Rainbow Media Unveils World Picks On Demand and World Picks Networks – Providing International Programming for Local Ethnic Communities in the U.S.

World Picks Features Four On-Demand Services – Hindi, Latino, Mandarin & Russian – Plus Thirteen World Picks Channels From Around the World

November 24, 2003 New York – Rainbow Media Holdings LLC today unveiled World Picks, a collection of subscriber video-on-demand services and an array of linear networks. Both provide in-language programming from around the world by offering the most popular and critically acclaimed movies, series and programs for ethnic communities in the U.S.

"World Picks has the greatest depth of on-demand, international programming in the United States," said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of Rainbow Media. "We will continue to expand the on-demand services and networks we offer. Our goal is for World Picks to be the preeminent foreign-language programming provider in the industry and ultimately to serve every foreign language neighborhood in the country with the finest and most entertaining programming from their country of origin."

According to the 2000 United States census, more than 47 million people in the United States – roughly 18% of the nation – speak a language other than English at home. This data shows a 47% increase from the 1990 US census and projections estimate that these numbers will continue to rise.

"It is clear from anecdotal and statistical analysis that more and more people in this country speak a non-English language with friends and family," said Cynthia Burnell, senior vice president and general manager of Digital Media at Rainbow Media. "Part of the personal identity of this population is wrapped into the ability to communicate, celebrate and enjoy their native culture in their homes. World Picks provides these families and communities with the freedom and convenience to feel directly connected to their countries of origin. World Picks is the vehicle that allows people to remain current and feel connected to their country and cultural heritage."

A New Vision for Foreign Language Speaking Consumers
World Picks consists of two distinct services: the World Picks On Demand collection of subscription video-on-demand services and the World Picks array of linear channels.

World Picks On Demand consists of four in-language on-demand services: World Picks Hindi On Demand, World Picks Latino On Demand, World Picks Mandarin On Demand and World Picks Russian On Demand. Each On Demand service provides 20 hours of international programming a month including movies, musical performances, series, religious and spiritual programs, children's shows, documentaries and language instruction series. New programming is available every week, and is refreshed 100% every 30 days. This programming is exclusive to the On Demand service and is original to the service, not replicated from any television network.

World Picks Networks is 13 linear channels that provide a traditional television experience with in-language programming featuring news, telenovelas, movies, series, as well as arts, music, history, cooking and religious programming. The networks are presented exactly as they are broadcast in the country of origin and are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The World Picks Networks are Maria Vision, MomentumTV, Movieworld, Super Canal Caribe, elgourmet.com, Canal (a), Ole TV!, Via X, Zona Latina, CCTV-4, Chinese Movie & Drama, Mee TV and Romanian TV. The networks originate from a variety of countries including: Argentina, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, India, Mexico and Romania. Additional World Picks Networks will be announced in the near future.

"We conducted extensive research, consulted with a variety of cultural advisors and evaluated programming availability," added Burnell. "This effort enabled us to pinpoint audience interests, which led to the creation of the first four SVOD services and agreements with the thirteen linear networks. Advanced technology allows us to deliver to a large, but targeted and geographically concentrated, customer base. We are confident that World Picks will be an invaluable asset to ethnic communities in the U.S. and believe that we are ahead of the growing trend to provide content for the local community."

New Options for Programming Distributors
World Picks services allow non-English speaking and bilingual families the opportunity to watch significant programming in their native language. The flexibility of positioning and quantity of programming, position World Picks as an excellent vehicle enabling programming distributors to reach previously inaccessible niche consumers. The World Picks services can be bundled together as foreign-language packages, or can be offered individually. The choice in services provides greater options to fulfill the specific needs of viewing families in geographically condensed communities across the U.S.

"World Picks services allow programming distributors to tap directly into difficult to reach communities, by serving these communities with a bevy of high quality VOD services as well as offering a broad spectrum of international networks," said Gregg Hill, executive vice president, Affiliate Sales and Marketing. "The depth of programming and the versatility of the services positions World Picks at the foremost edge of the evolving television landscape, delivering high quality content to highly targeted consumer bases and providing consumers a wide assortment of programming."

The World Picks services are available nationally with distribution specifically targeted to communities that have identified the need for language-specific programming. World Picks is currently serving targeted communities throughout the New York metropolitan area via Cablevision's iO: Interactive Optimum? digital cable service. The World Picks Networks' elgourmet.com, Canal (a), Maria Vision, Momentum and Super Canal Caribe launched in July as part of Cablevision's iO en Espanol Spanish-language offering.

Rainbow Media Continues to Grow
In unveiling World Picks, Rainbow Media has added substantially to the company's ever-growing list of on-demand and network services. Rainbow Media continues to seek new programming options, and remains the clear industry leader in providing original on-demand programming powered by the very latest in cutting-edge entertainment technology. In recent years, Rainbow Media has launched a number of high profile, content rich, on-demand programming services including Mag Rack, IFC Films On Demand, IFCi (interactive television), Uncensored On Demand, sportskool and Fuse On-Demand (available 4th Quarter of 2003).

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Rainbow owns and manages national networks: AMC, Fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women's Entertainment; Mag Rack, a collection of on-demand video magazines; IFC Films On Demand and Uncensored On Demand. Rainbow's other businesses include its regional programming services – MetroChannels, News 12 Networks and Rainbow Sports Networks – in addition to the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow is a 50 percent partner in Fox Sports Net.

Press Contacts

  • Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
    Daniel Scheffey

  • Sloane & Company
    Whit Clay