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Ski Channel, Rage Films Strike Content Deal

The Ski Channel has struck a content deal with Rage Films that gives it access to new and archived films and footage from prolific ski filmmaker Sky Pinnick.

Out of the gate, says Ski Channel Chairman Steve Bellamy, the channel will have "thousands" of hours of footage from skiing and other snow sports from all over the world. Say, if the channel wants to produce a show on Vail, it won’t have to go out and collect new B-roll. Plus, it will tap into that Rage for original programming and some brand cachet as well.

As part of the deal, the channel has taken a minority stake in Rage, with an option to buy the rest of the company. Ski Channel will also sponsor the Rage Films Ski Tour, which exhibits Rage films at colleges and resorts.

Though Bellamy would have loved to get on before this year's ski season starts in November, the channel will likely not launch before first-quarter 2008.

He expects between 10 and 20 million subs at launch for the digital VOD channel, which will also have a mobile (maybe that should be mogul) and Web presence. A big part of that launch audience comes from a long-term anchor deal with Time Warner.

Charter advertisers Panasonic, Mirage Resorts, Fender Guitars and Marquis Jets are already lined up and ready to head down the mountain.