Editor's Note: You may have read my editorial a while back about my displeasure with OLN (Outdoor Life Network). OLN isn't making any big programming changes apparently, but at least they are about to stop trying to pass themselves off as the "Outdoor Life Network." Thank goodness for small favors... now if we can just convince Comcast to bring us The Outdoor Channel.
Stamford, Connecticut - OLN, which will be changing its name to VERSUS on September 25, today announced that the network's distribution has surpassed 70 million homes. The network, which features competition in the field and on the field, is the national cable home of the NHL and best-in-class events like the Tour de France, the Professional Bull Riders and the America's Cup. It also includes the finest field sports programming on television, with shows like Whitetail Revolution, TRCP's Life in the Open and The World of Beretta highlighting a robust field sports schedule. Shows like The Barbeque Championship Series and Soul of a Champion round out the network's competition-laden original programming.
"The cable distribution marketplace has never been more competitive," said Gavin Harvey, President. "We have been tireless in our efforts to make this network more valuable to our distributors, our partners, our advertisers and our viewers, and it is paying off. Every person in this company, from programming, to marketing and, of course, our dedicated affiliate sales team, should be proud of this milestone in our network's history. It's an exciting way to usher in our future as VERSUS."
The network has added 7.2 million homes since January, making it the third-fastest growing cable network in 2006 and the fastest growing network in the sports category. Some notable additions to this year's schedule have included Fight Night, a collaboration with leading boxing promoters Top Rank to televise twelve live signature boxing matches as well as classic fights from Top Rank's vast library; and the NHL playoffs, which helped boost network ratings by 169% during that period, as compared to year ago figures. VERSUS will begin televising college football games from the Mountain West Conference in September and the games of the National Lacrosse League in 2007.
OLN features the finest field sports programming on television by partnering with the best producers, talent, organizations and sponsors in the industry. Sportsmen tune in to OLN for their hunting and fishing action every Thursday and Friday night, as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings. Shows featured in the network's field sports block include The Best & Worst of Tred Barta, Whitetail Revolution, Shark Hunters: East vs. West, Dangerous Game, TRCP's Life in the Open, and The World of Beretta. A full listing of the network's field sports programs is available on the web site at OLNTV.com, the sportmen's source for hunting and angling clips, insider tips and program schedules.
The network's new moniker, VERSUS, is the culmination of a two-year network evolution. It was chosen not only for its bold nature, but because it universally evokes competition, which will be at the heart of the network. VERSUS will focus on competition and the inherent challenges athletes and sportsmen face. The channel will celebrate the competitive gene and keep the ideals of tradition, perseverance, courage and skill alive.
OLN (OLNTV.com) is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events like The Tour de France, the America's Cup, the Dakar Rally, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Professional Boxing, the Boston Marathon, AMA Motocross and Davis Cup. Now in more than 70 million homes, the network features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can't find elsewhere. The network offers unique, competition-themed original programming and is the exclusive home of Survivor in syndication. OLN, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.