Outdoor Channel Renews NCTC Deal

Outdoor Channel’s parent company said it signed a new five-year carriage deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative that reduces subscriber fees up front to gain more carriage from NCTC's 1,100 independent cable operators and 12 million subscribers.

The move is in keeping with a strategy aimed at jump-starting its distribution that the network announced in a Securities and Exchange filing last March.

Roger Werner, the CEO of Outdoor Channel Holdings, said in a release that the renewed and “restructured” agreement likely “will initially reduce our subscriber fee revenues, the subscriber fee rates under the agreement increase over time.”

“In addition, we believe the incentives in the agreement will promote greater penetration throughout the membership and lead to an overall expansion in the number of cable subscribers through the organization,” Werner said in a release. “Over the past ten years, the NCTC has been an important partner to Outdoor Channel, and we look forward to continuing our successful association for many more years to come."

NCTC CEO Jeff Abbas said in the release: "Outdoor Channel has a strong track record of delivering programming that appeals to a broad spectrum of our members and their millions of customers. This extension of our carriage agreement ensures that our members will continue to enjoy one of the cable industry's top networks that focuses on hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors."

Independently owned Outdoor Channel (listed on Nasdaq as OUTD) has about 31 million cable and satellite subscribers. It recently hired former Tennis Channel distribution head Randy Brown as senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing.