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Volume 21 No. 2
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Outside looks to viewers to supply video for site

Outside Television has revamped its website to operate less as a promotional vehicle for its channel and more as one where viewers can watch and share adventure-related video.

Rob Faris, Outside’s senior vice president of programming and production, said the shift was made because, “We felt there was an opportunity for us to feature short-form content exclusively for a digital audience.”

The revamped, video-heavy Outside Television website will include user-generated content.
The channel’s carriage agreements with distributors limit the amount of video that can be shared between the channel and the website; cable and satellite operators don’t want to pay for television programming that’s available for free online. That means Outside will look to create new content and pay an undisclosed fee for some digital programming from companies like Red Bull Media House or IMG. It also will feature short-form adventure-related video from sponsors such as Oakley, GoPro, The North Face and Patagonia.

Outside will depend on a lot of user-generated content on the site, which allows people to upload their own videos.
“We think this is the best way to drive a digital audience to our brand,” Faris said. “This is an opportunity for us to separate our linear TV offering and reach a separate audience.”

The change, which occurred last month, will curate tweets and is close to a deal with Spotify to feature music playlists around the outdoor programming genre. It has a deal with the micro-blogging tool Tout and eventually plans to feature updated weather reports for resorts.

Outside executives expect some of its digital videos to be available on other sites, such as Yahoo or Hulu.

“The channel’s website has not been a stand-alone entertainment experience,” said Mark Keys, Outside’s vice president of digital media. “That’s where we want to take this.”

The website was redesigned internally. The site uses the Bright Cove video player for most of its videos, though users can embed videos through YouTube and Vimeo.

Outside Television launched in the summer of 2010, taking over the feed from Resort Sports Network. The network’s programming focuses on adventure sports, including surfing and skiing.

Last year, it signed its biggest distribution deal to date to be included on Comcast’s digital sports tier. Company executives say that it’s in roughly 10 million homes.