Sportsman Channel Reaches 20 Million Home Milestone

Sportsman Channel Reaches 20 Million Home Milestone
More than Doubles its Distribution Base in 2009.
Capstone to a Year of Positive Growth, Momentum and Innovation for the Net Dedicated to American Sportsmen.

Sportsman Channel
Sportsman Channel

New York, NY –-(AmmoLand.com)- Sportsman Channel, the premiere all hunting, shooting and fishing network, announced today a network milestone as it reached 20 million homes at the close of 2009—a full three months earlier than expected.

During the past year alone, Sportsman has experienced impressive growth through new launches and moves to broader distribution tiers on numerous Comcast systems including Chicago, Houston and Portland, as well as launching on DIRECTV and with several other distributors.

“We are very excited to have reached the 20 million household milestone one quarter earlier than we projected at this time last year,” said Willy Burkhardt, president of Sportsman.

“This past year was one of exciting and aggressive growth across all sectors of our business, and certainly distribution is one of the most important sectors. We appreciate the support we’ve received from our distribution partners and their recognition of Sportsman’s value for their subscribers. We look forward to moving past the next threshold of 25 million homes very soon.”

“2009 was a tremendous year for Sportsman across many key areas of the business, most notably the impressive growth in household distribution,” said Jeff Paro, CEO of InterMedia Outdoors, parent company of Sportsman and the largest outdoor media content provider.

“The channel has vast resources to tap to continue its success, both with IMO—as the largest magazine publisher, the largest online network, and the largest TV producer in the outdoor category—as well as with its growing list of talented independent production partners.”

During the past year, Sportsman and IMO made significant operational and strategic moves including the following: appointing Burkhardt as president, launching a new brand image, making significant programming enhancements, increasing support for independent production partners, expanding the Hunt.Fish.Feed national public affairs program, and further increasing marketing synergies with parent company IMO.

During 2009, Sportsman’s independent production partners continued to bring quality shows to the network, including returning favorites like Sportsmen of North America, Mike Avery’s Outdoor Magazine, and Fly Rod Chronicles, as well as new offerings like Pigman: The Series and Alaska’s Fishing Paradise.

The network’s ongoing dedication to the hunt, shoot and fish categories of programming, coupled with the cross-promotional opportunities offered to their partners, continue to lure more independent producers to make Sportsman their exclusive home.

The network recently signed multi-year contracts with Back Country Quest, Family Traditions with Haley Heath and Pigman:

The Series making Sportsman Channel their exclusive home.

Additionally, Sportsman has benefited from the ongoing programming resources of parent company IMO, which helped to fuel the network with more than 200 original series episodes and 15 new shows in 2009 alone. Sportsman debuted original programs Handguns, Tactical Arms, Breaking the Surface, Predator Nation and Fly Fisherman, alongside continuing popular icons like In-Fisherman, Peterson’s Hunting and Guns & Ammo.

“Sportsman has tremendous production and promotional resources behind it—both through our parent company IMO and our independent production partners—and we are actively and aggressively leveraging these resources to make our channel the video destination for sportsmen across the country,” says Burkhardt. “It’s our goal to strive for excellence, and to provide our distributors, viewers and partners with high-quality and entertaining content across our three programming pillars of hunt, shoot and fish.”

On March 24, IMO appointed Burkhardt as president of Sportsman, while maintaining his role of executive vice president for IMO. Burkhardt’s new position gave him oversight of Sportsman’s television and digital operations, with a charge to further integrate IMO and Sportsman. The appointment was a strategic move for the network, as it helped to bring the company’s full range of content resources together to more efficiently and effectively tap IMO’s resources for Sportsman across many categories, including television channel development, video content production and cross-platform marketing.

This past June, the network unveiled a new and enhanced brand image designed to more accurately reflect the network’s core focus: hunting, shooting and fishing programming dedicated exclusively to the entertainment and information needs of the true American Sportsman. The new image, reflected through three iconic coins, captured the channel’s revitalized programming line-up and exciting new content development efforts. These coins became the main feature of the network’s logo and on-air and off-air brand, with each representing a different color and icon to give the viewer an immediate point of reference and to consistently brand Sportsman’s core programming pillars of hunt, shoot and fish.

Launched in December 2007, the national public affairs program, Hunt.Fish.Feed.SM, a multi-city initiative, was moved into full deployment in 2009. Hunt.Fish.Feed SM is a unique outreach program that taps a new food source—game meat and fish donated by sportsmen—to feed those struggling with hunger across America. In 2009, the program fed thousands of our nation’s hungry during an eight-city tour. The second annual Hunt.Fish.Feed SM multi-city initiative kicked-off yesterday, January 19, in Las Vegas. This year’s program will partner locally with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications systems in markets across the nation to continue to help feed our nation’s hungry.

Sportsman’s further integration with IMO allowed the network to provide their advertisers with cross-promotional platforms that reach across the company’s vast television, print and digital resources, giving producers and advertisers a complete promotional package with extensive reach, exposure and effectiveness. In the aggregate, IMO boasts the largest network of websites dedicated to hunting, shooting, fishing, as well as a portfolio of 15 market-leading magazines. A few of the platform offerings include specific show tune-in ads across IMO’s print and web outlets; sponsored theme night ads promoted through both print and web resources; TV listings in targeted print magazines; and editorial briefs for specific shows in targeted print and web outlets.

For more information on the Sportsman Channel, please visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com.

SPORTSMAN CHANNEL:
Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel is the only television and digital media company fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Acquired by InterMedia Outdoors Holdings in 2006, Sportsman Channel, which reaches more than 20 million U.S. television households, is now a part of the nation’s largest multimedia company targeted exclusively to serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com.

INTERMEDIA OUTDOORS:
InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. is the largest media company in the outdoor-enthusiast category, exclusively serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts, with the largest network of websites dedicated to hunting, shooting and fishing; a portfolio of 15 magazines including powerful brands such as Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail, Guns&Ammo, In-Fisherman, Fly Fisherman, and Florida Sportsman; syndicated radio programming; 23 market-leading television productions, the largest library of outdoors television programming and Sportsman Channel, the only television network dedicated exclusively to hunting, shooting and fishing.