Astral Appeals the CRTC Decision on the COGECO-Corus Transaction to the Federal Court

MONTREAL, Jan. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Radio Inc. (Astral Radio), a subsidiary of Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B), filed today with the Federal Court of Appeal a motion seeking a leave to appeal the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)'s decision authorizing an exception to the application of the common ownership policy with regard to radio stations in order to approve the acquisition of Corus Entertainment Inc. assets in the Montréal market by COGECO Inc.

With regard to the CRTC decision announced on December 17, Astral believes that the CRTC erred in allowing COGECO to own and operate three French-language FM radio stations (98,5 fm, CKOI, and Rythme FM) in the Montréal market, whereas all other broadcasters in similarly large markets, including Astral Radio, are limited to two FM stations of the same language in order to comply with the common ownership policy adopted by the CRTC in 1998, and reaffirmed three times since.

According to Astral Radio, this prejudicial decision puts an end to nearly twelve years of consistent application of the policy and disrupts the competitive equilibrium. "The sudden lack of predictability in the application of the CRTC policy penalizes all broadcasters which in the past decided not to pursue business opportunities in order to abide by the policy as formulated and as consistently applied," stated Claude Laflamme, Vice President, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Astral Radio.

In its motion, Astral Radio submits to the Federal Court of Appeal that the CRTC erred in law by not following the standard regulatory proceeding to review the common ownership policy, and acted in an arbitrary and unreasonable manner; that the CRTC also neglected to consider the possibility for COGECO to divest itself of one of its FM music radio stations in order to abide by the current policy and complete its acquisition.

Astral Radio is also asking the Court to suspend the execution of the CRTC decision until final judgement on the appeal. The decision to authorize the appeal before the Federal Court is expected over the coming months.

Astral is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several media properties—pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital—among the most popular in the country. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich, and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.

SOURCE ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

For further information:

Pierre Boisseau
514 939-5000
pboisseau@astral.com

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