VOOM HD Programming to Be Part of China's First-Ever HDTV Channel, CCTV, and Thailand's UBC
New York, NY – March 1, 2006 – Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, ("Rainbow") and its London based distributor iD Distribution announced today the completion of new distribution agreements with China's CCTV and Thailand's UBC. Both brokered by iD Distribution's Simon Nichols, the deals will further expand Rainbow's VOOM HD content into Asia and offset the international market's shortage of quality HD content.
The sale to CCTV-China's first high definition broadcast channel-marks a major breakthrough, considering the challenges other western program distributors have faced bringing content into the country. On the heels of its January 1 launch, CCTV has approved two of VOOM HD's high definition series-Reservations Required and Ultra Space-for China's growing HD television audience.
Also looking to VOOM's HD programming to fill a content void in the Asian marketplace is Thailand's largest satellite broadcaster, UBC, which has picked up three series-Gallery Tours, Magnificent Obsessions and Reservations Required-and one special-Art In Unexpected Places: Woodlawn Cemetery-for its programming service.
"CCTV's launch of China's first high definition channel validates the growing global appeal of HD technology, as well as consumer interest in high quality programming that is both visually superior and entertaining. We are pleased to be part of CCTV's initial program lineup," said Greg Moyer, General Manager of Rainbow Media's VOOM HD Networks. "We are equally pleased at the opportunity to reach and entertain Thai audiences through our agreement with UBC."
Added Glenn Oakley, Rainbow's Senior Vice President, Business Development: "Asia has always been a part of our global expansion plans, but this is a huge step forward on two levels. Not only are we getting our content into China, where such efforts have proven difficult for others, but we are also advancing high definition entertainment into unchartered territories."
iD Distribution will be taking approximately 150 new hours of brand new VOOM HD content to MIP. Sally Miles, iD's Managing Director comments "With the growth in HD channels globally we suspect it will be an extremely busy market. Every week there is a new HD buyer on the scene and that is exciting both for the global expansion of the format and for content sales. We will be welcoming people to the stand at MIP to view HD in its full glory and I suspect for many buyers it will be the first time they will have seen it – it will be exciting to see their reaction and to promote global movement to HD."
Rainbow Media's HD international initiative includes channel development, programming sales and licensing, all in an effort to broaden the audience of its original content, maximize the value of its brands and quench a growing worldwide thirst for high-quality HD entertainment.
Since October, when the company kicked off its global expansion efforts, Rainbow Media has signed co-production deals with Electric Sky, Conceptual Films, Mega-Media Pte Ltd. And Media Development Authority (MDA), distribution deals with National Geographic and Tangerine Global, and acquisition agreements with Defiance Distribution and Monster Distributes, all of which will further extend the company's HD content both domestically and throughout the world.
The series covered under the licensing agreements include:
- Reservations Required (15 x 30'), sold to both CCTV and UBC, takes viewers behind the scenes of the world's hottest restaurants to discover the secrets in creating the ultimate dining experience for celebrities and stargazers alike.
- Ultra Space (5 x 30'), sold to CCTV, is hosted by fashion and décor journalist Melissa Barrett Rhodes, who takes audiences on three spectacular home tours in each half-hour episode, providing the ultimate experience in home design and modern style.
- Gallery Tours [13 x 30'], sold to UBC, explores the best collections of art through personally guided tours of the world's foremost galleries and museums.
- Magnificent Obsessions [12 x 30'], sold to UBC, introduces viewers to individuals who have amassed the world's most astonishing collections – from Snow White and the Statue of Liberty memorabilia to Scooby Doo and Superman merchandise.
- Art in Unexpected Places: Woodlawn Cemetery [1 x 30'], sold to UBC, stars curator Susan Olsen, who provides a guided tour of the statues, architecture and celebrated gravesites that have made the New York cemetery "for men and women of accomplishment" world famous.
CCTV's high definition channel, operated through CTV Media and China DTV Media, was soft launched on September 1, 2005 in Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province. On January 1, 2006, the service was formally launched nationwide with 18 hours of programming per day available to some 50 cities throughout China.
United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) was created by the 1998 merger of International Broadcasting Corporation Public Company Limited (IBC) and UTV Cable Network Public Company Limited (UTV). UBC is committed to leveraging technology to bring the world's finest information and entertainment programming to the Thai audience in a socially responsible way that creates long term shareholder value and significant contributions to Thailand's cultural life
About VOOM HD Networks
VOOM HD Networks is the largest suite of high-definition channels available anywhere, produced exclusively in high definition for distribution in the U.S. through satellite and cable operators. The VOOM HD Networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. Developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high-definition programming, VOOM HD Networks builds on Rainbow Media's history of original programming innovation. VOOM HD Networks is available in the U.S. through Echostar's DISH Network satellite programming service.
About iD Distribution
iD Distribution is a dynamic company launched in 2004 with the investment backing of Ingenious Media. Working with some of the top UK and US production companies, representing a new and exciting catalogue of programs and formats in the entertainment, factual, reality and lifestyle genres, iD Distribution is committed to providing the best service to production companies and broadcasters.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
A leader in the entertainment industry, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Rainbow creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic programming with linear networks including national networks – AMC, fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women's Entertainment; its regional programming service – Rainbow Sports Networks; on-demand networks including Mag Rack and sportskool; and the largest suite of high definition channels available anywhere – the VOOM HD Networks. Rainbow's other businesses include its film distribution, production and exhibition division – IFC Entertainment; in addition to its advertising sales division – Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation – and its full service network programming origination and distribution company – Rainbow Network Communications.