Bethpage, NY and Hollywood, CA – Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC), and IFILM (http://www.ifilm.com) today announced a strategic equity and content agreement between The Independent Film Channel (IFC), a division of Rainbow, and IFILM. The agreement joins the leading online film brand with the leading television independent film brand, extending each onto new platforms and to new audiences.
The alliance between IFILM and IFC will extend the IFILM brand onto television, making it available to more than 30 million households. For IFC, the partnership will provide access to IFILM’s online expertise, content and audience. The alliance comes at a time when both companies are experiencing unprecedented growth and success. IFILM has quickly emerged as the leading online film brand while IFC, as a cable network, film producer and new media pioneer, has established itself as a major force in the independent film world.
“IFILM has carved out a formidable position in the online and indie film world. Together, IFC and IFILM will cut across television, online, film and streaming media, with defining content about and for the independent film community,” said Josh Sapan, Rainbow’s president and CEO. “This agreement reflects Rainbow’s ongoing strategy to move each of our brands onto new platforms, both by developing our own content, and by forging strategic relationships with key companies like IFILM.”
“Our new partners at IFC share our view that the most successful media brands of today will be those that traverse all media,” said Kevin Wendle, IFILM’s CEO and co-founder. “This extension of the IFILM brand into television is a giant step in our company’s development and will be welcome news to our thousands of filmmakers who will now have an opportunity to reach an even broader audience.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Rainbow will acquire an equity stake of approximately 5% of IFILM and will provide IFILM with on-air promotional time, delivered over several years, on IFC. IFILM and IFC will exchange content and cross-promote throughout their web, television and print properties.
“IFC’s mandate since its inception has been to bring independent film to a wider audience and to help filmmakers get their films made and shown,” said Kathleen Dore, IFC President. She added, “IFILM is a great resource toward that goal. Our alliance will enable IFC to bring a new generation of filmmakers to television and to support IFILM’s mission to create the defining portal for independent film.”
As part of the multi-year agreement, IFC will pay IFILM to develop and produce 26 half-hour episodes annually of a hosted magazine-style television show for IFC focusing on the world of independent films and independent film production. The series, which will air evenings beginning the spring of 2001, will originate from IFILM’s headquarters in Hollywood. It will be co-branded as an IFC and IFILM production.
In addition to the programming and marketing commitments, IFC will become a charter customer of IFILM’s suite of products targeted to entertainment industry professionals under the IFILMpro brand. IFILM will promote IFC’s web site (http://www.ifctv.com) as well as help to drive subscribership to ifcRANT, the network’s new magazine.
IFC, the nation’s leading independent film network, has quickly become one of the nation’s top content producers with several feature films and original projects to its credit. Under its IFC Films division, IFC Productions develops theatrical feature films, including this year’s breakout hits Girlfight and Boys Don’t Cry.
“IFILM and IFC share a very similar vision for indie film online,” stated Joe Cantwell, IFC’s EVP of New Media. “Together we will establish even more compelling film content for consumers and creative outlets for filmmakers.”
The Independent Film Channel (IFC), the first network completely dedicated to independent film, launched Sept 1, 1994. All films are presented unedited and commercially uninterrupted 24 hours a day. IFC presents films made outside Hollywood studio system, films with uncompromising story, character and style. IFC is committed to films struck from the creative vision of cinema’s most compelling filmmakers as well as to alternative movies from new and important filmmakers. IFC presents feature-length premieres, films (domestic and internationally produced), documentaries, shorts, animation, new works, cult classics and masters.
About Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and NBC, is at the forefront of innovation in cable programming. Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, Romance Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow also holds a majority stake in Madison Square Garden Properties. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net.
Founded in October 1998, the IFILM Network is a unique online global film destination for film fans, filmmakers and industry professionals. IFILM (www.IFILM.com) is the world’s leading film portal and directory, containing links to more than 10,000 films and tens of thousands of film sites. IFILMpro (www.IFILMpro.com) is an industry-only destination containing proprietary tracking boards, exclusive news and information and screenings showcasing the work of undiscovered talent around the world. IFILM also owns and operates a number of leading entertainment industry resources including Film Finders, The Hollywood Creative Directory, Lone Eagle Publishing, Scriptshark and TVTracker.
This release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community and rating agency perceptions of the Company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates and the factors described in the Company’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Company’s registration statement on Form S-3, including the section entitled “Risk Factors” contained therein. The Company disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained herein.
The Independent Film Channel (IFC)
Kim Becker 516-803-4543
Melissa Zukerman 323-308-3442
Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
Whit Clay 212-446-1846