as only Family Channel can."
    Among Family's core demographic, Family Channel programs dominate weekly
BBM Nielsen Media Research Top 20 lists, averaging 18 of the top 20
most-watched programs among 8-14 year olds in the 2008 broadcast season.(3)
Over the entire 2008 broadcast season, Family extended this success to secure
the number one spot in several categories, including:-  the number one pay-and-specialty channel for P2+ (number five
       English-language channel, behind conventional channels such as CTV,
       Global and CBC);
    -  number one among 8-14 year olds for four years running; and,
    -  number one among all Teens 12-17 for the third year in a row.(4)Family Channel is a premium, commercial-free network offering the best in
family television entertainment in 5.7 million homes across Canada. Dedicated
to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs
a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of
programming supplied by Disney. Visit us at family.ca. Family Channel is an
Astral Television Network.

    Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty and
pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and iMedia. 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.1.  Source: BBM Nielsen Media Research -Total Canada- P2+ October 13th -
        6:00 p.m. ET/PT - Family Channel, compared to historical series
        premiere ratings.
    2.  Source: BBM Nielsen Media Research -Total Canada- P8-14 All English
        Stations 6a-6a.
    3.  Source: BBM Nielsen Media Research -Total Canada- Ranked
        by P8-14 AMA (000) All English Stations broadcast year 2007-2008
        weeks 1-53
    4.  Source: BBM Nielsen Media Research -Total Canada- Share Broadcast
        Years 2005/06 to 2007/08
For further information: Scott Campbell at (416) 956-8648 or
scampbell@tv.astral.com