Hook.TV aims to catch anglers

Castle Creek Productions, in a joint venture with DAVE Networks, announced today the launch of HOOK.tv, an entirely new broadband TV channel and social community site devoted to the sport of fly-fishing. HOOK.tv is powered by DAVE Networks, the developer of the S.O.C.I.A.L. platform which powers broadband video social communities around brands. In conjunction with the launch of the HOOK.tv site, Castle Creek Productions is also launching its first TV series, “HOOK.tv Adventure Guides” sponsored by Suzuki ATVs, airing on VERSUS for the first time on April 7. The series is the first of many original HOOK.tv-branded entertainment properties to be launched on cable and satellite networks that will cross promote the HOOK.tv platform.

HOOK.tv founder and CEO John Dietsch, known in the film industry for masterminding the fly-fishing scenes in Robert Redford’s film, “A River Runs Through It,” is also the executive producer of Castle Creek Productions, a production house with a track record of producing over 300 projects, TV episodes, and multimedia segments focused on lifestyle and adventure travel. Castle Creek will serve as HOOK.tv’s production arm in the creation of content designed to air on both HOOK.tv and on cable television networks. Dietsch notes, “As a boutique production company, we saw an incredible opportunity in using a digital platform as a means of creating and distributing drilled-down content. The idea is to create a community for micro-niche fishing and outdoor sports aficionados. Fly-fishing for me is a religion and a way of life. It was a natural choice to start with this demographic.”

In its first joint venture, DAVE Networks is working with HOOK.tv to create a multi-channel player that will support three key areas including fly-fishing, bass fishing and saltwater fishing. The platform will eventually target broader outdoor sports and adventure travel as well. In addition to HOOK.tv original series programming, visitors to the site will have access to over 200 hours of professionally produced fly-fishing content. Users can also upload their own content, create their own channels, and win prizes through e-tournaments. CEO of DAVE Networks, Rex Wong, adds, “It’s exciting to think of the average user having the ability to choose their own fishing experiences on HOOK.tv, and tailor the site to their needs. Whether they’re simply a fan of the sport, or a guide who wants to upload video condition reports for their area, or even a more enterprising individual interested in creating their own channel for syndication, the possibilities are endless.”

Cable television network VERSUS is working with HOOK.tv to create synergies in the online media world of fishing. HOOK.tv’s first original series “HOOK.tv Adventure Guides,” will premiere new episodes on Saturdays at 1:00pm EDT on VERSUS, beginning April 7, with reruns the following Thursday at 11:30am EDT. “HOOK.tv Adventure Guides” is a series that delves into the lives of some of the world’s most charismatic and devoted fly-fishing guides, offering a comprehensive, behind-the-scenes glimpse into a world most anglers only dream of. The series also serves as a cross-promotional tool for the HOOK.tv website.

Advertisers too have seen the opportunities in this new affinity-based digital media environment, and already SUZUKI is on board as a title sponsor for “HOOK.tv Adventure Guides,” as well as significant portions of the HOOK.tv platform. “Suzuki saw an opportunity to focus its ATV sales in the area of fly fishing and fishing in general and the HOOK.tv platform and TV series gives us a desirable targeted demographic. Suzuki also wanted to have a presence in the online video marketplace,” says Steve Bortolamedi, Advertising Manager at American Suzuki Motor Corporation Motorcycle and ATV Operations. VERSUS and several endemic fly-fishing brands will also advertise on the platform. Other advertisers are slated to be announced next week. Dietsch points out that there are still partnerships available for forward-thinking brands who want gain a foothold in this exciting micro-niche play targeted to young affluent males. “With the advent of digital distribution over the Internet, mobile phones, cable VOD and PDAs, what we have to realize is that there is no longer a gatekeeper. The large networks are seeing the synergies that can be created with a boutique start-up like HOOK.tv in this new online media world. Whereas the television networks are starting at 30,000 feet above the ground, a niche play like HOOK.tv has the advantage of starting from the ground up. And as such, there is a lot of room for growth and cooperation.”