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Scandinavian Channel Seeks a Brand Identity

Scandinavian Channel, a digital service that debuted last May, will create a new brand identity and add more contemporary programming to its schedule, officials said last week.

The channel last Thursday (March 1) bowed a colorful new logo that looks similar to a butterfly or flower. It's a marked change-and much simpler graphically-than its former logo, which incorporated parts of the flags of the countries from which the network's programs originate.

Scandinavian Channel airs English-subtitled shows from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

"As we began to grow our business, to add video-on-demand and a Web portal, we needed a logo that could grow with us," said director of marketing Tracy Olson. "Our existing logo did not have enough flexibility and we were looking for something with consumer appeal."

The channel's main target are the 16 million Americans of Scandinavian descent, but Olson said its programming does also "appeal to people with a culture connection to Scandinavia."

Former National Cable Television Association chairman and Providence Journal Co. president Trygve Myrhen is chair of Scandinavian Channel.

AT&T Broadband in San Francisco last week rolled out Scandinavian Channel on its digital tier of ethnic programming. Olson declined to say how many subscribers presently receive the service, but noted that Adelphia Communications Corp. and other MSOs have launched the channel on digital.

Digital subscribers can order Scandinavian Channel à la carte for $9.95 per month.

Scandinavian Channel also has a small amount of analog carriage on several small systems owned by Sjoberg's Cable in Minnesota.

Olson said Scandinavian Channel is tweaking its programming by adding more contemporary fare, including sports and some reality shows of the kind that have become so popular in the United States.

"We're showing more cutting-edge programming," Olson said.

The service also now features the Swedish Elite Series Hockey League, the Scandinavian Nordi Ski Championships and Finnish ski jumping.

International Channel Network acts as Scandinavian Channel's marketing and distribution agent to cable operators.