Sportsman Channel Reaches 20 Million Home Plateau


For Sportsman Channel, 2009 was a big year on the distribution front.
The hunting, shooting and fishing network, which is slated to launch a high-definition simulcast of the channel later this month, more than doubled its subscriber base last year, adding 11 million homes to boost its total to 20 million, according to officials.
The growth was secured through news launches and moves to broader distribution tiers on numerous Comcast systems, including Chicago, Houston and Portland, as well as bows on DirecTV and several other distributors.
Sportsman said it benefited from the ongoing programming resources of parent company InterMedia Outdoors, which helped to fuel the network with more than 200 original series episodes and 15 new shows in 2009 alone, including Handguns, Tactical Arms, Breaking the Surface, Predator Nation and Fly Fisherman.

Next up, according to the network officials: a quick jump to 25 million homes.
"We are very excited to have reached the 20 million household milestone one quarter earlier than we projected at this time last year," said Sportsman president Willy Burkhardt in a statement. "This past year was one of exciting and aggressive growth across all sectors of our business, and certainly distribution is one of the most important sectors. We appreciate the support we've received from our distribution partners and their recognition of Sportsman's value for their subscribers. We look forward to moving past the next threshold of 25 million homes very soon."