Rainbow DBS' VOOM Introduces HDNews (official Press Release)

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Yes, we know but here is the Official Release

Rainbow DBS' VOOM Introduces HDNews (HDN), The Country's First 24/7 High-Definition National News Channel

JERICHO, N.Y., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Rainbow DBS' VOOM breaks new ground by launching the first ever 24-hour a day, 7-days-a-week national high-definition (HD) news channel, HDNews (HDN). Viewers of HDN receive news headlines, weather information, sports highlights, and more with a true-to- life picture that's nearly as real as being on the scene. HDN is available exclusively to subscribers of VOOM, the first television service to offer a full array of HD programming to customers throughout the continental United States. With more than 30 HD channels, 21 of which are exclusive, VOOM offers far more HD programming than any other satellite or cable service.

HDN features a news-wheel of top headlines, national weather, sports highlights, business updates, and feature material in the categories of health, science, showbiz news and more. HDN is the first and only national news channel to offer all of its programming in native high-definition, including news footage, graphics, and in-studio presentation. These visually stunning images create a rich sensory experience for the viewer, making HDN unlike any other news service available today. Newscasters anchor from the custom state-of-the-art set located in Woodbury, New York while regional correspondents based in New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami ensure every area of the United States is covered.

"HDNews satisfies what was an unmet need for owners of high-definition television sets," said Pat Dolan, President of News for Rainbow Media. "HDN delivers a newscast that is both journalistically sound and showcases the incredible high definition technology available today." Dolan added, "HDN is a result of Rainbow Media's ongoing commitment to providing its customers with news that fits their lifestyles. Rainbow has been on the cutting edge of this genre since the launch more than 17 years ago of the first regional news channel in the U.S., News 12 Networks."

HDN is headed by veteran news director Will J. Wright. Wright served as the news director of New York's WWOR-TV for than 9 years and was most recently Executive Producer for BET Nightly News. Under his leadership, BET's ratings doubled from 2002 to 2003. Wright's accomplishments include multiple Emmy awards, Associated Press Awards, and International Film Festival awards.

"With HDN, VOOM is setting the standard for high-definition news," said Will Wright, General Manager, HDNews. "A team of highly-skilled professionals, including a consortium of leading TV technology companies, created a system for broadcasting news in high-definition that has never before existed."

Along with Wright, several notable organizations contributed to the look of HDN. Among them is Broadway and Hollywood set designer Tim Hunter, who created an anchor set unlike any other in television, entirely constructed for HD viewing. Additionally, Pyburn Films created a vivid graphics package that complements the stunning images presented on the channel. ACCU-weather developed a high-definition weather offering for HDN, allowing for constantly updated weather information around the country with custom maps, graphics, and weather technology.
 
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a financial article on VOOM-Dish etc(hope this wasn't posted)

Voom bows hi-def news channel
by: pfwoot2002 02/10/04 04:27 pm
Msg: 18562 of 18578

JOHN DEMPSEY and MEREDITH AMDUR

NEW YORK (Variety) --- Chuck Dolan's satellite programming service Voom has launched the first 24-hour high-definition all-news channel in the U.S.

HD News becomes the 21st exclusive high-def network offered by the Voom service to the approximately 5,000 owners of satellite dishes and high-def TV sets who buy Voom from Rainbow Media Holdings, the Dolan operation that markets it. (The 5,000 is a Wall Street estimate; Rainbow declined to reveal the actual number of subscribers.)

"We've built a fully equipped, fully automated HD studio with robotic cameras," said Greg Moyer, president of regional programming for Rainbow Media Holdings, who oversees Rainbow's high-def programming and production. Rainbow is a division of Dolan's parent company, Cablevision Systems.

Handicapped by a small subscriber base and by zero advertising revenues (none of the 21 networks will take 30-second spots), HD News will keep costs down by drawing on the expertise of Dolan's two-decade-old 24-hour regional news net News 12 Long Island and its spinoffs in Connecticut, New Jersey, Westchester and the Bronx.

Moyer says Rainbow is opening bureaus in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Miami, where producers will tape their stories with high-def cameras specifically for HD News. For international news, Rainbow is negotiating with NHK Japan, which Moyer said has more HD cameras covering worldwide news events than any other broadcast operation, here or abroad.

HD News also plans to start engineering what Moyer calls "a sharing pool" for stories shot in high def by local TV stations throughout the country. More of these high-def stations have started cropping up in the last year or two; Moyer said his staff would barter stories put together by HD News in exchange for stories with national implications that are produced by stations in local markets.

Another Rainbow high-def network, Ultra-HD, has begun operation. It will also save money by focusing on the kind of fashion coverage that has served as a staple of Dolan's Metro TV, a local cable network targeted to the greater New York area.

"We're adding high-def cameras to Metro TV's coverage of the New York fashion scene and making it available to a national satellite audience," said Moyer.

Can news and fashion give Voom a needed adrenaline shot to bring in more subscribers? The majority of analysts who cover Cablevision are deeply suspicious of Voom's prospects as a stand-alone business, especially given the stiff competition from DirecTV and EchoStar and the cable sector's recent embrace of high def.

Cable networks ranging from HBO and Showtime to Discovery and ESPN are creating high-def clones, and the broadcast nets are transmitting an increasingly higher proportion of their primetime series in high def. DirecTV and EchoStar are trying to speed up the licensing of these networks and TV stations, hoping to create enough high-def programming to discourage their customers from defecting to Zoom.

To help fund Zoom, Dolan is due to spin off Rainbow DBS later in 2004, assuming the SEC completes its investigation into Cablevision's accounting discrepancies.

Last fall, Cablevision announced it would couple the fledgling DBS business with its Rainbow-owned cable nets IFC, WE and AMC, which are valued at around $4 billion.

Proceeds from the stock spinoff are intended to finance the venture. Some analysts are concerned that too big a chunk of Cablevision's resources could get siphoned into Voom if the spinoff is delayed for too long.

Another possibility is an outright sale of Voom. EchoStar would be the leading candidate because, according to analysts, it has fallen short on capacity to deliver its own high-definition services. Wall Street speculates that the Voom satellite could fetch $300 million.

But Dolan has given no indication that he's looking for a buyer
 
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