(Jericho, NY and New York, NY, EMBARGOED) – Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a leading innovator in cable programming, and American Express Publishing, one of the premier providers of luxury lifestyle magazines, have formed an editorial, marketing and advertising alliance to jointly develop and market new video-on-demand content for Rainbow's Mag Rack, the first service designed specifically for SVOD and VOD. The alliance joins the editorial authority and brand power of American Express Publishing's magazines with Mag Rack's expertise in video-on-demand programming, providing viewers with an entirely new television experience and serving the interests of the millions of people who are passionate about travel, food, wine and leisure sports. Mag Rack is available on Cablevision's iO digital service and is being marketed to cable operators around the country.
Under the agreement, the two companies will initially focus on bringing to life the rich editorial content and voice of American Express Publishing's Food & Wine and T&L Golf magazines. Editors from the magazines will be tapped to serve as hosts and advisors in the development of the new content, aiding in the creation of the definitive video-on-demand programming for food and wine lovers and golf enthusiasts. The content will be used with Mag Rack video magazines such as Better Golf Club, Wine World and a video magazine still in development that focuses on cooking.
"Our video magazines are designed to delve deeply into people's passions and bring them to life on television," said Matt Strauss, executive vice president and general manager of Rainbow's Mag Rack. "American Express Publishing's luxury lifestyle magazines have already established their credibility with readers and have a voice that resonates with millions of people. We are tapping that expertise as we build our own video magazine brands and attract viewer interest and following. As cable operators look for video-on-demand programming to demonstrate the power of new technology, they will find Mag Rack and its partners extremely attractive."
The two companies will also implement co-branding and cross-promotional initiatives, extending the reach of the magazines onto an important new content platform, and giving Mag Rack a marketing avenue to reach millions of passionate customers who read Food & Wine and T&L Golf magazines every month. For example, Mag Rack will promote the magazines through video spots at the end of its programming. Working together with cable operators, Mag Rack will offer magazine promotion and subscription incentive offers to its users. And, American Express Publishing's magazines will provide a schedule of advertising placements for Mag Rack in their publications, helping to promote the Mag Rack brand as a television viewing experience among its millions of readers every month.
"Video-on-demand is a logical progression as our magazine brands expand into greater multimedia opportunities," says Ed Kelly, president and CEO, American Express Publishing. "Mag Rack has created a tremendous opportunity for magazine brands to extend their reach to millions of American homes through television, so we are excited to provide the resources and talent of our recognizable brands such as the Food & Wine and T&L Golf titles."
This alliance also sets the stage for future collaboration in the development of content with other American Express Publishing magazines such as Travel + Leisure, the world's leading travel magazine dedicated to providing access to unique and authentic experiences.
Just like at a newsstand, customers can choose from Mag Rack's selection of "video magazines" that offer authoritative content about subjects that are personally relevant. Mag Rack, Rainbow's new VOD service, is being marketed to cable operators, supporting the effort to rollout digital set-top boxes and drive VOD adoption by giving customers maximum programming choice and control. Mag Rack "video magazines" include American Catholic, Art of Basketry, Best of Mag Rack, Better Golf Club, BirdSight, Classic Cars, Club Vegetarian, Destination: Nature, History of Art, Inside Weddings, Maximum Science, Mission: Space, Motorcycle Freedom, Healthy By Choice, Photography Close Up, Shakespeare, Take On Life, The Bible and You, and Wine World. By the end of 2002, Mag Rack expects to offer as many as forty "video magazines."
About Rainbow Media
Mag Rack is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, WE: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports Networks, News 12 Networks, and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net. Mag Rack is one of the assets included Cablevision's Rainbow Media Group tracking stock (NYSE:RMG). MGM (NYSE:MGM) owns a 20% stake in four of Rainbow's national networks – AMC, Bravo, IFC, and WE: Women's Entertainment.
About American Express Publishing
American Express Publishing is the leading publisher of luxury lifestyle magazines. Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Departures, T&L Golf and Travel & Leisure Family magazines are part of the American Express Publishing Corporation, a subsidiary of the American Express Company and managed by Time Inc. The company also publishes SkyGuide and a variety of cooking, travel, wine, time management and financial books and products, and has a custom publishing group. Both Food & Wine and
Travel + Leisure are leading publications in their respective categories.
Note to editors:
Descriptions of Mag Rack's different magazines are available.