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CanWest MediaWorks Launches bbTV, Canada's First Media Player for BlackBerry

Submitted by on August 8, 2006 – 11:41 pm

CanWest MediaWorks and Rogers Wireless today announced the launch of bbTV, the first media player to deliver content for BlackBerry® in Canada. bbTV will offer Rogers Wireless customers access to near TV quality synchronized audio and video files of leading CanWest MediaWorks content, including breaking and daily news from Global News, Global National, Global Morning and the Financial Post. In addition, bbTV will provide daily sports information and commentary from Rogers Sportsnet, Canada’s number one regional sports service.

To help bring this new technology to market, CanWest has partnered with Rogers Wireless to provide the bbTV media player free of charge to Rogers Wireless’ BlackBerry customers through a new video rate plan for $5 per month.“bbTV will provide BlackBerry consumers with daily clips of high quality on-demand video content they can take on the go and we’re very excited to be the first-to-market in Canada with this technology,” said Arturo Duran, President, Interactive and Business Integration, CanWest MediaWorks Inc. “bbTV gives us a new distribution platform for delivering our content and provides advertisers with a new advertising platform to reach niche audiences in a more targeted way.”CanWest will generate revenue through advertising sales – all content downloads on bbTV will begin and end with five second advertising promos. The response from the advertising community has been extremely positive with General Motors, Royal Bank of Canada, Tylenol and Labatt signing on as bbTV’s first advertising partners.

“We’re living in a mobile generation now, where consumers are using a variety of ways to stay connected and receive information on the go,” said Hugh Dow, President of M2 Universal, media agency for GM, Royal Bank, Tylenol and Labatt. “We see bbTV as an important platform that our clients can incorporate into their marketing efforts and ensure they are reaching target markets as their needs evolve.”

In Canada, bbTV will be marketed by both Rogers and CanWest MediaWorks. Rogers Wireless customers can now subscribe to the newly launched video plan and have bbTV wirelessly installed on their BlackBerry free of charge.

“As Canada’s leading provider in data communications services, Rogers Wireless is always looking to help customers save time by bringing the latest innovation in mobile communications,” said John Boynton, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Wireless. “Instead of reading the news, our customers can now watch it unfold anywhere, at any time in a comprehensive time saving format.”

“Instead of hearing the sports scores, customers can now see the action,” adds Tony Viner, President & CEO, Rogers Media.

CanWest has licensed the new technology from Sona Mobile Holdings Corp, (Nasdaq: SNMB) a leading provider of wireless software to the financial services, enterprise, entertainment and gaming markets. CanWest and Sona announced the first-ever MediaPlayerâ„¢ for BlackBerry at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando this past May.
“We are thrilled to offer the first-ever commercially available media player for BlackBerry. For the very first time, Canadian BlackBerry users can receive and play video on their BlackBerry devices,” said Niall Carson, Sona Mobile’s Vice President responsible for the MediaPlayer™ for BlackBerry. “We believe that this application will be very well-received in the marketplace and the BlackBerry community.”

About CanWest Interactive

CanWest Interactive owns an extensive portfolio of consumer and business to business websites, including: the canada.com network, one of Canada’s leading news and information online destinations; FPinfomart, Canada’s largest print and video data subscription service; and a family of leading online classified sites including working.com, driving.ca, remembering.ca, celebrating.com and connecting.com.

CanWest Interactive is 74% indirectly owned by CanWest Global Communications Corp, (NYSE: CWG; TSX: CGS.SV and CGS.NV, www.canwestglobal.com), and 26% indirectly owned by the CanWest MediaWorks Income Fund (TSX: CWM.UN; www.cwmincomefund.com. CanWest Global Communications Corp., an international media company, is Canada’s largest media company and largest publisher of daily newspapers. CanWest also owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in free-to-air and subscription-based television networks, out-of-home advertising, web sites, and radio stations and networks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

About Rogers Communications

Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RG) is a diversified Canadian communications and media company engaged in four primary lines of business. Rogers Wireless Inc. is Canada’s largest wireless voice and data communications services provider and the country’s only carrier operating on the world standard GSM/GPRS technology platform. Rogers Cable Inc. is Canada’s largest cable television provider offering cable television, high-speed Internet access, residential telephony services, and video retailing. Rogers Media Inc. is Canada’s premier collection of category leading media assets with businesses in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, publishing and sports entertainment. Rogers Business Solutions is a national provider of voice communications services, data networking, and broadband Internet connectivity, to small, medium and large businesses across the country. For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit www.rogers.com.

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For additional information, please contact:

Tammy Bender
CanWest MediaWorks
416-442-3780
tbender@canwest.com

Odette Coleman
Rogers Wireless
416-935-6441
Odette.coleman@rci.rogers.com

Niall Carson
Sona Mobile Inc.
416-866-4100 x:112
Niall.carson@sonamobile.com

[ad][tags] CanWest MediaWords, Blackberry, Research In Motion, Rogers, Sona Mobile [/tags]

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Dave Forde

Dave “The Connector” Forde has been involved in the technology industry across Canada for over 10 years in sales and marketing roles, he launched PR In Canada, and on Profectio.

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