Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced plans to premiere a new Horror and Thriller multi-platform network on Halloween, October 31, 2006. Plans for the new advertising-supported network were unveiled today at the NCTA National Show in Atlanta by Diane Robina, Comcast's newly appointed President of Emerging Networks and Steve Mosko, President of Sony Pictures Television.
The network will captivate fear seekers and fans of the horror film genre - one of the fastest growing genres at the box office. It will debut on video on demand and the Internet at launch, and will add a wireless platform in the future. The channel is the first multi-platform network that leverages the combined assets of the Sony and MGM libraries, which make up the largest collection of its kind in the world. Comcast and Sony announced their intent to create new distribution platforms for this content when the companies and other investors purchased the MGM library last year.
Horror and thriller films have emerged on the mainstream film scene in the last several years with box office numbers skyrocketing. Twenty percent of the feature films released by major studios in 2005 were in this category, and one in three of those debuted at number one at the box office. The genre, which now features top Hollywood stars and grosses more than $1 billion a year, has a growing fan base in the sought-after 18-34 demographic.
"Horror fans not only like this genre, they are passionate about it. This is the first channel of its kind devoted solely to serving this expanding audience and a great advertising opportunity to reach this demographic," says Robina. "The number of horror fans is growing exponentially, and they are hungry for this kind of multi-media experience. This is the perfect time and the ideal platform to introduce a dedicated horror experience."
"We are excited to be launching the first of our joint channels with our partners at Comcast," said Mosko. "More and more people are looking to a variety of sources for their entertainment, and this new channel will be available on multiple platforms simultaneously, redefining the idea of what a network is."
The network will feature film and TV contemporary thrillers, suspense dramas, horror titles and more on Comcast's ON DEMAND service on October 31 and will launch its multi-media fan website the same day.
"The depth of offerings available from the Sony and MGM libraries is unparalleled," adds Robina. "We have hundreds of titles at our disposal to satisfy every thrill seeker."
Horror movie fans will get the online experience they want through a video-rich, multimedia online environment that will become the horror destination for the fan community, and will include: exclusive horror outtakes, music downloads, a scream fest, original animation and behind-the-scenes footage. The network will add a wireless component that will feature horror ringtones, sound effects and other features designed specifically for the mobile experience.
The companies will announce the new network's name and additional details about the multi-media content in the coming months.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.4 million cable customers, 8.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.3 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a division of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.