Moviewatch Sees Jan. Debut

Moviewatch, Hubbard Media Group's all-about-movies service, set its launch watch in motion Thursday morning when it set Jan. 21 as its premiere date.

Gary Thorne, the channel's president and chief operating officer, disclosed the date in opening remarks during a Kagan VOD Summit panel in New York.

So far, DirecTV Inc. is the channel's only affiliate. "We're working on various cable deals right now," Thorne said, without naming names or hinting when those talks would bear fruit.

Moviewatch is part of a crop of new, independently owned digital services seeking both cable carriage and deployment during the first three months of 2003.

Other contenders include College Sports Television, Blackbelt TV, ALT1-TV and a pair of short-subject services, Brief Original Broadcasts, or BOB, and Atom Television.

Hubbard's service will explore the movie world through several genres of original programming, including newsmagazines, game shows, talk shows and film-review series.

"The content we bring to the market is a celebration of movies," Thorne said.