IFC Announces Series of 2004 Distribution Agreements

NEW YORK, March 23, 2004 — Independent Film Channel (IFC), the first and largest network dedicated to independent filmmaking, announced today that it has expanded its distribution with the signing of long-term carriage agreements with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) and multiple system operators Blue Ridge Communications, Liberty Cablevision and Tekstar Cablevision.

“IFC’s first mission has always been focused on providing real value to MSOs,” said Gregg Hill, Executive Vice-President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Rainbow Networks. “For ten years, IFC has been a proven tier driver and the leader in providing the independent film content that television consumers now crave and expect. Our partnerships with MSOs around the country have revolutionized the access of hit independent films, allowing the content to extend beyond the art houses of New York City and Los Angeles and into homes nationwide. We are delighted to sign these series of new agreements with NCTC, Blue Ridge Communications, Liberty Cablevision and Tekstar and are proud to work with them to help expand the audience of independent film.”

The four new distribution agreements announced today encompass:

  • The National Cable Television Cooperative, a not-for-profit co-op of cable systems serving more than 14 million subscribers. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, the NCTC represents more than 1,000 independent cable operators and their 6,500 individual systems.

    Frank Hughes, Senior Vice President of Programming, NCTC, said: “It is our mission to provide the very best programming options the marketplace has to offer. IFC, with its quality independent films and compelling original content, is a very strong choice for our members.”

  • Blue Ridge Communications, based in Palmerton, Penn. and serving 151,000 subscribers in the Philadelphia DMA, including the communities of Palmerton, Stroudsburg, Milford, Ephrata, Mt. Pocono, Summit Hill, Hawley, Honesdale, Hemlock Farms and Blooming Grove.

  • Liberty Cablevision, based in Puerto Rico, and reaching 120,000 subscribers in 37 municipalities including Luquillo, Humacao, Caguas and Hatillo.

  • Tekstar Cablevision, owned by Arvig Communications Systems and serving 18,260 subscribers across 25 towns in Northern Minnesota. Communities served include Perham, Detroit Lakes, Audubon, Bertha, Battle Lake, Elizabeth, Bluffton, Rothsay, Callaway, Deer Creek, Dent, Frazee, Henning, Hewitt, Lake Park, New York Mills, Ottertail, Richville, Vergas, Underwood, Clitherall, Dalton, Vining, Parkers Prairie and Staples.

    These distribution agreements build on a series of announcements that show IFC’s growth in the cable marketplace. In 2004, IFC will expand its original programming slate from two to nine original programs a year, to include series such as Season III of Dinner For Five, Rocked with Gina Gershon, Nanette Burstein’s Film School, Ultimate Film Fanatic, and original documentaries such as In the Company of Women, Slasher and In Search of Ted Demme. In addition, IFC recently announced a series of film licensing agreements, with Fox Searchlight, Lions Gate Films, Miramax and MGM, further broadening its catalog of independent films to the network in the many years to come.

    About Independent Film Channel

    IFC Companies
    IFC Companies has created a unique end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent, and maximizing the value of independent film. With a television network, a film distribution and production unit, and a VOD service, IFC Companies represents the future of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique position to broaden the independent film audience nationwide and to expand the opportunities for independent filmmakers. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.

    IFC Companies is made up of:

    IFC Television, the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free.

    IFC Entertainment, which includes IFC Films, a theatrical film distribution company; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and InDigEnt, an initiative that helps established filmmakers shoot productions on digital video.

    IFC Digital Media, harnesses the power of digital technology to provide audiences with active entertainment, informational, and transactional experiences. It is currently focused on packaging, delivering, and marketing video-on-demand services and broadband content.