Montréal, December 13, 2006 -
Just For Laughs announced today a partnership with Videotron under which Videotron will be the presenter and main partner of the Just For Laughs Festival for the next three years. In addition to presenting the Festival, Videotron will be the main distributor of Just For Laughs content on several of its platforms and a partner in the concept and content development process.
"Videotron was an obvious choice as partner/presenter of the Just For Laughs Festival," said Gilbert Rozon, President and Founder of Groupe Juste pour rire. "As a global telecommunications company engaged in new media and multiple content distribution platforms, Videotron will not only help the Festival maintain its success and increase its visibility, but will also enable us to distribute our content more widely."
The Just For Laughs/Videotron partnership extends well beyond the framework of a conventional sponsorship. The new partnership will revolve around content: it will support the development of innovative new concepts driven by the synergies between Just For Laughs' creative energy and Videotron's extensive distribution capabilities. "This partnership goes beyond presenting the Festival and distributing Just For Laughs content," said Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Videotron. "In addition to using our technology to support Just For Laughs' content, we will work together, at the very inception of the creative process, on possible projects such as the development of exclusive series for the Web andhumour capsules conceived and produced for mobile telephones and other emerging content distribution platforms."
Exclusive laughs on illico and Canal Vox
The Just For Laughs/Videotron partnership also calls for the exclusive broadcast of paid and free content from Just For Laughs on Videotron's multiple platforms, including illico Digital TV, Internet and mobile telephones.
During the 25th edition of the Just For Laughs Festival, to be held from July 8th to 29th 2007, all six French-language galas will be available unabridged, exclusively on video on demand, as of the next day. Also, illico on Demand will offer reruns of the 21 "Juste pour rire en direct" live shows, highlights of the galas, "Comicographies" and other series developed by Juste pour rire, plus the "Just For Variety" series. At the beginning of 2007, a new Humour Zone will be created for this content for illico on Demand. In the spring, Canal Vox, which is dedicated to supporting young talent, will carry "Mercredis Juste pour rire," a show featuring young comics, on Saturdays.
Humour goes high-speed and mobile
Subscribers to Videotron's high-speed Internet access service will be able to access live webcasts of the French-language Festival Galas and other Just For Laughs live shows. They will also be able to view five 30-minute specials from the new "Live from Just For Laughs" series, which will be taped at Just For Laughs events during the Festival.
Subscribers to Videotron wireless telephone service have not been overlooked. They will soon be able to access a host of humour capsules from the "Just Kidding" and "Ink inc." series, as well as exclusive capsules created during the Festival.
"We are delighted with this long-term agreement with Just For Laughs and Juste pour rire," said Robert Dépatie. "This partnership will not only give us an opportunity to work with one of Québec's most prominent cultural institutions but will also let us offer our customers many exclusives and previews, helping us keep our promise to give customers the best possible experience when it comes to entertainment."
Videotron Ltd. (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, residential telephone service and now wireless telephone service. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television system and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of September 30, 2006, Videotron was serving 1,553,000 cable television customers in Québec; including 585,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 769,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. In addition, Videotron provides residential and business telephone services to more than 344,000 customers in Québec and has been offering wireless telephone service since August 2006.
Just For Laughs is active in many areas of entertainment production including television, theatre, touring and the Web. During its 25 years, the Festival has featured some of the top comics in the world, including Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart, Jon Cleese, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Dane Cook and Tim Allen. Just For Laughs television shows are seen in over 125 countries and on over 95 airlines around the world.