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Christmas Ski Trip

Nov 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Ski Channel plans to get off the lift and onto the slopes starting Dec. 25.
Its launch date set, the video-on-demand service also has signed distribution deals with DirecTV and Verizon’s FiOS that bring its subscriber base to about 15 million, Ski Channel founder and CEO Steve Bellamy said.
Mr. Bellamy said the channel also has signed a content agreement to program films and television shows about mountain sports from Warren Miller Entertainment, among them the series “Thrills and Spills.”
With its launch, the Ski Channel is bucking the odds of a tough economy and a cable climate that’s not especially warm for new networks. By going with VOD rather than a linear channel, it hit an area where distributors are more open to adding programming.
“It has been an incredible month for us,” Mr. Bellamy said. “We closed a significant capital raise. If we close all the ad deals on the table, we will hit our first year’s 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 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, VP for programming at DirecTV. “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.”
“FiOS TV’s amazing picture and sound quality will make viewers feel like they’re right at the slopes,” said Terry Denson, VP for TV content and programming at Verizon’s FiOS.
Among Ski Channel’s launch partners are distributors, programmers and sponsors including Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Panasonic, Marquis Jets, Fender Guitars, Mirage Resorts, Rage Films, Ride Guide and World Heli Games.

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