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Leafs TV partners with Rogers, Cogeco to air in September

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. announced Thursday that Rogers Cable and Cogeco Cable Canada Inc. will carry Leafs TV as part of their fall launch of digital services. The digital television channel, available only in Ontario, will be bundled with other sports-related channels and will be available as early as September 7. Additionally, Molson Canada was named founding advertising partner for Leafs TV. This coincides with the news that Brian Duff, Bob Harwood and Glenn Healy, who played with the Maple Leafs from 1997-2001, will be the primary television hosts on Leafs TV. Joe Motiki, Sarah Cauchon and Amy Brown, chosen from an open casting-call earlier this summer, were named the hosts of Kidzone on Leafs TV.

"We are absolutely delighted to partner with Rogers and Cogeco to bring Leafs TV to fans in Ontario with Molson as our founding advertising partner," said Richard Peddie, president and chief executive officer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. "It's fitting that Leafs TV becomes available as the club celebrates its 75th anniversary. This is a milestone in the history of our club, and while Leafs TV represents a look forward, it's the tradition of incredible fan support that has helped to make the channel a reality and will help to make it a success."

According to John Tory, president and chief executive officer of Rogers Cable, Leafs TV is expected to draw a lot of interest from their sports viewers. "Leafs TV is unique in the broadcast market," says Tory. "It's the only channel in North America dedicated to a single sports team and it has amazing brand equity. Leafs TV is meaningful to a passionate fan following and that's a strong asset in our new fall launch of digital services available on cable."

Cogeco will also offer Leafs TV this fall. "The Toronto Maple Leafs are hockey legends in Ontario," says Tom McCutcheon, vice president, marketing and communications, Cogeco Cable Canada Inc. "A channel covering the team with in-depth, exclusive coverage all the time, is a solid addition to our sports offering and something that will help drive subscription."

As the founding advertising partner of Leafs TV, Molson has secured a number of advertising and sponsorship opportunities throughout the network's line-up.

"Molson has a long tradition of supporting hockey in Canada and looking forward we see a very unique opportunity with Leafs TV," says Jo-Ann McArthur, vice president, marketing assets, Molson Canada. "Leafs TV is a logical extension of our existing relationship with the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club and we're delighted to be a part of this new venture."

Leafs TV has the distinction of being the only specialty channel in North America dedicated exclusively to one sports team. Programming will cover all aspects of the Leafs from the past through the present and well into the future. Leafs TV's rich program content will compliment the existing Maple Leaf game coverage on TSN, CBC and other rights holders. Program highlights and previews will be broadcast at launch time with the full rollout commencing September 30, 2001.

Over 60 hours per week of Leafs TV original programming will be produced at the new, state-of-the-art 11,000 square foot broadcast facility
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