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Bellamy Sheds Racket for Slopes

One of the founders and former president of The Tennis Channel is eyeing the mountains now.

Steve Bellamy, head of Atonal Sports and Entertainment, said his company reached a long-term affiliation deal with Time Warner Cable to launch The Ski Channel in the first quarter of 2008 as a video-on-demand service.

The Ski Channel -- which Bellamy said will cover an array of mountain activities ranging from skiing, snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing, orienteering, caving, plus off-slope activities -- will also manifest on other multimedia platforms.

Targeting enthusiasts and travelers, the programming -- both original and acquired fare -- will include attendant entertainment, news, destination travel, real estate, equipment, instruction and magazine formats, as well as coverage of profession mountain-sports events.

Bellamy said The Ski Channel -- which is taking aim at a travel/resort industry that takes in more than $10 billion annually -- already secured charter-advertising agreements with a number of top brands including Panasonic, Mirage Resorts, Marquis Jets and Fender Guitars.

Atonal owns and operates a number of tennis clubs and golf academies in California, as well as a film company and recording studio.