The Wait Is Over... HBO Canada Is Here


    TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - Astral Media's (ACM.A/ACM.B) The Movie Network
(Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's (CJR.B/CJR) Movie Central (Western
Canada) today announced the launch of HBO Canada, a channel that will deliver
a full slate of HBO's award-winning, boundary-pushing, genre-defining series,
films, comedies and live events. Launching on Thursday, October 30, 2008, HBO
Canada is a multiplex channel that will be offered at no additional charge to
customers who subscribe to The Movie Network or Movie Central.
    "HBO is one of the most successful and sought-after entertainment brands
in the world and we are thrilled to be expanding upon our long-standing
relationship to launch this unique new service," said John Riley, President,
Astral Television Networks. "For years, HBO's dramatic programming has been
available on The Movie Network and Movie Central. But even with all of the HBO
titles we offered, Canadians still wanted more. They wanted the comedy series,
the live specials, the sporting events and the behind-the-scenes content that
went into the HBO viewing experience. In launching HBO Canada we will be in a
position to offer Canadians this additional content, together with the current
signature series that HBO produces, to create an entertainment and value
proposition that promises to set a new standard for premium television viewing
in Canada."
    With its launch in October, HBO Canada will be home to new and returning
marquee series such as True Blood, Entourage, Big Love, Flight of the
Conchords and In Treatment, airing day-and-date with HBO in the U.S. The
service will also offer more than 200 hours of library titles and first-run
HBO original films, comedy specials, documentaries, live concerts and sporting
events which were previously unavailable in Canada, including Real Time with
Bill Maher, Def Comedy Jam and Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger. Library titles
available on HBO Canada include such series as OZ and Da Ali G Show; original
movies Gia, The Late Shift and If These Walls Could Talk; acclaimed miniseries
From the Earth to the Moon and Angels in America; and comedy specials from the
likes of Dane Cook, Tracey Ullman and Ellen Degeneres. HBO Canada will round
out its offering with Canadian films and series including The Movie Network
and Movie Central's award-winning original series such as Durham County and
Terminal City.
    "We are thrilled that HBO Canada is going to be available to our
subscribers this fall," said Paul Robertson, President, Television, Corus
Entertainment. "Canadians see great value in HBO's distinctive brand and
compelling programming and we have responded to this with a channel that
offers a full complement of HBO programming that meets our audience's demand
for world-class entertainment - delivered in standard definition, high
definition and on demand."
    HBO Canada will include a standard definition and high definition
offering. HBO Canada programming will also be offered on demand through The
Movie Network OnDemand and Movie Central On Demand where available by service
    Astral Media and Corus Entertainment have expanded on the long-standing
programming output deal that each has with HBO in order to launch HBO Canada.
HBO will not hold an ownership stake in HBO Canada.
    "Canadian audiences have a great appreciation for the quality
entertainment for which HBO is known," said Charles Schreger, President of
Programming Sales, HBO. "Working with Astral Media's The Movie Network and
Corus Entertainment's Movie Central to create HBO Canada is a great evolution
in our relationship and it is very exciting to be able to deliver a robust
inventory of HBO programming under an HBO branded destination."

    The Movie Network is a pay television service available in eastern
Canada. With premiere access to Hollywood hit 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 24-hour multiplex channels - M,
MExcess, MFun!, MFest and the soon-to-be-launched HBO Canada - which deliver
diverse and entertaining programs in an uncut and commercial-free television
environment. The Movie Network also offers The Movie Network HD and the
soon-to-be-launched HBO Canada HD, two dedicated high-definition channels
providing hundreds of titles in HD; and The Movie Network OnDemand, a
Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in select areas across
eastern Canada. For more information, please visit
    The Movie Network is an Astral Media 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.

    Movie Central is a 24-hour-a-day, commercial-free premium pay TV service
available to Western Canadians. Exclusive multi-year output agreements with
major Hollywood studios ensure that Movie Central is the preferred destination
for box office titles. In addition to being the first window, Canadian home to
the best of Showtime and the soon-to-be-launched HBO Canada, through its
investments, pre-buys and licence fees for Canadian feature films and original
series, Movie Central is recognized as a major force in the Canadian
independent film and television production industry. The launch of Movie
Central On Demand and Movie Central High Definition demonstrates that Movie
Central remains committed to being first with innovations that enhance the
viewing experience. Visit the Movie Central website at
    Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based
media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty
television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising and
digital audio services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing
and children's animation. The company's multimedia entertainment brands
include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and
radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded
entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A
publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York
(CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at

    For access to The Movie Network's media room or Movie Central's press
site, please visit or

    Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of
Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour pay television services - HBO and
Cinemax - to over 40 million U.S. subscribers. The services offer the most
popular subscription video on demand products, HBO On Demand and Cinemax On
Demand, as well as HBO on Broadband, HD feeds, and multiplex channels.
Internationally, HBO's branded television networks, along with the
subscription video on demand products HBO On Demand and HBO Mobile, bring HBO
services to over 50 countries. HBO programming is sold into over 150 countries

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: The Movie Network (Eastern
Canada), Roopa Shah, Senior Manager, Communications, (416) 956-8584,; Movie Central (Western Canada), Sally Tindal, Director,
Communications, (416) 530-5121,

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