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September 28, 2005

MTV Returns to Canada

Canada’s CTV Inc. and MTV Networks International Announce Multi-Platform Partnership to Build MTV Brand in Canada
 
MTV Networks International Executive Brad Schwartz returns home to Canada to lead new MTV business venture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto / London / New York (September 28, 2005) -- CTV Inc and MTV Networks today announced a bold new strategic alliance to build and grow the MTV brand in Canada. The announcement was made by Ivan Fecan, President and CEO of CTVglobemedia and CEO of CTV Inc. together with Bill Roedy, Vice Chairman, MTV Networks & President, MTV Networks International. The multi-layered CTV-led venture partners Canada’s No. 1 television brand with the world’s most valuable media brand, to create a vibrant platform for MTV in Canada, including:

- An MTV branded analogue channel available to 4.4 million households
- A commitment between CTV and MTV to create original Canadian programming, destined for airplay   in Canada across numerous CTV platforms - and on MTV channels around the world
- Exclusive access for CTV to the MTV brand and library of programming for use in Canada across CTV‘s conventional, and specialty services
- Exclusive access for CTV to MTV’s array of digital media assets in Canada, including online, wireless, interactive and Video On Demand, as well as development of new digital media content for Canadians
- Today’s announcement means that Canadians can access the true MTV experience in 360 degrees; with customized content not just across digital, specialty and conventional television platforms, but for the first time across a comprehensive assortment of interactive assets as outlined above. The MTV brand is not only back in Canada, but it has returned in a broader, deeper way than ever before.

CTV’s talktv, an analogue specialty service currently available in 4.4 million Canadian households, will be re-born as a Canadian programmed and managed MTV channel, filled with dynamic, interactive, lifestyle, talk and documentary programming. The channel will continue to be fully compliant with its license condition of 68 per cent Canadian programming (71 per cent in prime time), representing one of the highest Canadian-content requirements of any Canadian service.

Additionally, CTV confirmed today it has filed an application with the CRTC for a new Category-2 Digital Television Service - Canada’s next music television station.  This new digital television service, along with the new MTV analogue channel, will provide alternate high quality entertainment options to all Canadians, and represent a great boost to local production and culture.  

Finally, MTV programming will continue to air across Canada inside a newly created MTV branded block of programming on CTV.

Today‘s announcement underscores CTV‘s strategic commitment to finding new opportunities for growth and success,” said Fecan. “Around the world, MTV is a brand that extends beyond television and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to work with our new partner and worldwide innovators at MTV to build a successful business that delivers fresh, honest and relevant content to Canadians.”

“Canada is a very important market to MTV. As a source of dynamic debate, diversity and culture, MTV in Canada will reflect a uniquely Canadian perspective to enrich our global operation,” said Roedy. “This is a tremendous milestone in our global expansion, and its terrific to be partnering with CTV - their passion, expertise, and credibility are inspiring. We are going to do great things together.”

Returning to Toronto to oversee the MTV business is Canadian Brad Schwartz, today named General Manager and Senior Vice President. In his previous position, Schwartz was Director, International Marketing Partnerships for MTV Networks International, based in New York, and responsible for worldwide marketing and sponsorship initiatives.

“Our focus is to build a clearly Canadian interpretation of the MTV brand - one that will engage and excite all Canadians,” said Schwartz. “With the array of resources and expertise available from both the CTV and MTV families, we’re going to rapidly establish our presence in Canada, and become a vital and valued member of Canada’s creative and production communities.”

“Canadians have come to know MTV as both a leading lifestyle and entertainment brand,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group, “The MTV philosophy has won the following of millions around the world for its leadership and vision in current affairs, offering an alternative voice and engaging viewers that the traditional mainstream media just don’t reach.  It’s no secret that millions of Canadians - especially young Canadians - are yearning for new ways to become involved in issues that are important to them. They’re ready to be challenged by the bold, unorthodox approach that MTV has pioneered.”

MTV’s content has a proven track record with Canadian viewers. The Osbournes became a Top 20 ratings winner for CTV when it launched in 2002. Additional MTV success stories on CTV include Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, Punk‘d, and Pimp My Ride.

“MTV’s commitment to bold, innovative and entertaining programming reflects CTV’s philosophy toward building successful schedules,” added Boyce. “With nation-builders like Live 8, The Juno Awards and Canadian Idol, and star vehicles like eTalk Daily to showcase them, CTV has demonstrated its commitment to developing Canadian stars. A partnership with MTV is an exciting and ideal extension of our overall program strategy.”

In Canada, CTV remains the undisputed broadcast leader both in conventional television and in the Specialty sector. CTV finished the 2004-2005 season with 18 of Canada’s Top 20 programs, and is home to the most watched Canadian programs in all genres. CTV also owns interests in 14 Specialty services including The Discovery Channel, The Comedy Network, OLN and No. 1 ranked TSN.

Comprehensive details relating to launch dates, content, co-production plans and branding, including details outlining the digital strategy, will be revealed in the weeks to come.

About CTV
CTV is Canada’s largest private broadcaster. Its conventional stations boast 18 of Canada‘s Top 20 programs including the No. 1 Drama (CSI), the No. 1 Comedy (Corner Gas), the No. 1 reality series (The Amazing Race) and the No. 1 ranked local and national news. CTV owns 21 conventional television stations and has interests in 14 specialty channels, including The Comedy Network, Discovery Channel and Canada‘s No. 1 specialty channel, TSN. CTV is owned by CTVglobemedia, Canada’s premier multi-media company. More information about CTV may be found on the company Web site at www.ctv.ca.

About MTV
MTV is the world’s largest television network and the leading multimedia brand for youth.  For the 6th consecutive year, MTV was named The World‘s Most Valuable Media Brand in the Interbrand/Business Week 2005 World‘s Most Valuable Brands Report. With 43 programming services in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Russia, and the Middle East, each MTV channel promotes local cultural tastes with a mixture of national, regional and international celebrities along with locally produced and globally shared programming. MTV’s holdings also include 37 locally operated Web sites worldwide as well as publishing, recorded music, radio, home video, licensing & merchandising and a feature film division.

MTV Networks International includes the premier multimedia entertainment brands MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, TMF (The Music Factory), Paramount Comedy, VIVA, The Box, FLUX and Game One seen in 421.9 million households in 167 countries and 18 languages via 111 locally programmed and operated TV channels and 94 Web sites.  The company’s diverse holdings also include interests in television syndication, digital media, publishing, home video, radio, recorded music, licensing & merchandising and two feature film divisions, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies.  MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

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NOTE TO EDITORS: The MTV logo and an image of Brad Schwartz, GM and Senior Vice President, can be found online at www.ctvmedia.ca/mtv and at www.newswire.ca.

For more information, contact:

For CTV:  Mike Cosentino, 416 332 5048 or mcosentino@ctv.ca
For MTV:  Rob Hooper, 1 212 846 5785 hooper.rob@mtvne.com OR
Mark Levine, 1 212 846 7241 markj.levine@mtvn.com

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