Former Tennis Mogul Bellamy Announces Ski Channel Film Festival

Posted on January 27, 2008

Tennis Channel founder Steve Bellamy, who has since left the channel and will debut The Ski Channel in the first half of 2008, has announced another new venture -- the 1st annual The Ski Channel Film Festival.

"The quantity of films made in ski, snowboard, mountain biking, rock climbing and most mountain activity every year is staggering," Bellamy said. "I don't think there is a more prolifically-filmed subject matter, and we are going to build the ultimate arena to aggregate and showcase this body of work every year."

The festival will feature categories in ski, snowboard, mountain biking, rock climbing, directing, best athletes and various other categories. One of the main awards will be given on behalf of the man who 'invented' the ski film industry, Warren Miller. "The Warren Miller Award" will recognize someone each year for a significant lifetime achievement in the sport. 

"I am honored to be a part of The Ski Channel Film Festival and am a huge believer in The Ski Channel," said Warren Miller. "This network is an endeavor I plan to help in any way I can and plan to work closely with, as it will be a tremendous catalyst for the promotion and growth of snow sports."

The Ski Channel also announced a partnership deal with Cox Communications, adding to Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Network systems. The deal puts The Ski Channel in all Cox VOD-enabled systems. The additional subscribers contractually guarantee the network will be in at least 13 million cable households.  Over 20 million households are expected at launch.

The channel is currently in discussions with numerous U.S.-based ski resorts and mountain towns to host the festival and it is likely that other events will take place in conjunction.

Bellamy stepped down from the Tennis Channel in May 2006.

"I've been contemplating this for a while and believe it is the right time to make this change," Bellamy said at the time. "Although tennis is one of my life's main passions, and the knowledge, experience and relationships gained over the past seven years at The Tennis Channel were an incredible gift, there are a few other things in life that I'm really excited about doing."

The Ski Channel is an ad-supported network delivered via VOD (video on demand) web, mobile and other means of distribution. It is the only cable television network devoted to the wide variety of year-round mountain activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing, along with many off-slope activities.