Videotron said it exceeded the million-customer mark for its illico digital service, its popularity driven by the wider range and more flexible availability of content that comes with digital video-on-demand.

“There has been a revolution in consumers’ cable needs in the past few years,” said Myrianne Collin, vice president of marketing, consumer sector, at Videotron. “We need to realize that viewers no longer want to be prisoners of the television schedule: They want to be able to take control and watch what they want when they want, to pause, to rewind and watch it again as many times as they please, to stop and resume play when it suits them. illico digital TV delivers this level of flexibility and that is the reason for its popularity.”

Frequently, the millionth customer gets feted. Videotron said it will instead go back and thank its first subscriber: Louis Guimond of Le Gardeur, east of Montréal, the first man to “set foot on Videotron’s digital planet,” as the company phrased it, back in 1999.

Videotron said it will bestow on Guimond a complete home theater system (including a 50” HDTV, Dolby Digital 5.1 receiver and five speakers), an illico high-definition PVR and full Videotron cable television service for one full year – a $4,000 value.

Videotron said 57 percent of its cable television customers have subscribed to illico. The company expects the switch to digital among its cable subscribers might accelerate as Canada’s deadline for its digital transition (August 31, 2011) nears.

More Broadband Direct 08/27/09:
•  Verizon, TWC launching Internet TV trials
•  TiVo posts Q2 loss on subscriber churn
•  TiVo Inc. sues AT&T, Verizon over DVR patents
•  Cox brings new interface to New England systems
•  Videotron gets millionth digital sub
•  ABI: Carriers warming up to Wi-Fi
•  Broadband Briefs for 08/27/09