Press release: 1995-09-21: Shaw Communications Inc. And Rogers Cablesystems Limited Form Company To Distribute Sega Channel In Canada
From Sega Retro
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Original source: The Free Library
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 21, 1995--SHAW COMMUNICATIONS (Alberta Stock Exchange:SCL.B Alberta Stock Exchange:SCL.A) Shaw Communications Inc. ("Shaw") and Rogers Cablesystems Limited ("Rogers") today announced that they will be launching a new company to distribute Sega Channel sm/tm in Canada. The new company will be a 50 percent-50 percent joint venture between Shaw and Rogers. An exclusive licence to distribute Sega Channel across Canada via cable television, satellite master antenna, multi-point microwave distribution and direct-to-home has been obtained by the new company from STT Video Partners, a company owned by Sega of America, Inc., TCI and Time Warner. The new company, owned by Shaw and Rogers, intends to seek distribution for Sega Channel on cable television systems across Canada. At least 10 percent of Sega Channel will be of Canadian content and the new company intends to spend in excess of a million dollars on the development of more Canadian designed games for Sega Channel. Sega Channel is a new digital, interactive, 16-bit, multi-media service providing Canadians with video games on demand, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Customers will choose from a menu of up to 50 Sega Genesis sm/tm games each month, beginning in the late fall 1995, in time for the Christmas buying season. New games will be available each month and customers will be able to "test drive" new games, many of which will not be available in any other form of distribution elsewhere. It is expected that the service will retail for $18.95 monthly. Sega games are delivered directly to customers' Sega Genesis game machines through a special Sega Channel adapter that customers can self-install. The adapter connects the cable plant to the Genesis game player and is compatible with all Genesis game players. When a customer chooses a game to play from the menu displayed on their tv screen, the game is down loaded to their Sega Genesis game machine. At any point during a game, a customer may request a new game to play and this can be repeated indefinitely. The cost of subscribing to the Sega Channel is expected to cover the cost of the game adapter and unlimited, interactive access to a large number of Sega games each month. A unique feature that Sega Channel offers is the Password for Parents security program which allows parents to select video games according to age appropriateness via their corresponding game rating. Password for Parents is easily activated through an on- screen menu system. Parents access the security screen and are then prompted to select a four digit "PIN" number to secure video game access. The final step is to select the rating levels which parents feel are appropriate. Once programmed, the adapter will only allow games with those rating levels to download. The security system can only be modified with the secret and unique PIN number. J.R. Shaw Sr., President and CEO of Shaw said, "The launch of Sega Channel is another exciting step for us in the expansion of our programming interests. We look forward to continuing to enhance Canadians' programming choices." "Rogers is in the entertainment and information business and Sega Channel is one of the many innovative, interactive services that we will be making available to our customers. Sega Channel is part of a new wave of programs for our subscribers," said Colin Watson, President and CEO of Rogers Cablesystems Limited. Shaw is Canada's second largest cable television company serving over 1.5 million customers in six provinces. It also operates nine radio stations in three provinces and its holdings include YTV, the Canadian youth specialty channel, Digital Music Express (DMX), NPC National Personal Communication Corporation and Microcell 1-2-1. Rogers is Canada's largest cable television operator, providing entertainment and information services to approximately 2.4 million customers in Ontario and British Columbia. The company's parent Rogers Communications Inc. has interests in wireless communications through Rogers Cantel Mobil Communications Inc. and multimedia through Rogers Multi-Media Inc. Sega Channel,which began its U.S. rollout in December, 1994, was developed by Sega of American, Inc., Tele-Communications, Inc. and Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. and is the industry's first interactive service, providing video games on demand, 24 hours a day. Sega Channel subscribers can choose from a wide selection of popular Sega Genesis games, special versions of soon-to-be-released titles, game play tips,news, contents and promotions. CONTACT: Jim Shaw, Jr. Senior Vice President, Operations Shaw Communications Inc. (403) 269-5200 or Garbine Ormaechea Director, Investor Relations Shaw Communications Inc. (403) 269-5200 or Nick Fior VP & Managing Direct, International Sega Channel (212) 767-4602 or Colin Watson President & CEO Rogers Cablesystems Limited (416) 391-7200 or Sally Moyer Ken VP, Financial Planing & Investor Relations Rogers Communications Inc. (416) 864-2349 COPYRIGHT 1995 Business Wire No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder. Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.