Voom Pitches HD Nets


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Apr 18, 2005
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In a difficult environment, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is officially pitching distributors on Voom HD Networks, salvaged from Chuck Dolan’s defunct satellite service.

Rainbow will start off by marketing a suite of 10 HDTV channels, which EchoStar Communications Corp. is already carrying, to cable. By the end of the first quarter of 2006, Voom HD will expand to 21 networks, Rainbow CEO Joshua Sapan said.

He wouldn’t specify how big a license fee Rainbow will seek for Voom HD, which will only be offered as a full suite, with distributors required to take all of its networks.

Rainbow -- which is being spun off by parent Cablevision Systems Corp. -- wants distributors to offer Voom HD as part of an HDTV basic package, not as a separate HD tier with its own price tag.

The programmer is trying to create a viable business out of the remnants of Cablevision chairman Chuck Dolan’s failed Rainbow DBS direct-broadcast satellite service, which carried the Voom HD networks.

Earlier this year, Cablevision -- after a huge battle between the elder Dolan and his son, Cablevision president James Dolan -- sold its Rainbow 1 satellite to EchoStar for $200 million and shut down the DBS service. The Voom HD networks were saved, though, because EchoStar received a 20% stake in the channels and agreed to offer them on Dish Network in a 15-year carriage deal.

Wall Street analysts had argued that Cablevision and Rainbow should have wholesaled their Voom HD networks to cable operators and DBS providers from the get-go, rather than trying to launch their own full-fledged DBS service. By waiting, Rainbow may now have trouble getting MSOs to give up increasingly precious bandwidth for all the Voom HD networks, some said.

Sapan stressed that Rainbow is creating original content -- “probably the most robust and abundant undertaking in the world of HD” -- specifically for Voom, not a simulcast or conversion of standard-definition channels.

Voom HD -- with 2,000 hours of native HDTV programs and more than 1,000 movies transferred to HDTV -- has a huge HDTV postproduction facility and studio in Manhattan that represents a $30 million investment by Rainbow.

The 10 core Voom HD channels are Rush HD, Rave HD, Animania HD, Monsters HD, Guy TV HD, The Majestic HD, Ultra HD, Equator HD, Gallery HD and HD News, offering movies, news, sports, fashion, arts, music, travel and animation. Rainbow maintains that this package will appeal to a broad spectrum of demographics and will encourage HDTV channel surfing.
cablewithaview said:
I doubt it, more than likely it will be into one HD package and raised by $5.
Voom needs to add more new content to make it viable. It won't be successful with the pitiful entry of new content it has been making. It is a wise move on their part not to seperate the package so people can't/won't drop it because of lack of content. So far for September I believe they have only added two new movies and that was to HDMonsters. Of course soccer fans have some new games to watch but that's it for now for the entire month.

Is Voom trying to shield itself from subscribers getting fed up with the lack of new content? What other "compelling" reason could they have for not wanting or even caring if it were seperate. If the programming is so good, Voom should feel confident it would sell easily as a stand-a-lone package. They probably figure mixed in with HDnet, HDmovies, TNT & Universal people may not notice their lack of investment in new programming.
VOOM HD is stuck in a marketing conundrum: regardless of how good, or bad, the programming, the simple fact is Cable and DBS providers just don't have the bandwidth for more than a few HD channels. Personally speaking, there is now way in hell VOOM HD can compete directly with the HDNets or INHDs as "premium tier" HD channels - so I think they are going about it the right way by bundling their programming. I would rather pay $2 for the VOOM HD (10 Pak) to be included in my basic package (assuming they once again add content) than I would an additional $5 for the two HDNets and and additional $5 for the INHDs. Also, I think charging $10 for a HD package consisting of 5 or 6 HD channels is too high...it may be tolerated now, but I don't think people will be willing to pay this premium as more providers transition to HD. VOOM HD needs to go after market share. Rainbow has done an excellent job marketing their WE, AMC, IFC channels, so I would expect similar results.
Its just weird how they're talking about marketing VOOM to other companies and how great the programming is and will be. Mean while they don't even offer them on their own Cv systems. Its a hard sell when it seems they have no interest in there own programming. Guess its just another example of how weird cv is. What other cable company that owns programming that they're trying to get off the ground doesn't make sure its available on there own systems before they even think about offering them to other companies. If Rainbow and CV can't make a deal i wouldn't expect to see VOOm on any other operators soon. They had to give Echo star part ownership to get them to sign up.
liquidnw said:
Its just weird how they're talking about marketing VOOM to other companies and how great the programming is and will be. Mean while they don't even offer them on their own Cv systems.
I agree and I don't understand this one bit. Granted, they have bandwidth limitations...but why not toss broadcast Monsters, Rave, and one other movie channel? I can only quess they don't want to break up the VOOM HD 10 Pak. :confused:
CV runs their operation very strangely... Let's forget about the VOOM channels for a minute and let me know who was the smart person who decided to offer INHD 1 on their system but forgot to contract INHD 2. INHD 1 has become a sport channel and INHD 2 is more of a variety channel. You would think that this was also a no brainer for CV and it will be easy to get INHD 2 but no it is not there. Also the same could be said about Discovery HD Theater.
If Cox picked it up I'd re-sub to their HD service.

It's wierd - I REALLY miss HDNews.

To offer the Voom HD Originals wouldn't Rainbow have to re-invest in a distribution scheme (lease sat space)? It seems risky to leave your headend signal at the mercy of Dish's DBS encoders. If local cable etc are going to re-distribute it you'd think they'd want a pure source.
Rainbow seeks Voom boom
Cablevision, Sapan go high-def

By JOHN DEMPSEY Variety.com

NEW YORK -- If Josh Sapan has his way, James Bond will be blasting his way out of tight scrapes for the first time ever in the full glory of high-definition TV.

Sapan, president-CEO of Rainbow Media, is about to engineer a relaunch of 10 Voom high-def channels, including Rush HD, a network for action-sports fans; Ultra HD, dealing with fashion, beauty and style; and Majestic HD, a movie channel that will include the first 17 United Artists Bond movies, from "Dr. No" through "License to Kill."

Voom's partner in the high-def venture is EchoStar, which bought a 20% stake in the Voom channels earlier this year when it agreed to purchase the entire satellite TV business of Rainbow parent Cablevision.

Cablevision lost more than $1 billion in trying to compete with DirecTV and EchoStar with a full satellite operation, including the Voom channels, which at the time numbered 21. But DirecTV, with just under 15 million customers, and EchoStar, with about 13 million, were too firmly entrenched; Voom had fewer than 50,000 subs when EchoStar bought it out.

EchoStar and Rainbow decided to keep Voom alive because more people are buying high-def TV sets, and the volume of HD programming to keep those people happy is fairly sparse. EchoStar is cheerleading for Voom to return to programming 21 HD channels by the first quarter, all of which it has agreed to carry.

Sapan, who'll be pitching the major cable operators over the next six weeks, said Voom is planning to commission original movies and TV series in HD, as well as concerts, art auctions, fashion shows, animated shorts, exclusive news reports and nature documentaries, among many other programming forms.

Voom also has signed theater artist Robert Wilson to create high-def video portraits of renowned personalities ranging from Brad Pitt and Winona Ryder to Mikhail Baryshnikov and Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka.

But EchoStar is leaving art to the culture vultures as it hypes the Voom network Monsters HD, which will highlight six of the seven "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies, topped off by the 2003 remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Well it looks like voom will at least get better for those that have it on Dish.

I wonder if those James bond films will ever show up...
riffjim4069 said:
I agree and I don't understand this one bit. Granted, they have bandwidth limitations...but why not toss broadcast Monsters, Rave, and one other movie channel? I can only quess they don't want to break up the VOOM HD 10 Pak. :confused:

its not a bandwidth issue, if it was do you think they would be able to provide 100/50MB ool service? This is a test they did earlier this year for businesses also they are currently testing a 20/2 version for residental use.

also i understand the want for hd but when places in the cablevision area dont have soapnet,speed channel, FX or Turner Classic, I believe these should be look at as they would take far less bandwidth then more hd channels but they cant do that.
Interesting, maybe we'll see some action on the Voom front in terms of additional programming and maybe see it even available on Cable. But aren't a lot of cable operators constrained by bandwidth as well limited their ability to add 10 new hd channels. Or perhaps I am wrong about this...
Once cable companies eliminate the analog tier they would be able to offer a lot of HD and more.

I would go back to any cable company that offered an all digital service
DirecTV was to high for me on the HD. I told them when I cut it off, if they had Voom HD added with what they had, I would pay it.
New Voom commercial available at Wal-mart.......

I work for a living as an Electronics Associate in Wal-mart. Daily I'm barraged with Wal-mart TV showing everything from music artists to movies to everyday items in a 15 minute loop 24/7. Anyways, I hear "Voom HD Originals" and happen to look up at the television screens to see a preview of Equator HD. The commercial itself is maybe about 2 minutes in length, but it shows the great lengths that they are going to advertise their programming package. At the very end of the commercial, it says "contact your local cable or satellite provider for more details."
Multiple commercials for Voom........

Tonight while at work I've noticed that there are multiple commercials for different Voom channels. Equator, Rush, Rave, and WorldSport each had their own commercial for Voom. I didn't see any other commercials for the other channels, but I'm sure this will change as time goes on.

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