Ovation Adds SD, HD Subs

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Arts network Ovation has added about 2.5 million subscribers for its standard-definition channel in recent months, largely through Comcast rollouts, and now has about 3 million subscribers for the high-definition simulcast channel it launched in September.

Ovation HD launches have come from Time Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey; Comcast in Boston, Philadelphia and central Pennsylvania; Bright House Networks in Florida and Alabama and Service Electric Cablevision in Pennsylvania, distribution SVP Ellen Schned said.

Parker and Woetzel

Comcast also added Ovation to the national HD backbone, she said.

Ovation was launched by Comcast in Seattle; Boston; Detroit; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Pittsburgh and other New England areas, the channel said. The channel's total distribution now is 43 million, up 20% from this time a year ago.

Earlier this year, Ovation gained Comcast launches in Florida; Arizona; California and Colorado.

The network, whose CEO, Charles Segars, recently testified in Congress about the negative impact on independent networks of retransmission consent, has emphasized partnerships with local arts organizations, recently including ones with Charter Communications in St. Louis, Mo., supporting the International Choir Festival; with Comcast in San Francisco for the de Young Museum and with Time Warner Cable for the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas and the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Ovation is gearing up for "Battle of the Nutcrackers," a programming event that has been featured every December for the past four years. This year, Battle of the Nutcrackers: Dance Off is hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Damian Woetzel, former principal dancer at New York City Ballet.

This year, two of the five featured ballets are U.S. television premieres. Viewers will once again vote for their favorites at ovationtv.com and the viewers' choice will be revealed on Christmas Eve.