BOSTON, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Outdoor Channel, America's Leader In Outdoor TV, today announced that it is ramping up production on several new and returning shows for 2012 and 2013 as part of the Company's efforts to further reinforce the value of the Outdoor Channel brand and its category leadership.
"We are continuing to execute a bold content investment strategy, as we look to develop a host of compelling new shows across our core hunting, fishing and shooting categories," said Tom Hornish, President and CEO, Outdoor Channel. "Not only are we looking to strengthen the competitive positioning of our programming, we're out to nab a larger slice of the 183 million U.S. outdoor enthusiast pie by igniting increased viewer demand."
The core components of this initiative are focused around building out character- and competition-driven programming, bolstering the programming lineup with the brightest stars and best talent in the industry, and expanding upon the network's top-rated shows by creating spin-off series and producing full one-hour programs.
"Proof points of our concerted programming effort are evident in our upcoming summer and fall lineups, including the return of 'MidwayUSA's Gun Stories' starring Joe Mantegna and the expansion of 'Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge' from a four-part special to 13 half-hour episodes, in addition to the 2013 debut of 'Elite Tactical Unit,' a compelling character-centric series featuring a number of real life S.W.A.T. team members," said Jeffrey Wayne, Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, Outdoor Channel. "These programs, along with several others, are building blocks for an improved level of engagement with our current audience, as well as with new viewers."
Among the character/competition-driven programming is "Elite Tactical Unit," a one-hour series hosted by U.S. Special Forces veteran Mykel Hawke ("One Man Army," "Man, Woman, Wild"). The show will feature two Special Weapons and Tactics teams, led by former Special Forces operators, going head-to-head as they compete in missions. Airing in 2013, the second season of "Jack Link's Major League Fishing" will offer high-intensity, real-time competitive bass fishing events designed to bring high-level challenges to contestants, such as Boyd Duckett, Kevin VanDam and Skeet Reese. Furthermore, the biggest names in professional bull riding join the ranks of Outdoor Channel talent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2012, with the addition of "Ford Trucks Takes PBR Outdoors" hosted by veteran outdoorsmen and acclaimed wildlife artist Steven LeBlanc. "Outfitter Bootcamp," a Q3 half-hour show, follows 12 students as they try to pass muster with award-winning big-game outfitter Tim Doud in the heart of the Rocky Mountain backcountry in the hopes of becoming bona fide outfitters. And, in a world of high tech hunters, weapons and technology, Q3's "Sasquatch," produced by Trev Gowdy, stars mountain man Laramy Miller, who traverses the Canadian Rockies to the plains of the Midwest, hunting, trapping and surviving off the land – the hard way.
The growing success of shows on the network has spurred a new, extended season and a spin-off of "Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge" and "Gun Stories: Rapid Fire," respectively. With 2012 marking the fourth year of "Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge" appearing on the network, the now expanded reality program, created in partnership with Bonnier Corporation, follows the tough, competitive road to the crowning of the Total Outdoorsman champion. The half-hour series, kicking off in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012, will highlight the dramatic journey of outdoor enthusiasts from across the country battling for recognition as the nation's most all-around skilled outdoorsman in head-to-head skill challenges ranging from fly fishing to archery to ATV handling. "Gun Stories: Rapid Fire" – a companion show to 2011's Outdoor Channel breakout hit "MidwayUSA's Gun Stories" – will light up Q4 with 30 high-octane minutes that feature the best of automatic weaponry, military hardware and fascinating stories behind the world's most popular modern rapid-firing weapons.
Even more outdoor industry legends, alongside esteemed actors, athletes and musicians, will showcase their love of all things outdoors on the network. Hosted by actor and gun enthusiast Joe Mantegna ("Criminal Minds," "The Godfather: Part III"), "MidwayUSA's Gun Stories" takes viewers through a history of firearms, from the heart of the design through its use on the range. Commentary from historians, shooters, trainers and industry experts make this half-hour Q3 series must-see-TV for gun nuts. With "Realtree's NASCAR Outdoors," the biggest stars of NASCAR meet the biggest names in hunting. The 30-minute Q3 program presents a behind-the-scenes look at the men and women that spend their lives on the track and in the pits of America's hottest racing league, as they pursue their outdoor passions in the field. "Red Arrow" features a touch of country music celebrity with Zac Brown of the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, as he and Kip Campbell hunt large and small game with bow, rifle and shotgun in this Q3 half-hour show. "Live 2 Hunt," a reality-based hunting show filmed in Canada that premiere's in Q3, follows hunting sage Jim Shockey's former camera man, Cody Robbins, as he, his family and friends embark on various big game hunts across North America with world-record results.
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 leading and highest quality producers of live sporting events and sports series for cable and broadcast television. Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. also owns and operates the 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.
SOURCE Outdoor Channel
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