Cable Operators

OLN Launching Three On-Demand Nets

1/30/2005 4:00 PM Eastern

Comcast Corp.’s Outdoor Life Network is preparing to launch three new on-demand channels, including what could be a cable network’s first HDTV on-demand extension.

Two of the VOD networks -- action-sports channel Hazardous and hunting-and-fishing channel Hooks & Bullets -- will kick off April 7.

OLN HD is scheduled to debut during the fourth quarter.

OLN plans to offer all three on-demand channels free-of-charge to cable operators that carry the flagship network on expanded-basic tiers.

Comcast systems nationwide will offer all three of the services to digital-cable subscribers as part of the MSO’s free-on-demand programming package, according to Comcast spokesman Chris Ellis.

The strategy to launch niche action-sports and hunting-and-fishing content will see OLN compete directly against The Outdoor Channel, an independent network that runs mostly hunting and fishing shows, and against Fox Cable Networks Group’s Fuel, an action-sports outlet.

While some programmers have resisted offering cable operators VOD content free-of-charge, OLN is heeding parent Comcast’s focus on offering on-demand content from basic-cable and broadcast networks at no additional charge.

Meanwhile, Outdoor Channel plans to launch a linear HD network, Outdoor Channel 2 HD, in October. That network is also considering offering cable operators programs that could be provided to subscribers on demand.

Programming for OLN’s on-demand networks will include library shows, programs shot specifically for on-demand tiers and programming vignettes sponsored by advertisers and packaged essentially into long-form advertisements.

OLN HD titles will include Lance Chronicles, starring five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong; the Gravity Games; Fly Fishing America; National Parks Extreme Adventure; and The Gravity Files.

For more on OLN’s on-demand offerings, please see Steve Donohue’s story on page three of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!

Cloud Summit

Raleigh Marriott City Center, Raleigh, NC