VOOM HD Targets Gamers with GAMEPLAY HD (1 Viewer)

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Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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‘Next Gen’ Channel Reaches Gamers with Fresh and Exclusive Content; Leading Gaming Site GameSpot Signs on to Co-Create New Series

New York, NY – March 20, 2006 - VOOM HD Networks, provider of the largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels nationwide, partners up with leading game industry companies to offer fresh and exclusive content on Gameplay HD, the first high-definition channel dedicated solely to the fast-growing world of video gaming. The channel, which launched on February 1, 2006, features three tiers of exclusive programming centered on the interests of gamers, including gaming news, original series and specials, and global gaming community coverage featuring tournaments and competitions.

Helping to deliver this unique content, VOOM also announced today that it has inked a deal with CNET Networks’ GameSpot, one of the leading sources for gaming information, to create two new series for the channel: GameSpotting, a half-hour series of news, reviews, and previews, and CinemAddicts, an hourly series featuring immersive stories told through cinematics and gameplay from leading games.

Gaming is the fastest growing form of entertainment today, making the timing perfect for the world’s first high-definition gaming channel. Price Waterhouse Coopers forecasts that gaming will eclipse music as the second-most popular form of entertainment by 2008, with worldwide consumer spending on video games estimated to hit $55 billion in 2008 as compared to $34 billion for recorded music. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), U.S. computer and video game software sales were $7 billion in 2005 with over 228 million computer and video games sold, accounting for almost two games for every household in America.

“VOOM provides a platform for viewers who are looking to maximize the power of HD, and in the gaming category Gameplay HD is the leader in this next generation of channels. The channel takes advantage of the growing demand for global entertainment and video gaming and now, with new advancements, the manufacturing of games in high definition,” said Greg Moyer, General Manager of VOOM HD Networks. “Working with CNET affords us the ability to collaborate with an authoritative voice as we delve into this gaming revolution.”

“With HD playing a leading role in next generation game content, we’re excited to be working with a partner that shares our belief in developing authentic brand experiences around points of passion to bring the GameSpot name and programming to this platform in a way that celebrates games and gamers in true high-def format,” said Keith Bencher, vice president of Strategy and Development for CNET’s Games & Entertainment division. “This also underscores how far the production values of broadband video have come and how well Internet-native content can translate to the most demanding of broadcast mediums.”

Mark DeAngelis serves as Vice President, Programming for Gameplay HD. He also heads VOOM’s RUSH HD, which focuses on top-tier action-adventure sports, and WORLDSPORT HD, offering sports from around the world. Prior to joining VOOM HD in 2003, DeAngelis was VP of Creative Services for Rainbow Media, and an independent producer collaborating on projects for Madonna, the Rolling Stones, Rolex, NASDAQ, and Hearst Entertainment as well as independent feature films.
“Gameplay HD recognizes and respects the powerful gameplay and storylines in today's video games. Using high-definition video and 5.1 surround-sound audio, we will provide a whole new television experience to both video game lovers and those who are new to video games,” states DeAngelis.

The channel will feature three tiers of programming that showcase the best next-gen games: original series and specials that tap into the immense storytelling power of video games, and go behind the scenes of the industry’s top titles; authoritative news and reviews; and a global look at gaming’s new community that has formed around tournaments and other competitive events. Each tier will feature games from publishers such as Ubisoft, NCsoft, Activision, SEGA, Blizzard Entertainment, Dreamcatcher Interactive and Tecmo.

Following are examples of programming from each tier:

Original Series and Specials
The original programming block includes the co-created CinemAddicts with GameSpot, where viewers are presented a cinematic video game experience through some of the biggest games including God of War and Resident Evil 4. As its name conveys, CinemAddicts brings the stories inside the game to life by bridging actual gameplay with cinematics to deliver a cohesive storyline. Among the featured games are Condemned: Criminal Origins and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones.

Advanced Training turns the average gamer into an amazing gamer. This innovative series brings the top pro gamers and developers to assist in making you a pro by giving game exclusives, key strategic insights into how to play the game and hidden secrets and tips to give you that definitive edge.

Gamers worldwide comprise a competitive community that is not currently served through television. Gameplay HD fills this void by covering tournaments featuring the quickest and most established gaming stars from around the world. This month, the channel covers the recent digital life Global Gaming League (GGL) Tournament, the leading competitive video gaming league for gamers of every skill level as video gamers compete for their share of $100,000 in prizes.

Building on the popularity of gaming in the Asian market, in April, Gameplay HD will air the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational Tournament covered from Seoul, Korea where the world’s best gamers of Warcraft and Starcraft converge at the Coex Center for the finals. This tournament series captures both the live action of the athletes, as well as the actual gameplay itself, to solidify gaming as an international athletic event.

The April schedule will also feature the inaugural Guild Wars World Championship in Taipei, Taiwan. Throughout the three months of qualifications and after a fiercely competitive Regional Playoff, six teams have proved their mettle and will be representing their guilds and their regions at the Taipei Game Show. Teams with members from Brazil, Alaska, the United States, Canada, Finland and Korea, among other countries, will take the stage to determine who will be the 2006 Guild Wars World Champion.

News and Information
GameSpotting, a half-hour series produced by CNET Networks’ GameSpot, features interviews with video game editors, designers, and publishers, and covers games created for the Xbox 360 such as Amped and Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie.

The Art of Play show gives viewers a full access pass inside next generation games through stunning gameplay footage, in-game cinematics, and voice-over that take viewers on a visceral tour through each game’s highlights. Games featured include: Gun, Shadow of the Colossus, and Beyond Good & Evil.

Available nationally on the DISH Network, VOOM HD Networks provides content that brings television to a new level of experience. The 15 VOOM channels offer 24 hours a day of TV made for HD, with commercial-free programming including movies re-mastered for high def, sports, animation and family fare, fashion, music, art and news, with an ever-expanding slate of new original programming. Gameplay HD can be found on DISH Channel 9485.

About GameSpot
As one of the Games & Entertainment properties at CNET Networks, GameSpot (www.gamespot.com) is a leading online source for gaming information. The GameSpot family includes GameFAQs, Game Rankings, and GameSpot Trax, its real-time market intelligence tool. GameSpot's Web sites offer free access to tens of thousands of PC and video game reviews from expert editors, as well as previews of the hottest upcoming games, game downloads, video streams, guides, breaking news, and hints. GameSpot also has one of the most active online gaming communities, which is a free, innovative social network service that makes it fun and easy for gamers to meet and interact with others who share their specific gaming interests.

About VOOM HD Networks
VOOM HD Networks is the largest suite of high-definition channels available anywhere, produced exclusively in high definition for distribution in the U.S. through satellite and cable operators. The VOOM HD Networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music, and art. Today, the VOOM HD Networks are available nationally on Echostar’s DISH Network. The VOOM HD Networks were developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high-definition programming, building on Rainbow Media’s history of original programming innovation.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC

A leader in the entertainment industry, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Rainbow creates and manages some of the country's most compelling and dynamic programming with linear networks including national networks – AMC, fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women's Entertainment; its regional programming service – Rainbow Sports Networks; on-demand networks including Mag Rack and sportskool; and the largest suite of high definition channels available anywhere – the VOOM HD Networks. Rainbow's other businesses include its film distribution, production and exhibition division – IFC Entertainment; in addition to its advertising sales division – Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation – and its full service network programming origination and distribution company – Rainbow Network Communications.
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