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Comcast Hits the Slopes

The Ski Channel will take off on cable’s biggest
MSO platform: the upstart on-demand service has
inked a long-term distribution deal with Comcast.

The deal brings the 18-month-old service, which focuses
on year-round mountain activities such as skiing,
snowboarding, hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing and
off -slope activities, to more than 43 million U.S. households,
according to Ski Channel chairman and CEO Steve
Bellamy.

“Our deal with Comcast enables us to reach skiers and
snow sports enthusiasts in destination ski areas and local
and ski destination feeder markets,” said Bellamy. “The
fact that Comcast is innovative and advancing television
technology enhances the value proposition immensely for
us as we too are on the cutting edge of technology.”

Comcast senior vice president of new media Matt
Strauss said The Ski Channel “brings great independent
programming to our customers and is a unique and targeted
fit for many of our local markets.”

The network also announced it will produce a slate of
original ski films that will be a part of a grass-roots film
tour in mid-October. Through long-term exclusive partnerships
with the National Ski Council Federation and
the National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association,
ski clubs and ski shops around America, Ski Channel will
hold local premieres of the films before they are distributed
on the television network, according to Bellamy.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.