Multi-Tiered Integration Extends Valuable
On Demand "SKOOL" Franchise
New Investment Marks Continued Leadership in Maximizing the Power of VOD
New York, New York – February 20, 2007 – Five years after introducing the first original content created exclusively for Video-On-Demand, Rainbow Media announced today a broad expansion of its Video-On-Demand services. The anchor of the multi-tiered initiative will be the adoption of the "SKOOL" brand across all On Demand original content, creating a broad franchise specifically designed to inspire and inform viewers. This expansion begins with the introduction of LIFESKOOL, which will replace the content that was formerly offered on Mag Rack, providing consumers a VOD home for programming that is focused on personal growth and self improvement. The expansion will also include the development and launch of additional "SKOOL" branded VOD services, the first of which will be MUSICSKOOL, featuring a vast array of music lessons and instruction. Both these new services will join SPORTSKOOL, which in three short years has grown to provide valuable sports instruction to over 22 million subscribers nation wide. All "SKOOL" branded VOD networks will now be formatted in HD.
Today's announcement is the culmination of a series of programming and marketing efforts led by Mag Rack and SPORTSKOOL General Manager Daniel Ronayne. In the two years since taking over the position, Mr. Ronayne has helped build a talent roster at SPORTSKOOL that includes Olympic Skier Bode Miller, Soccer Superstar Mia Hamm and Skateboarding Pioneer Mike Vallely; while at Mag Rack, he helped reposition the brand to begin creating VOD content that addresses the valuable consumer trend of personal growth and self improvement. With the transition from Mag Rack to LIFESKOOL, and the addition of MUSICSKOOL, Rainbow Media plans to continue expanding the On Demand "SKOOL" brand to be a resource for instruction on a wide variety of areas.
"Over the last two years, Dan has been instrumental in building Rainbow's Video on Demand Networks. By providing a specific content vision for Mag Rack and SPORTSKOOL, both brands have shown unprecedented growth within the marketplace," stated President of Rainbow Media Ventures Andrea Greenberg. "Today's expansion of our services is an important step forward in our broad plans to fully maximize the potential of VOD. The 'SKOOL' brand and our new 'SKOOL' services will provide focus for our unique On Demand package, while also bringing great value to consumers and our cable partners."
"Consumers are increasingly looking to lead richer, more engaging lives. With the extension of the 'SKOOL' brand, we intend to not only grow Rainbow's VOD efforts, but build a powerful and unique VOD franchise," stated Daniel Ronayne, General Manager of LIFESKOOL, MUSICSKOOL and SPORTSKOOL. "Anyone who has tracked the development of Mag Rack and SPORTSKOOL knows that our commitment to VOD and our efforts in developing original content exclusively for the on demand platform is unmatched. Our great programming successes have come from helping individuals make the most of their lives by offering entertaining and exclusive content that inspires and informs. By focusing on personal growth and self-improvement, we will look to fill an important content void in the market place and the investment we are making is the next obvious step in growing our vision."
Rainbow Media's "SKOOL" branded VOD services will include:
Scheduled to launch March 29, LIFESKOOL will serve as the foundation for Rainbow Media's original VOD content and the "SKOOL" brand. LIFESKOOL will broaden and replace Mag Rack, the first television network to produce original entertainment created exclusively for On Demand. The service remains the only free On Demand network dedicated to helping individuals make the most of their lives by offering entertaining and exclusive content that inspires and informs. Showcasing expert on-air personalities and dynamic content 24/7, the new VOD service will replace the diverse selection of categories originally available on Mag Rack and be categorized in the following new groups: Cooking, Yoga and Wellness, Money, House and Home, Relationships, Health and Fitness, Pets, Music, Cars and Motorcylces, Gaming, Kids and Family and Science and Nature.
Launched by Rainbow Media in 2004, SPORTSKOOL is the first television network dedicated to delivering in-depth one-on-one sports training and expert instruction with world class athletes. SPORTSKOOL helps viewers of all ages take their game to the next level by offering guidance and insider tips from the world's best athletes. Featuring exclusive and original programming custom-built for On Demand television, SPORTSKOOL boasts some of the most recognizable names in sports, including Mia Hamm, Bode Miller, Tony Gwynn, Bill Walton, Mike Vallely (Mike V.), tennis coach Brad Gilbert and renowned training and performance expert, Mark Verstegen. SPORTSKOOL is currently available to more than 23 million digital cable subscribers nationwide. To learn more about SPORTSKOOL, visit www.sportskool.com.
Like SPORTSKOOL, the origins of this new VOD service can be traced to Mag Rack and is an extension of Rainbow Media's VOD "SKOOL" brand. Scheduled to formally launch later this year, MUSICSKOOL will serve as a VOD-centric multi platform media brand, featuring twenty hours of music instruction and lessons each month. MUSICSKOOL will offer exclusive on-demand music instruction for popular instruments including piano, guitar, bass and drums. MUSICSKOOL's guitar instruction will be hosted by Grammy Award winner, Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi Allstars, covering a wide variety of song titles and styles from classic rock to cutting edge indie. All instruction will be customized for beginner, intermediate, and advanced musicians. MUSICSKOOL will feature a continuing original series designed to give musicians of all levels the guidance and information they need to create their own in-home recording studio.
As VOD services, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL and MUSICSKOOL enable viewers to see the programming they want, when they want it and how they want it with unparalleled convenience and control, including the ability to rewind, fast-forward, pause, stop and navigate various categories. All "SKOOL" branded services are formatted in HD and available to viewers at no additional charge through numerous cable providers nation wide.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands including popular national and regional television channels AMC, fuse, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE tv, and two FSN affiliated regional sports networks managed by Rainbow Sports Networks. The company also manages Mag Rack and sportskool, two original on-demand networks; VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere; IFC Entertainment, its film distribution, production and exhibition division; Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division; and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.