VOOM Launches Next-Gen Channel for Gamers With Gameplay HD

Channel Features Three Tiers of Entertainment Including News, Original Series & Specials, and Tournaments

First Deal Signed With CNET Networks' Gamespot to Co Create Two New Series

Mark DeAngelis Serves as Vice President of Programming for the Channel

New York, NY – March 20, 2006 – VOOM HD Networks announced today the launch of Gameplay HD, the first high-definition channel solely dedicated to the world of video gaming. The channel features three tiers of entertainment including news & information from the industry, original series & specials, and tournaments & competitions from around the world. Gameplay HD is part of VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels nationwide and currently available nationally on DISH Networks.

The channel also announced today its first deal with CNET Networks' Gamespot, one of the leading sources for gaming information, to produce two new series for the channel: GameSpotting, a half-hour series of news, reviews and previews, and CinemAddicts, an hourly series featuring video games in a cohesive cinematic story.

"VOOM provides a platform for viewers who are looking to maximize the power of HD, and in the gaming category Gameplay HD is the leader in this next generation of channels. The channel takes advantage of the growing demand for global entertainment and video gaming and now, with new advancements, the manufacturing of games in high definition," said Greg Moyer, General Manager of VOOM HD Networks. "Working with CNET affords us the ability to collaborate with an authoritative voice as we delve into this gaming revolution."

"With HD playing a leading role in next generation game content, we're excited to be working with a partner who shares our belief in developing authentic brand experiences around points of passion to bring the GameSpot name and programming to this platform in a way that celebrates games and gamers in true high-def format," said Keith Bencher, vice president of Strategy and Development for CNET's Games & Entertainment division. "This also underscores how far the production values of broadband video have come and how well Internet-native content can translate to the most demanding of broadcast mediums."

Mark DeAngelis serves as Vice President of Programming for Gameplay HD. Prior to joining VOOM HD in 2003, DeAngelis was VP of Creative Services for Rainbow Media, and an independent producer for 15 years, where he collaborated on projects for Madonna and The Rolling Stones, Times, Rolex, and Hearst Entertainment.

"Gameplay HD offers the most comprehensive content dedicated to the video game industry, and delivers it in hi-definition and 5.1 surround sound. People who love video games can now sit back, relax, and enjoy their favorite titles transformed into spectacular cinematic movies, game play jam sessions and informative i-guides and tours. Gameplay HD also offers the most worldwide tournament coverage, bringing together gamers from across the globe," states DeAngelis. "We look forward to working with Gamespot to create great originals for the channel that will continue to add to our already growing library of visually stunning HD programming."

Within each tier of entertainment Gameplay HD will feature games from publishers such as Ubisoft, NCsoft, SEGA and Blizzard Entertainment. Following are examples of programming:

Original Series & Specials:
The original programming block includes the co-created CinemAddicts with GameSpot, where viewers are presented a cinematic video game experience through some of the best next generation games out there. It brings the stories inside the game to life, in an entertaining way, by bridging actual gameplay with cinematics to deliver a cohesive storyline. Among the games featured are Condemned: Criminal Origins and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones.

Advanced Training turns the average gamer into an amazing gamer. This innovative series brings the top pro gamers and developers to assist in making you a pro by giving game exclusives, key strategic insights into how to play the game and hidden secrets and tips to give you that definitive edge.

Gameplay HD covers tournaments from around the world that feature the quickest and most established gamers in the industry. This month, the channel covers the 2005 digital life Global Gaming League (GGL) Tournament, the leading competitive video gaming league for gamers of every skill level as video gamers compete for their share of $100,000 in prizes.

The Blizzard Worldwide Invitational Tournament event is also covered from Seoul, Korea where the world's best gamers of Warcraft and Starcraft converge at the Coex Center for the finals. The series captures both the live action of the athletes, as well as the actual gameplay itself, to solidify gaming as an international athletic event.

Building on the popularity of gaming in the Asian market, Gameplay HD covers the Guild Wars World Championship in Taipei, Taiwan. Throughout the three months of qualifications and after a fiercely competitive Regional Playoff, six teams have proved their mettle and will be representing their guilds and their regions at the Taipei Game Show. Team members from Brazil, Alaska, Finland and Korea, among other countries, will take the stage to determine who will be the 2006 Guild Wars World Champion.

News & Information:

CNET Networks' Gamespot produces a half-hour series called GameSpotting that features interviews with video game editors, designers and publishers. Games featured include the Xbox 360 high definition games, like Amped 3, and Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie.

The Art of Play show gives viewers a full access pass inside next generation games through stunning gameplay footage, in-game cinematics, and voice-over that take viewers on a visceral tour through each game's highlights. Games featured include: Peter Jackson's King Kong and Beyond Good & Evil.

General Gaming Research

Price Waterhouse Coopers forecasted video games to eclipse music as the second most popular form of entertainment by 2008 with worldwide consumer spending on video games estimated to hit $55 billion compared to $34 billion for recorded music. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), U.S. computer and video game software sales grew four percent in 2005 to $7 billion, a more than doubling of industry software sales since 1996. In 2005, the ESA also reported more than 228 million computer and video games were sold, almost two games for every household in America. The worldwide market for video games and interactive entertainment will grow 44% from $23.2 billion in 2003 to $33.4 billion in 2008, according to DFC Intelligence.

About GameSpot

As one of the Games & Entertainment properties at CNET Networks, GameSpot (www.gamespot.com) is a leading online source for gaming information. The GameSpot family includes GameFAQs, Game Rankings, and GameSpot Trax, its real-time market intelligence tool. GameSpot's Web sites offer free access to tens of thousands of PC and video game reviews from expert editors, as well as previews of the hottest upcoming games, game downloads, video streams, guides, breaking news, and hints. GameSpot also has one of the most active online gaming communities, which is a free, innovative social network service that makes it fun and easy for gamers to meet and interact with others who share their specific gaming interests.

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 U.S. through satellite and cable operators. The VOOM HD Networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. Today, the VOOM HD Networks are available nationally on Echostar's DISH Network. The VOOM HD Networks were developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high-definition programming, building on Rainbow Media's history of original programming innovation.

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.

Press Contacts

  • Lisa Rogen
    Rainbow Media
    (917) 542-6216