Outdoor Channel Adding VOD

The Outdoor Channel, already rolling out an HDTV network, now plans to launch a video-on-demand offering, as well, officials said.

The Temecula, Calif.-based independent programmer will initially offer its VOD package in standard-definition, and it will include shows from the channel’s current lineup, product from its library and select bonus programming such as special events and series.

To enter the VOD arena, most likely starting in August, Outdoor Channel has inked a deal with TVN Entertainment Corp. Under that agreement, TVN will be the network’s preferred partner for VOD services such as encoding, distribution and asset-management services.

“VOD service will clearly allow our audience the added benefit and convenience of having the programming they want when they want it,” Outdoor Channel senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing Amy Hendrickson said in a prepared statement. “Expanding with this level of service is a logical and exciting next step for our network, as is our decision to partner with VOD-industry pioneer TVN.”

Outdoor Channel, with 24.6 million subscribers, just soft-launched its HDTV network, Outdoor Channel 2 HD, to distributors, making its signal available to affiliates across the country. The new HDTV service will get a big consumer push July 1, when the network mounts a full media and marketing campaign for it.

The new HDTV network will offer exclusive new content filmed entirely in HDTV, in addition to fan favorites from the existing Outdoor Channel, all filmed in real -- not converted -- HDTV.

“The addition of VOD programming, coupled with the launch of our HD network, completes the TOC family of products,” Hendrickson said.