Industry News 11/21/2008

The Ski Channel to Launch on Dec. 25, 2008 to Over 15 Million Households

The Ski Channel to Launch on Dec. 25, 2008 to Over 15 Million Households
Network enters long-term agreements with DIRECTV and Verizon FiOS TV
Forms programming / marketing partnership with Warren Miller Films & Ski Magazine

Steve Bellamy, Chairman and CEO of The Ski Channel (http://www.theskichannel.com) announced today that the network will launch on December 25th, Christmas Day, to over 15 Million digital US households. The network has additionally signed multi-year distribution agreements with DIRECTV and Verizon FiOS TV. And, it will have the crème de la crème of all mountain sports content with Warren Miller films and television shows on its air at launch.

Through the deal with Mountain Sports Media, The Ski Channel will broadcast some of the most famous films in skiing, from the Warren Miller Entertainment library, as well as their television series Thrills and Spills. “This is a great partnership for Mountain Sports Media,” said President/Group Publisher Jamie Pentz. “We have the magazines, events, online, production and film tour. TV distribution within our space was the missing component.  Our partnership with The Ski Channel enables us to deliver true 360-degree programs to our partners. The deal provides heavy marketing of The Ski Channel on Mountain Sports Media assets and heavy marketing of the magazines and film tour on The Ski Channel.

The Ski Channel will soon join Verizon FiOS TV’s video-on-demand (VOD) service, which offers more than 11,000 titles each month – 8,500 are free of charge. Verizon FiOS TV is currently available to more than 8.2 million homes in 14 states. “Verizon FiOS TV subscribers will soon have access to the best of all mountain sports on The Ski Channel on VOD,” said Terry Denson, Verizon’s vice president – FiOS TV content and programming.  “FiOS TV’s amazing picture and sound quality will make viewers feel like they’re right at the slopes.”

Through the agreement with DIRECTV, The Ski Channel will be available on the satellite TV leader’s DIRECTV on Demand service. Customers with DIRECTV Plus HD DVR or R22 DVR receivers have access to the VOD service at no additional charge. “The Ski Channel will be an exciting addition to DIRECTV’s VOD service, which is designed to appeal to a diversity of interests,” said Todd Mathers, Vice President, Programming, DIRECTV, Inc. “And by virtue of our nationwide distribution, ski and mountain sports enthusiasts from Vail to Vermont will have access to this new and unique channel.”

The Ski Channel currently owns broadcast rights to over 250 hours of content and is actively acquiring hundreds more in addition to its original programming. “It has been an incredible month for us,” said Bellamy. “We closed a significant capital raise. If we close all the ad deals on the table – we will hit our first years number before we launch, we have added a ton of incredible programming, we will be announcing more distribution shortly and we are launching on Christmas Day! The Farmers Almanac is predicting the next decade to have great snow and resorts are already opening early across the country this season!”