Iditarod Trail Committee and Network Announce Lifestyle Programming and Media Partnership Celebrating Iconic American Event and Great Alaskan Tradition

Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor television for American sportsmen and women, has been named the Official Network of the Iditarod as part of an ambitious partnership with the event’s governing board. The announcement was made today by Gavin Harvey, CEO of Sportsman Channel.

The Iditarod – “The Last Great Race On Earth” – has not had a national television network partner since 2009.  In the groundbreaking agreement with Sportsman Channel, the event organizers will continue to produce the annual sled dog spectacle and provide extensive, in-depth coverage, video and updates through a robust online platform.

As the Official Network of The Iditarod, Sportsman Channel will exclusively showcase the dramatic stories of The Iditarod – including the incredible sled dogs, the indomitable men and women, the punishing adventure, and spectacular Alaskan wilderness. In a multi-week stunt entitled Iditarod Unleashed, Sportsman will air 12 hours of programming and specials – including the national television premiere of shows from The Iditarod library – timed around the 2014 event.  Additionally, the network will utilize its promotional muscle to drive awareness of The Iditarod and Iditarod Unleashed with an extensive multimedia marketing campaign.

The first of 12 hours of Iditarod Unleashed programming begins March 25 at 7 p.m. ET with a one-hour special “Why Do They Run?” Coverage also will include a two-part documentary on the 2014 event that involves other up-close-and-personal lifestyle stories of the participants and organizers, as well as the history of the iconic event.

“The Iditarod is a wilderness spectacle, a beloved Alaskan tradition, and a red, wild and blue American treasure,” said Gavin Harvey, CEO of Sportsman Channel. “We are honored by this partnership and look forward to the collaboration and growth ahead.”

“We are excited that Iditarod fans outside the State of Alaska will again be able watch the great Iditarod programming on television through our new partnership with Sportsman Channel,” said Stan Hooley, Executive Director of the Iditarod Trail Committee. “Sportsman Channel is the leader in the outdoor television genre and we look forward to having their viewers experience the competition and drama of the 2014 race, as well as see some great specials about the dogs and the history of this amazing event.”

“Iditarod Unleashed on Sportsman will deliver dramatic stories of the dogs, mushers, volunteers, history, wildlife and unforgiving terrain with this world-famous Alaskan test of rugged endurance,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President, Programming & Production of Sportsman Channel. “With so much incredible content to choose from, the challenge for us will be to select which stories to focus on.”

The 2014 Iditarod Trail sled dog race begins on March 1, in Anchorage, Alaska.  Teams consisting of 16 dogs and one musher begin in Anchorage and end their journey 1,161 miles later in Nome. Along the way, approximately 1,000 dogs will start the race and the winning team will reach its destination in a little more than eight days. The rugged and barren Alaskan terrain consists of 26 checkpoints on the Northern Route and 27 checkpoints on the Southern Route, including three mandatory rest stops. The dogs will burn nearly 10,000 calories per day.

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Logo courtesy Sportsman Channel

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