Tennis Evangelist Bellamy Launches Ski Channel on Comcast

Posted on July 19, 2010

Tennis evangelist Steve Bellamy, founder of the Tennis Channel, has virtually disappeared from the tennis world since leaving the Tennis Channel to found The Ski Channel. Now the entrepreneur has connections to two channels on Comcast cable as The Ski Channel recently announced a long-term deal with Comcast on Demand.

"I seem to be spending more time in the tennis business these days," Bellamy said from California. "On July 25th we have the 3rd annual Shotgun 21 World Championships which is one of the best tournaments of the year. Then all four of my kids are playing tournaments on the weekends. That's on top of the two facilities we manage."

The chairman and CEO of The Ski Channel says his 18-month-old ski network will now reach viewers in 43 million households.

"Our deal with Comcast enables us to reach skiers and snow sports enthusiasts in destination ski areas and local and ski destination feeder markets," said Bellamy. "The fact that Comcast is innovative and advancing television technology enhances the value proposition immensely for us as we too are on the cutting edge of technology."

"The Ski Channel brings great independent programming to our customers and is a unique and targeted fit for many of our local markets," said Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President of New Media at Comcast. 

The Ski Channel has also produced a slate of original ski films that will be a part of a massive US grass roots film tour in mid-October.  Through long-term exclusive partnerships with the National Ski Council Federation and the National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association, ski clubs and ski shops around America, The Ski Channel will hold local premieres of the films before they are distributed on the television network. 

Promoters will have a choice of two full-length feature films and one short film.  "The Story" stars Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Willie Bogner, Kristi Leskinen, Chris Benchetler, Reggie & Zack Crist, Mike Douglas and numerous other stars of skiing, snowboarding, wing suit flying, speed flying, river surfing and kite skiing.  The film takes viewers into deep character dives with the most famous skiers to the most obscure ski bums as well as to the top of Mount Everest, never before skied skyscraper lines in Alaska and various gut-wrenching variations on human flight.  The trailer for "The Story" is located here:

A full-length documentary on skiing's greatest rebel and cult hero, Bill Johnson has also been produced.  The definitive sports Greek Tragedy, Johnson's story starts with his Ali-like claim that everyone else was racing for second.  The "nose picker" as Franz Klammer called him made good on his bet as he struck gold in Sarajevo at the downhill in the 1984 Winter Olympics.  Two more World Cup victories followed shortly after and Johnson was the world's greatest downhiller�"And then it was gone," said Phil Mahre of Johnson's life.  The documentary follows Johnson through the story of trying to win back his family and his life.  The trailer for the Bill Johnson Documentary is located here:

Lastly, a documentary on the late Shane McConkey was in production last year, but unfortunately four days into the shoot, he was killed in a ski wing suit base jump in the Dolomites.  Those four days have been packaged into a short film with Shane, his wife and daughter as well as legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones with his daughter.