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Ski Channel to Launch on Dec. 25

Independently owned video-on-demand service Ski Channel will give winter sports aficionados a Christmas Day gift as the service officially launches Dec. 25 on several satellite and cable services.

The channel, which will offer free VOD content covering sports from mountain biking and caving to kayaking and snowboarding, will launch on satellite service DirecTV, phone company Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV platform and cable operators Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks, according to network president Steve Bellamy.

The deals will put the Ski Channel in 15 million households at launch, although Bellamy said the network is in negotiations with several other MSOs that could push that figure higher.

Bellamy also said the network last week signed a major programming deal with Warren Miller — who has produced more than 750 films within the genre — to create original content.

“The Warren Miller deal is the equivalent to us getting the Super Bowl in our space,” according to Bellamy.

The network also reached a marketing deal with Ski Magazine, which will promote the network in its pages, according to Bellamy.