Ski Channel founder Steve Bellamy says his network continues to buck the economic downtrend and has a new carriage deal with Dish Network to show for it.
The Video On Demand channel Monday is announcing a long-term distribution deal with Dish boosting the free, ad-supported channel’s reach to 21 million subs, said Bellamy. Look for it to reach 26 million soon, he adds.
Ski Channel launched Christmas Day with long-term carriage deals from DirecTV and Verizon, as well as carriage on Time Warner, Cox and Bright House. It now also has deals with Cablevision, and AT&T’s U-Verse.
The network extends well-beyond skiing to include showboarding, hiking, backpacking, biking, climbing and related content--weather, real estate, instruction.
Bellamy, who founded the Tennis Channel, also says Ski will be adding content from ski filmmaker Greg Stump “(Blizzard of Aahhhs”) as well as Sweetgrass Productions, Futuristic Fillms and Two Plank Productions.
Ski Channel is targeted at ski-resort areas and their upscale residents. The channel launched in the teeth of a blizzard of bad economic news, but Bellamy has said the upside of that is it put fewer revenue expectations on the channel out of the gate.