Huntington Beach, California (Aug. 4th, 2012) – Friday at the US Open of Surfing 2012 marked a monumental day in surf history when sports and entertainment entrepreneur, Steve Bellamy, announced the launch of a new network dedicated to the great sport of surfing. The Surf Channel, going live in September of 2012, will be the first national television network ever dedicated to surfers, surfing and surf culture.
The Surf Channel is an original, free, ad supported television network soon to be delivered on cable, satellite and IPTV services, web and wireless. The Video On Demand television network can be found on cable, satellite, telco and digital. Distribution partners include: Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network and Filmon.com
Caption: Kelly Slater at the US Open of Surfing, August 3rd, 2012, interviewed by Editor-In-Chief of The Surf Channel, Shannon Marie Quirk. The Surf Channel Television Network launch was announced Friday in conjunction with the US Open of Surfing by founder, Steve Bellamy, as a new network dedicated to surfers, surfing and surf culture. Photo: Surf Channel/Jason Alexander
A full programming palette will be announced shortly; the channel will launch with the greatest surf and action sport film of all time, ‘The Endless Summer.’ Its legendary filmmaker, Bruce Brown, commented, “The Surf Channel is going to be one of the best things to ever happen to our industry, allowing tens of millions of people living room access to the sport and culture of surfing - something we’ve never had before. I stand with the rest of the ambassadors of surf to do everything to help this channel succeed!"
Golf has a channel. Tennis has a channel. Football, baseball, basketball, skiing, soccer and motor sports all have successful channels. Yet, the largest annual sporting event in the world is the US Open of Surfing, with over 500,000 fans watching from the sand, and more than 3.5 million webcast viewers in 2011. Its time to finally grant surfing the platform that it deserves.
The Surf Channel founder, Steve Bellamy, was the person who started The Tennis Channel and The Ski Channel in the shed of his backyard. The Tennis Channel now holds all the broadcast rights to the Grand Slams, Davis Cup and the most influential events in tennis. Many people say that the television network has done more for tennis than anything since Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs. To complete a trifecta with surf, his third network will be 24-hours a day, 365-days a year straight to the living room of cable and satellite subscribers, featuring nothing but surf! How long has the industry been waiting to hear those words?
The Surf Channel will be free for consumers who have digital cable and will feature original series, surf films, competition coverage and travel programming. The new network announced its existence to the world here at the US Open with a large press conference and luncheon in the media compound Friday, August 3rd, 2012. Since the announcement, media outlets worldwide are buzzing about the news. Beautiful girls in their yellow Surf Channel tank tops cover the sand in Huntington this week, and you can hardly walk a few steps without seeing the stylish wave logo. Surf Channel cameras and crew are new on the scene at the Open, and have been editing new videos around the clock to fill the new YouTube platform and prepare for the television network launch.
Is the surf world big enough to sustain its own network? “The amount of people who aspire to the lifestyle is staggering,” Bellamy said. “Surf culture, clothing and content are hugely appealing, and it makes sense to build a platform like this. But our goal isn’t about exploiting what is there, rather to provide for who is there to grow beyond. The surfers and the surfing community come first; this network is dedicated to them.”
The Surf Channel and its sister network, The Ski Channel, will share all basic back office functions, but will be completely separate in branding and editorial. Additionally, the channel has signed a preferred partnership deal with YouTube for the surf category and will build a separate slate of content for that platform. The Surf Channel YouTube is the official partnered online platform for the sport of surfing.
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