H&C is offering a linear 24-hour channel, a 10-day catch-up service and video-on-demand for US$8.99 (€7.40) a month or US$89.99 a year.
H&C subscribers in the United States will have access to over 500 hours of sport, masterclasses and documentaries, with new shows premiering each week, and a calendar of US and international equestrian competitions.
Content on the service includes exclusive live coverage of the Badminton Horse Trials in May.
New productions commissioned and produced in the US for the service will start to air on April 30, including Jenny Oz LeRoy’s Horse Report, a US version of H&C’s event-based magazine format. Other content inlcudes Backstage Pass with Monty Roberts, Equitrekking, and series from Parelli Natural Horsemanship. A new US-focused series of H&C‘s Barn Talk and Masterclass will debut featuring US Olympic show-jump rider Laura Kraut.
H&C said that discussions are in advanced stages with US distribution partners networks, and a number of launches are expected to follow later in 2018.
“We are in discussion with various platforms for further distribution deals. We have a distribution strategy which allows us to adapt to the market; we are aiming for distribution with partner platforms – i.e. carriage – as well as direct to consumer and OTT, and connected devices,” said Susan Elkington, director of network development and business affairs.
“We believe that the equestrian sports sector is underserved in TV and in the US. We have a good demographic profile which skews young, active and dedicated. It is a highly popular participation sport, with significant sector spend, value chain and events. H&C has been steadily increasing its distribution and reach; the US is our seventh country. We expect it to be a good market for us. At this stage, we cannot comment on our target for subscribers. We are delighted to be working with Roku there,” she said.
The launch on Roku streaming devices in the United States coincides with the launch of the channel via web, iOS, Android and Chromecast apps.
Technology partners include Amagi Media Labs for cloud based delivery and Airbeem, which uses the Comcast Technology Solutions MPX platform for OTT delivery. The latter delivers subscriber authentication.
H&C currently reaches about 30 million viewers in the UK, Irleand, Germany, the Nhterhlands, Sweden and Australia via OTT and affiliate pay TV distributors.
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