New Network’s Destiny Leads to College

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Eyeing a collegiate crowd that’s more serious than television gives it credit for being, a new network targeting students and young adults is preparing to hit dorm rooms with an introductory programming block this August.

The Destiny Channel is preparing to premiere its “Extreme Destiny college block” on upward of 700 campuses in advance of a mainstream launch in fourth-quarter 2005, according to network executives.

Destiny’s plan is to mix interactive reality fare with films and wrap-around interstitials that speak to topical and ethical issues that college kids are evidently interested in.

Kevin Stillmock, the network’s chief strategist, said, “Students consider much of what’s on TV today is not in touch with their lives or insulting. We’re looking to offer programming to meet their needs.”

Debra Kodish, founder of international banking firm Kodish Capital — which is moving toward securing $11 million in a first funding round — said Destiny would have branding appeal to MSOs looking to touch this consumer group.

She said Destiny has had talks with MSOs, but wouldn’t discuss its rate-card. The business plan calls for breaking even in mid-2008, after a $50 million investment.

Senior vice president of programming Judith Tolkow, formerly of Sundance Channel, said the network would keep programming costs low by tapping into campus talent, as filmmaking is a leading major.

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