LAS VEGAS, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTD), America's leader in Outdoor TV, today unveiled its new Web site, OutdoorChannel.com. The Company also announced the appointment of Todd Merkow as President of Digital Media. The site relaunch and Mr. Merkow's appointment reflect Outdoor Channel's ongoing commitment to ensuring its category leadership across today's multi-platform environment.
Attendees of the 2010 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (SHOT Show) can stop by Outdoor Channel's booth #11227 for a preview of the revamped site.
* The Next Generation Outdoor Online Experience
Following a year's worth of strategic assessment, design enhancements and technical improvements, the redesign sets OutdoorChannel.com apart as being the most comprehensive source of online entertainment and information for outdoor enthusiasts. Developed by Winnercomm's interactive division, the site's streamlined aesthetic makes for better usability, intuitive navigation and enhanced search capabilities.
The centerpiece of the new OutdoorChannel.com is a state-of-the-art broadband video player that enables users to watch an extensive library of thousands of videos – the majority in an HD viewing experience. OutdoorChannel.com is also the premier destination for the network's category leading personalities, many of whom will provide frequently updated original content to the site. In-depth Outdoor Channel show synopses pages and a robust tool for searching the network's programming schedule complement useful information on state hunting and fishing licenses and destinations. In addition, the site will include a social networking community where enthusiasts can share tips, photos, videos and stories.
"OutdoorChannel.com has played an integral role in our growth and engagement with viewers. As a veritable one-stop-shop for the great outdoors, the relaunch will make it easier for our fans to connect with Outdoor Channel, our talent and other outdoor enthusiasts around the country," said Roger Werner, President & CEO, Outdoor Channel. "Our popular content and strong nationwide brand provides an excellent framework to build new digital initiatives that serve our audiences, partners and advertisers. With a seasoned professional like Todd at the helm, our digital media efforts will keep Outdoor Channel competitive in this dynamic marketplace."
* Consumer Input on All-New OutdoorChannel.com
OutdoorChannel.com's new offerings were driven in part by consumer input. In a user experience survey conducted in late 2009, the Company gauged consumer sentiment and found that:
- The top three reasons outdoor enthusiasts visit outdoor-related sites are entertainment, outdoor tips and outdoor video.
- Nearly 80 percent of those polled say Outdoor Channel has more compelling content than any other outdoor-related Web site.
- When compared to other outdoor Web sites -
- 80 percent of polled respondents say that the new OutdoorChannel.com has better visual appeal.
- Nearly 80 percent say that the new OutdoorChannel.com has more compelling content.
- 75 percent say that the new OutdoorChannel.com has easier navigation.
* 20-Year Media Vet Named Digital Media President
As President of Digital Media, Todd Merkow is responsible for managing and growing all aspects of Outdoor Channel's digital media operations, including online, mobile and related digital media assets. He will report directly to Roger Werner, President and CEO at Outdoor Channel. Over the last year, Mr. Merkow had been serving as a consultant to the Company, providing expertise on digital strategy. Outdoor Channel's digital platform has already made noteworthy strides under Mr. Merkow's leadership. When comparing December 2008 to December 2009 monthly uniques, the Web site achieved a 136 percent increase in visits, along with a 117 percent rise in unique visitors. The site is currently attracting approximately 1 million unique visitors per month. Further solid performance was seen in page views, which was up 173 percent on a December year-over-year basis.
"Outdoor Channel is heavily focused on the digital media development of core revenue-generating platforms, like the newly revamped online platform, in addition to mobile and HD," commented Mr. Merkow. "I look forward to identifying opportunities on multiple screens that will benefit the Company and move it forward in today's digital space."
Before this appointment, Mr. Merkow was President and CEO for Three Screens Media, a cutting edge digital content agency, and President and COO of the Los Angeles Avengers, one of the Arena Football League's premier franchises. Before that, he was the Vice President and General Manager for Fox Sports Net West and Fox Sports Net West 2, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations for Southern California's two premier sports cable channels. He also launched and oversaw operations for Fox Sports Net Arizona as its Vice President/General Manager and served as the director of affiliate sales and programming for Fox Sports Direct (formerly Liberty Satellite Sports/Satellite Sports Networks).
Mr. Merkow is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
About Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc.
Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTD) owns and operates Outdoor Channel, America's leader in outdoor TV, and Winnercomm Inc., an Emmy Award winning production and interactive company. Outdoor Channel offers programming that captures the excitement of hunting, fishing, shooting, off-road motorsports, adventure and the Western lifestyle and can be viewed on multiple platforms including high definition, video-on-demand, as well as on a dynamic broadband website. Winnercomm Inc. is one of America's largest and highest quality producers of live sporting events and sports series for cable and broadcast television. Winnercomm also owns and operates the patented Skycam and CableCam aerial camera systems which provide dramatic overhead camera angles for major sports events, including college and NFL football. For more information please visit www.outdoorchannel.com.
SOURCE Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc.