WFN Lands Comcast, Knology

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WFN: World Fishing Network continues to reel in distributors, landing a corporate deal with Comcast and reaching an agreement to launch on sports tiers offered by Knology Holdings this month.

The 24-hour lifestyle network hasn't hung up a “gone fishing sign” when it comes to marketing: It's rolled out a new tagline, “A Great Day for Fishing,” replete with new logo and graphics; or programming, where it's ramping up original production and introducing themed fare on weeknights.

WFN president Mark Rubinstein said the network has been engaged over the past year with Comcast officials on the state and regional level as it finalized its corporate agreement with the top operator. As such, he anticipates one or two launches before year-end and significant rollouts in 2010.

Knology will make the service available on its Sports Pak in markets in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and South Dakota.

Rubinstein said WFN and WFN HD are available to 20 million households in Canada, the U.S. (existing deals with Dish Network, Verizon FiOS TV, Charter and smaller distributors) and the Caribbean, where it recently launched.

Rubinstein said the network, which bowed in 2005, will present some 60 original series in the 2009-10 TV season, including nine produced in-house. At this stage, WFN has unveiled three of its six original series for next season.

The Lodge (Dec. 4) is a 13-episode reality show that will take viewers inside the workings of the Queen Charlotte Lodge on British Columbia's Northwest coast. Hosted by Emmanuel Belliveau, WFN Green, starting Jan. 15, will examine environmental and conservation issues pertinent to recreational and commercial fishermen alike.

Meanwhile, the weekly newsmagazine WFN News is set to bow Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., starting Oct. 6.

“We believe this is the first news show in the outdoor space to focus on all kinds of stories relevant to fishing and the fishing lifestyle,” said Rubinstein, noting it will feature reporting from the network's seven regional production offices across North America. “Going forward, these regional facilities will become increasingly important in supplying resources to WFN News and other programming.”