MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2011) - Cogeco Diffusion Inc. (CDI) learned today of the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding the use of music montages in the programming of certain radio stations belonging to three radio broadcasting groups in the French-language market in Québec, including CKOI-FM.

In its decision today, the CRTC announced that in future, commercial French-language radio stations shall devote no more than 10% of their weekly programming to music montages. Station CKOI-FM will comply with the new requirement, while all of CDI's other French-language radio stations already comply and will continue to do so. It is important to note that during the period examined, CKOI-FM was not yet owned by CDI. Following the acquisition of certain of Corus' radio stations in Québec on February 1, 2011, CDI significantly reduced the proportion of its programming allocated to music montages.

CDI supports the Québec music industry both financially and through the music programming of its French-language radio stations. In fact, CDI's radio stations each year contribute more than $306,000 to Musicaction. Moreover, in connection with the acquisition of certain of Corus' radio stations in Québec on February 1, 2011, including Montréal's CKOI-FM, CDI undertook to pay out supplementary amounts annually between 2011 and 2018. In all, more than $457,000 and $418,000 will be paid to Musicaction and Fonds Radiostar respectively, for a total additional financial contribution of $6.1 million over seven years in support of the country's music industry. These contributions are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars CDI injects annually into activities related to promoting French-language music in Québec.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that a very significant share of the Francophone audience in Montréal's bilingual radio market chooses to listen exclusively to English-language vocal music on Anglophone radio stations, and that music consumers, young listeners in particular, consume more and more of the vocal music of their choice on the Internet and other unregulated platforms that have no linguistic restrictions. Obviously, this represents a significant challenge to all French-language radio stations, especially in bilingual markets.

CDI is prepared to discuss with the music industry and Francophone artists in Québec the different means that all of the stakeholders in this cultural sector should look at in order to meet the challenges that face the Francophone music market in Québec. CDI notes that the CRTC will once again review the regulatory requirements relating to French-language vocal music and montages starting in 2012, when it undertakes a more global review of the policies affecting commercial French-language radio.

"CDI will actively participate in this proceeding, which should take into account developments in new distribution platforms and music consumer habits," said Richard Lachance, Senior Vice President, Radio, Cogeco Diffusion Inc.


Cogeco Diffusion, one of Québec's largest radio broadcasters, is a subsidiary of COGECO Inc., a diversified communications company with subordinate voting shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:CGO). Cogeco Diffusion operates thirteen (13) radio stations across Québec: Rythme FM, CKOI FM, 98.5 FM, 92.5 The Beat and Radio Circulation 730 AM in Montréal, FM 93 and 102.9 FM in Québec City, CKOI FM in Ottawa-Gatineau, CIME-FM in Saint-Jérôme, Rythme FM and CKOI FM in Sherbrooke and Rythme FM and CKOI FM in Trois-Rivières. Cogeco Diffusion also operates Cogeco News, one of the biggest news agencies in Québec with outreach of close to 30 independent and community radio stations.

Contact Information:

Nicole Tardif
Director, Corporate Communications

Christine Dicaire
Director, Communications and Marketing
514-789-2564, ext. 7149