Outdoor Channel Considers Selling Aerial Camera Biz

The parent of the Outdoor Channel is exploring a sale of its non-core business -- the cameras suspended above sports events that provide an above-the-action view. The company said it has engaged Noble Financial Capital Markets to help it evaluate strategic alternatives for its aerial camera unit, which includes the CableCam and SkyCam operations used largely for football games.

Outdoor Channel Holdings acquired the businesses in 2009 when it bought Winnercomm, which had significant production capabilities in the outdoor arena.

In May 2009, Outdoor Channel Holdings inked a multi-year agreement with ESPN, where it would continue to use aerial cameras for “Monday Night Football” and other events. NBC and Fox have also used them.

Outdoor Channel Holdings’ share price climbed more than 6% to $7.17 on news of the possible sale. The aerial camera business brought in $1.1 million in revenue in the first quarter, accounting for 8% of the company total.  

In its annual report, Outdoor Channel Holdings said it hoped to expand the aerial camera business beyond the sports arena. The company cryptically noted Tuesday that its services have been used “most recently in connection with government research.” They have also been deployed at the Olympics and World Cup.

The Winnercomm acquisition was made under previous CEO Roger Werner, an former ESPN CEO.

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