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Sundance Channel "Branches Out" with March 26th Online Debut of "The Green" Networks Companion Site to On-Air Environmental Destination Set to Premiere April 17

Submitted by: Sundance Channel

Categories: Events

Posted: Mar 07, 2007 – 10:45 AM EST


Cable Network Targets Audience of "Independent Thinkers" With Extensive Site Redesign Anchored By Introduction of Innovative Interface, Expanded User-Friendly Features, Original Content and Community Tools, Redesign Reflects Launch of Multi-Platform Digit

Mar. 07 /CSRwire/ - New York, March 7, 2007 - In a move that underscores the rapid speed with which television and new media are merging, Sundance Channel today unveiled the next major step in the network's extensive multi-platform digital strategy: a redesigned online presence at www.sundancechannel.com, anchored by a new and innovative interface, the introduction of user-friendly features that provide users more control and additional original content. The long term goal: to leverage user preferences, deliver relevant content, build a community of online users and encourage sampling across the site for the network's target audience of "independent thinkers."

In addition, network executives announced the content details of their newest franchise, THE GREEN (www.sundancechannel.com/thegreen), television's first regularly- scheduled programming destination dedicated entirely to the environment. Presented by Lexus and Citi Smith Barney, the three-hour primetime block is set to premiere April 17th at 9:00 pm et/pt. Highlights of the mini-site, set to launch March 26 (see details below), include an exclusive eco-blog by producers of the leading environmental website treehugger.com (www.sundancechannel.com/treehuggerblog). The Treehugger blog, which officially debuts this week, will be updated daily and features a mix of exclusive and shared posts that examine all things green, from design and architecture to eco-friendly products to grassroots activism.

The announcements were made today by Christopher Barry, Vice President, Digital Media and Business Strategy, Sundance Channel.

The redesign of www.sundancechannel.com is broken down into two distinct areas:

VISION - dedicated to highlighting and extending the channel's on-air assets including film, documentaries and original series. Rich with video, imagery and text, new features include an upgraded schedule, deep video library and revamped video player where users can rate videos, bookmark favorites and browse playlists. This section also houses highly interactive mini-sites dedicated to each Sundance Channel original series.

VOICE - this section provides an interactive destination for the network's audience of "independent thinkers." VOICE will provide entree for users to join discussions on a wide range of issues, from film to politics, in the revamped discussion area and will house exclusive blogs and original web content. Additionally, the VOICE portion of the site will celebrate innovative and emerging talent in many different creative fields - for example, beginning early March, sundancechannel.com will shine a spotlight on the music, interactive and film scene at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

The site's format encourages the exploration and sampling of Sundance Channel's entire web offerings. Prior to the redesign, each area of the site operated as its own independent silo; the new interface provides users with options that include a wide range of related links and topics. The Examples include:

For A Change Machine - This innovative online tool brings Sundance Channel's tagline to life by providing a representative sampling of the website's content, including films, video clips, blogs and discussion boards. The widget allows users to navigate between VOICE and VISION seamlessly and discover the broad range of content available on the site. Additional features to be launched in the coming months include "You Also Might Like," which will provide users with a more "personalized" menu of programming choices based on related keywords and user tags.

"Revamped Schedule" - The schedule, which previously focused on series/film titles and airdates, has now been enhanced to allow users to set reminders, view video clips and sort by keywords including title and director.

The new site redesign was completed in collaboration with design firm TENDER (www.tendercreative.com).

Barry said: "Sundance Channel's new online look and feel reflects our ongoing commitment to present our programming in a multiplatform environment. The new web design allows us to interact with our viewers in innovative ways while also featuring original content created specifically for digital platforms. We are excited to engage further with our users through expanded features, more original content and new online tools."

The launch of the GREEN mini-site (www.sundancechannel.com/thegreen), underscores how prominently Sundance Channel's newest on-air franchise will be reflected on the web. In addition to the treehugger.com blog, exclusive content will include:

  • Webisodes - Weekly webisodes with host of Sundance Channel's THE GREEN, Simran Sethi-- who will provide context for the issues raised in that evening's featured documentary and highlight practical solutions viewers can employ to create positive change;

  • Second Life Events - Additional green screenings and events hosted each week by Sethi within the virtual world Second Life (sundancechannel.com/secondlife) giving viewers the chance to ask Sethi questions, meet one another and continue conversations prompted by that evening's presentation;

  • Advisory Committee - Links to and information about THE GREEN's Advisory Committee;

  • Eco-mmunity - An interactive map will allow the community of users to denote green items of interest on a U.S. map including eco-businesses, environmental groups, parks and trails and other items of significance. Markers will also be created for the Channel's on-air content and will include the locations of the people and business featured on television throughout THE GREEN,

"Sundance Channel is committed to extending THE GREEN across all platforms and aggregating the best environmental content and information. Working with Treehugger makes perfect sense for Sundance Channel. We also look forward to building on our early success in Second Life to create a way for green enthusiasts to interact with our host and our programming," Barry said.

"With these environmental topics being featured so prominently on-air, on Sundance Channel's website and on treehugger.com, the audience is potentially huge - it's a great thing. TreeHugger is flattered to be part of Sundance Channel's THE GREEN blogging team," commented Graham Hill, Founder and CEO, treehugger.com.

Members of the advisory committee for Sundance Channel's THE GREEN include some of the nation's top environmental and conservation organizations and experts. Organizational members of Sundance Channel's THE GREEN Advisory Committee are: The Apollo Alliance, Ceres, The Environmental Media Association (EMA), Global Green (USA), Greenpeace (USA), League of Conservation Voters (LCV), National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC), Oceana, The Sierra Club, Sustainable South Bronx, Treehugger, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), Waterkeeper Alliance, and The World Wildlife Fund.

Individual members of THE GREEN advisory committee are: Yves Behar (fuseproject), Majora Carter (Exec Director & Founder, Sustainable South Bronx), Laurie David (Global Warming Activist, Film Producer), Amanda Griscom Little (writer), Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (President, Waterkeeper Alliance), Mindy Lubber (President, Ceres), Joel Makower (founder & executive editor of Greenbiz.com), Pat Mitchell (President, Museum Radio and Television), Jerome Ringo (The Apollo Alliance & NWF), and Simran Sethi (TreeHugger).

Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs, all unedited and commercial free. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture of NBC Universal, CBS, and Robert Redford. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel's website address is www.sundancechannel.com.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Eaton Sundance Channel
Phone: 212.708.8043
Katie Lanegran Sundance Channel
Phone: 212.708.8044


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