The Ski Channel to Launch Year-Round in 2008
SAM Magazine-Los Angeles, Apr. 30, 2007-Mountain sports are poised to become TV stars. Steve Bellamy, founder and former president of The Tennis Channel, will launch The Ski Channel-a "TV destination for the mountain lifestyle," he told SAM-as early as winter 2008.
To help make this a reality, The Ski Channel has entered into a long-term affiliation agreement with Time Warner Cable, expected to be the first of several moves to get the channel into tens of millions of homes by the time the channel goes live.
The majority of the channel's content will be original, and consist of everything a person can do on a mountain in the winter and summer: skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, camping, climbing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, backpacking, orienteering, kayaking, caving, as well as other off-slope activities. The Ski Channel's programming will feature entertainment, reality, news, destination, travel, real estate, equipment, instruction and magazine shows, as well as mountain sport events.
The Ski Channel will be an advertiser-supported network with distribution on VOD and multi-media platforms. It has reached charteradvertising agreements with top brands including Panasonic, Mirage Resorts, Marquis Jets, and Fender Guitars. "We will be non-competitive with other media," Bellamy told SAM. "We are looking to sign big national advertisers. We're not after endemic money."
"Our industry is hungry for a national television destination," said National Ski Area Association president Michael Berry. "Our goal is to grow participation, and just as The Tennis Channel infused significant growth into tennis, The Ski Channel will do the same for mountain activities. We are enthused to welcome The Ski Channel to our industry, and we will use every resource to help insure their success."
Bellamy has long experience in life sports. His company, Atonal Sports & Entertainment, owns several tennis and golf facilities. Atonal's media businesses include Atonal Films and Television, Palisades Studios, and The Ski Channel.