VOOM HD Channel to Launch in Middle East

Zonemedia Scores Carriage for Channel on the Orbit platform

VOOM HD, First High-Definition Channel in Region, Fronts Orbit’s HD Drive

MIPTV, Cannes, France – April 16, 2007 – Reaching a new milestone in its continued efforts to meet the growing global demand for high-quality, high-definition (HD) programming, VOOM HD Networks has inked a carriage agreement with Orbit Communications Company, Ltd. to launch its VOOM HD channel in the Middle East. The agreement, brokered by international broadcaster and distributor of thematic channels Zonemedia, heralds VOOM HD as the first high-definition channel in the region and spearheads Orbit’s drive and leadership in HD deployment.

The announcement was made today by Samir Abdulhadi, President & Chief Executive Officer, Orbit Communications Company; Glenn Oakley, Senior Vice President, Global Operations and Business Development for VOOM HD Networks; and Louise Cottrell, Zonemedia’s Commercial Sales Director.

“VOOM HD is the ideal collaborator for introducing HD programming to our growing viewership,” said Abdulhadi. “With its reputation for stellar HD production and the great diversity of programming in its extensive catalogue, VOOM presents a compelling, high-quality offering.”

“Orbit, as the leading satellite provider in the Middle East, can bring the VOOM HD channel to the widest possible audience in the region,” said Oakley. “We are honored that Orbit has selected VOOM HD as the channel to introduce and drive its high-definition deployment throughout the Middle East, and we look forward to working with them and Zonemedia on this very important launch.”

Added Zonemedia’s Cottrell: “Teaming the leading satellite provider in the Middle East with the world’s leading high-definition channel and HD programming provider is definitely a recipe for success. We’re proud to have helped make this happen.”

Orbit, the premiere Pay-TV satellite platform in the Middle East and North Africa, will use its leadership position in the region to launch VOOM HD in April, as the Middle East’s first and only HD channel. VOOM HD will be available to viewers in the Middle East and North African region and exclusively in the GCC.

VOOM HD-available as a 24/7 feed, delivered in 1080i format high-definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio delivering six channels of surround sound-will offer its diverse collection of HD programming on such topics as adventure travel, fashion, luxury lifestyle, art, live concerts, action sports and video gaming.

Since initiating its global expansion effort in October 2005, the VOOM HD brand has seen exponential growth in the international marketplace. More than 500 programming hours have been sold into more than 50 countries. The global VOOM HD channel has launched in Scandinavia, Estonia, and Latvia, and will soon launch in Hong Kong later in April and in Singapore. VOOM HD has also been deployed in Canada on three branded channels operated by High Fidelity TV, and Skylife’s SkyHD deployed a daily primetime VOOM HD branded programming block on Korea’s first and only HD programming service last September.

About Orbit
Orbit Communications Company is the world’s first fully digital, multi-channel, multi-lingual pay television platform that broadcasts 50 television channels and 21 music radio stations to the Middle East and North Africa. It offers four channel packages that are customized to suit all the members of the family. Orbit delivers the best in family entertainment, movies, news, sports and documentaries offering its viewers unrivalled and exclusive quality programming.

About Zonemedia

Based in London, Zonemedia is a leading international broadcaster, distributor and representative of thematic television channels. The company was founded in 1991 and today has 18 offices and studios throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Zonemedia owns and operates nine thematic channels: Zone Reality, Zone Reality Extra, Zone Europa, Zone Romantica, Zone Club, Zone Horror, Zone Thriller, Zone Fantasy and Extreme Sports Channel, which broadcast to over 325 million* households across more than 125 countries in 24 languages.

In addition, Zonemedia has a successful channel representation business and currently represents more than 30 international channels created by companies such as Sparrowhawk, Turner, Hallmark, MTV, Discovery and VOOM HD. Zonemedia also has a programme distribution business and continues to syndicate formats, series and specials from the world’s top producers.

In 2005, Zonemedia was acquired by Chellomedia, the European content division of Liberty Global Inc.

*includes a branded block on CCTV-8 China reaching 200million households


About VOOM HD Networks
Rainbow’s VOOM HD Networks comprise the world’s largest suite of high-definition content for distribution through satellite and cable operators. With programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art, the VOOM HD Networks are available in the U.S. on Echostar’s DISH Network. The 24/7 linear VOOM HD channel is available globally. It is currently distributed in Scandinavia, Estonia, Latvia and Hong Kong, and will soon debut in Singapore. Similarly, select VOOM HD programming is available worldwide and has been licensed to viewers in more than 50 countries. Building on Rainbow’s history of original programming innovation, VOOM HD was developed to meet the growing worldwide demand for quality high-definition programming.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform programming for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, fuse, IFC, WE tv, Rainbow Sports Networks managed FSN Bay Area and FSN New England, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. The company also manages Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

Press Contacts

  • Marylou Johnston,
    Priority Public Relations Europe
    Tel: +33 68 777 49 89

    Kristien Brada-Thompson,
    Priority Public Relations USA
    Tel: +1 661 964 0333
    Email: kristien@prioritypr.net

    Kristen Andersen,
    Rainbow Media
    Tel: +1 917.542.6246
    Email: kmandersen@rainbow-media.com

    Gabrielle Grubanovich
    Tel: + 447711 090 510

    Alia Shaikho,
    Orbit Public Relations Manager, Middle East & North Africa
    Tel: +973 17 317 300
    Email: Alia.shaikho@orbit.net