DirecTV Slips Outdoor Channel To Sports Tier

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DirecTV has moved Outdoor Channel to a sports tier from the satellite provider’s most broadly distributed offering, according to a securities filing.

DirecTV “recently modified” Outdoor Channel’s carriage, the network’s parent, Outdoor Channel Holdings, reported in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“In conjunction with ongoing negotiations for the renewal and extension of their agreement, Outdoor Channel Holdings has learned from DirecTV that since October 2007 DirecTV has been making Outdoor Channel available to more customers than authorized in the agreement,” Outdoor Channel said in its May 9 filing. “DirecTV recently modified its carriage of Outdoor Channel.”

The network has been moved to DirecTV’s Sports Pack, which has a monthly fee of $12 or less.

“Although the Nielsen Media Research estimated number of households receiving Outdoor Channel has not increased significantly since October 2007, the company is unable to ensure that there will be no decrease in Nielsen’s estimated number of households receiving Outdoor Channel in the future as a result of this recent modification of carriage by DirecTV,” the network said in its filing. “The company continues its negotiations with DirecTV and has authorized DirecTV to continue carrying Outdoor Channel.”

For the first quarter, Outdoor Channel Holdings reported that subscriber fees were $4 million, a decrease of $700,000 or 14.7% compared to $4.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

“The decrease in subscriber fees was primarily due to reductions in the subscriber fee rates charged to new and existing service providers carrying Outdoor Channel,” the company said. “We plan to accelerate our subscriber growth utilizing various means including deployment of rate relief for new and existing subscribers and payment of subscriber acquisition or launch support fees among other tactics.”

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