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Follow-up on this week's Postcard

Rocketboom may be the poster child for original online video programming, but there are other great examples and Sail.tv is one of the latest. (70,000 viewers in its first month.) The NYTimes interviews Andy Steward, Lauren Zalaznick (president of Bravo and Trio, two cable channels owned by NBC Universal) and others.

Internet TV Aims at Niche Audiences
New York Times

Quoted: Andy Steward, a successful London computer consultant and sailboat racer, became exasperated when trying to watch his favorite sport on television. There were a few half-hour recaps of some major sailing races, but they were always shown late at night.

Mr. Steward looked into creating a sailing channel on the Sky satellite service in Britain, but his idea was soon dead in the water. He would have had to pay 85,000 (nearly $150,000) to start the channel and 40,000 a month (nearly $70,000), as well as the production costs. That was a lot of money for an untested concept.

But in January, he did introduce a sailing channel, one that is rapidly filling with sailing talk shows, product reviews, programs on sailing techniques and, most important, intense coverage of the sort of smaller races that don't make it onto traditional television.

His new channel, however, will not be available over the air. And it won't be found on cable or even on satellite, at least not yet. The channel, called Sail.tv, is broadcast only on the Internet, which enables video to reach a much larger worldwide audience at a much lower initial cost than a satellite channel. Because "we didn't have any idea how big the audience would be," Mr. Steward said, he wanted to keep his expenses as low as possible. "Internet television is an investment we can grow into," he said.

Full story: New York Times

Sunday, March 12, 2006   permalink to archived copy   del.icio.us   DiggIt  

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