TEMECULA, Calif., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTD), America's leader in Outdoor TV, today announced that it has reached significant milestones across its linear, high-definition (HD) and Web properties.
* 16 Percent Increase in Households; Fourth Highest Among All Cable Networks
Outdoor Channel experienced an increase of more than 4.9 million new subscribers, a boost of 16 percent, making the network the fourth top gainer among all ad-supported cable networks in 2009. According to Nielsen Media Research, that elevates Outdoor Channel's total subscriber base to 34.5 million households, its highest subscriber count since becoming Nielsen-rated in July 2002. Of note, this growth includes major market gains in New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami and Phoenix, as the network achieved either launches or migrations in 11 of the top 20 U.S. broadcast markets this year. In total, more than 88 million cable, satellite and telco subscribers across the country have access to Outdoor Channel's best-in-class programming in standard definition or HD.
"Our ongoing efforts to get Outdoor Channel carried in homes of avid outdoor fans nationwide resulted in a banner year for expanding our distribution footprint. Distributors are recognizing our value to them and their viewers as the leading outdoor entertainment source," said Tom Hornish, COO at Outdoor Channel. "We've also made major inroads with our HD offering by driving increased penetration in key systems. In fact, our goal is to become the first and only 24 hour, seven day a week true HD outdoor cable network by this summer. And, as a multiplatform provider, our Web site, which was recently revamped with new features and capabilities, continues to be as much of a destination as a favorite hunting or fishing spot."
* Over 235 HD System Launches
Since January 2009, Outdoor Channel HD -- which captures the sights, sounds and thrill of Outdoor Channel's popular programming with razor-sharp precision in widescreen format -- added 235 new launches increasing its HD presence by 2.5 million homes and now exceeds 4 million total subscribers. Throughout 2009, Outdoor Channel HD launched in 16 out of the top 20 U.S. broadcast markets, including New York, San Francisco, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Cleveland, Denver, Orlando, Sacramento, Portland, Charlotte, Indianapolis and San Diego, among others. Leading operators are showcasing the network's HD platform, giving viewers the next best thing to being outdoors. As the only full-time network in the outdoor genre to offer a dedicated high definition simulcast, Outdoor Channel HD continues to increase its HD lineup and is committed to becoming 100 percent native HD by July 2010.
"Outdoor Channel airs authentic, action-packed hunting, fishing, shooting and adventure content -- the type of programming that can most vividly showcase the benefits of the crisp resolution and richness of HD. It's an important differentiator for our distributors and an increasingly in demand service by our viewers who have come to expect the very best from our top quality, multiplatform brand," said Randy Brown, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales & Marketing at Outdoor Channel. "Outdoor Channel HD continues to generate substantial interest and we are meeting that demand by increasing production of HD programs, giving our distributors the resources they need to succeed in their markets."
* 117% Uptick in Unique Visitors
OutdoorChannel.com, the most comprehensive source of online entertainment and information for outdoor enthusiasts, continued to benefit longtime users, in addition to enticing new ones. 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. As a measure of engagement, the time spent on OutdoorChannel.com by users is up 60 percent. OutdoorChannel.com was recently relaunched and unveiled at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the leading industry trade show for the hunting and shooting sports industry.
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.
Nielsen Media Research Universe Estimates for Outdoor Channel
Nielsen Media Research is the leading provider of television audience measurement and advertising information services worldwide. Nielsen estimated that Outdoor Channel had approximately 34.5 million cable and satellite subscribers for January 2010. Please note that this estimate regarding Outdoor Channel's subscriber base is made by Nielsen Media Research and is theirs alone and does not represent opinions, forecasts or predictions of Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. or its management. Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. does not by its reference above or distribution imply its endorsement of or concurrence with such information.
SOURCE Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc.