Deal Marks Rainbow Media's First HD Channel Extension Outside of U.S.
New York, NY March 15, 2006 – Rainbow Media's VOOM HD Networks announced today that it has reached an historic deal which will extend it's TREASURE HD Network into Canada, marking the first time one of its brands will be distributed outside the United States.
As part of the deal, High Fidelity HDTV Inc. will distribute the TREASURE HD brand throughout the country, with Canadian direct-to-home (DTH) satellite provider Bell ExpressVu launching the service today. In addition to the brand expansion, over 100 hours each year of VOOM HD content which has previously aired in the U.S. will be shown on the new Canadian HD Network. Like its U.S. counterpart, the HD channel will offer primarily lifestyle programming, focusing on the passion of collectors and their often surprising collections. The agreement also envisions collaboration between the U.S. and Canadian channels on the creation of some 25 hours of original content each year.
Launched in the United States in August 2004, TREASURE HD is one of 15 networks that comprise VOOM HD Networks' offerings, the largest suite of HD channels in the world. Spanning the gambit from high art to pop culture memorabilia, TREASURE HD features series such as "Collective Intelligence," a fast-paced and informative look at the dos and don'ts of collecting specific categories, such as vinyl records, antique maps, or vintage fishing lures. The Canadian TREASURE HD Network will also include programming from some of VOOM HD Networks' other channels, particularly GALLERY HD, which documents private individuals' and institutions' world-class art collections.
Bell ExpressVu boasts the largest tier of HD channels available to Canadians, reaching some 1.5 million homes. High Fidelity HDTV Inc. was awarded two HD service licenses from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the government agency responsible for regulating Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications systems.
Commented VOOM HD's General Manager, Greg Moyer: "This deal is further proof of the appeal of VOOM's HD content around the world. In less than six months, several hundred hours of VOOM's HD programming has been licensed in over 20 countries. We look forward to now supplying Canada with compelling high definition content for years to come."
Rainbow Media's Senior Vice President, Business Development, Glenn Oakley stated: "VOOM is very excited about this important and strategic international brand extension. VOOM has been instrumental in filling a huge hole in the marketplace for HD content. Together, with High Fidelity, we will ensure that Canadians have the ability to truly maximize their HD televisions." "We took inspiration from the pioneering effort of VOOM HD in the United States as we contemplated launching a suite of services for Canadian audiences," said High Fidelity 's COO Ken Murphy. "We are pleased to become VOOM's Canadian outlet for the fine programming that comprises one of its most unique program offerings and look forward to other opportunities to align with VOOM HD Networks in the months to come."
About High Fidelity HDTV Inc.
A Toronto-based high definition television production and broadcast company, High Fidelity HDTV Inc., was founded by Ken Murphy and John Panikkar in 2005. The company is currently developing several more non-fiction HD broadcast channels which will launch in 2006 to address the critical shortage of vibrant HD programming in the Canadian marketplace.
About VOOM HD Networks
VOOM HD Networks is the largest suite of high-definition channels available anywhere, produced exclusively in high definition for distribution in the United States through satellite and cable operators. The VOOM HD Networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. Developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high-definition programming, VOOM HD Networks builds on Rainbow Media's history of original programming innovation. VOOM HD Networks is available in the United States through Echostar's DISH Network satellite programming service.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
A leader in the entertainment industry, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Rainbow creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic programming with linear networks including national networks – AMC, fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women's Entertainment; its regional programming service – Rainbow Sports Networks; on-demand networks including Mag Rack and sportskool; and the largest suite of high definition channels available anywhere – the VOOM HD Networks. Rainbow's other businesses include its film distribution, production and exhibition division – IFC Entertainment; in addition to its advertising sales division – Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation – and its full service network programming origination and distribution company – Rainbow Network Communications.