Outdoor Channel reaches 4.5 million subscribers and expands into China

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 06-10-2011

America's Outdoor Channel says it has achieved international distribution of 4.5 million full time global subscribers a year after launching two overseas networks.
Through a series of partnerships with Chello Zone and Multi Channels Asia (MCA), subscribers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific now have access to Outdoor Channel's programming, which consists of fishing, water sports, hunting, shooting and outdoor adventure sports.

In its latest distribution agreement, Outdoor Channel and MCA announced a partnership with Fishing World Channel (FWC) to bring Outdoor Channel to 60 million digital pay TV households in China. FWC will air several hours of Outdoor Channel's programming as part of a daily programming block.

"Outdoor Channel's growth over the last year, both domestically and abroad, represents the network's mass appeal and the popularity of the outdoor lifestyle across a variety of demographics, ages, genders and cultures," said Tom Hornish, chief operating officer, Outdoor Channel.
"In just over a year, Outdoor Channel has made tremendous gains in the international marketplace and set the stage for continued expansion into the world's most populous countries and booming economies. We are proud of our early success as the only full-time US outdoor network with international distribution."

Outdoor Channel's partnership with Chello Zone, a London broadcaster and distributor that operates across the EMEA region, began in August 2010. The deal brings programming from Outdoor Channel's library of HD content to the region and provides a customised feed of Outdoor Channel. Currently, Outdoor Channel programming is available through Chello Zone to subscribers in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Malta, Russia, Scandinavia, Serbia and the Ukraine in Europe; and Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Yemen in Africa and the Middle East.

MCA, a Singapore-based distributor of TV networks in Asia and the Pacific, has exclusive rights to operate Outdoor Channel and the network's HD programming, throughout the region. Outdoor Channel HD is available and has launch commitments through MCA in China, Indonesia, Maldives, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Our rapid growth in the international market is a testament to the global appeal of Outdoor Channel's content, our ability to deliver customised packages in innovative formats like HD and our strong partnerships with Chello Zone and MCA, two of the premiere distributors in the global media and broadcasting industry," said Randy Brown, executive vice president, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, Outdoor Channel.
"Both MCA and Chello Zone share our vision for bringing the top outdoor entertainment to a new global audience, and we look forward to continuing our work together to make that vision a reality."

In addition to its latest announcement in China, Outdoor Channel has grown its domestic subscriber base by 1.9 million subscribers through recent packaging improvements to broader digital tiers. At the same time, Outdoor Channel HD has seen year-on-year subscriber growth of 27% or 2.2 million. and is now carried in 24 of the top 25 U.S. markets. Recent HD launches include Atlanta, Nashville and Houston.