Whistle To Launch Linear OTT Network, WhistleTV

VOD-loaded service is expected to debut by the end of the year

Whistle will launch its first linear over-the-top (OTT) channel, WhistleTV, in the fourth quarter. That was the announcement made by Whistle EVP of Distribution, Sales Strategy, Izzet Asayas during a panel discussion at the Streaming Summit at NAB New York on Thursday.

Under the plan, WhistleTV will offer 24-hour ad-supported content that will include, at least at the start, all-VOD content: original programming, episodic content, programming from smaller sports leagues looking for additional distribution, and movies/documentaries.

As part of the announcement, Whistle also made a key executive appointment, naming Griffin Gmelich EVP, OTT and content. Gmelich has spent nearly eight years at Nacelle, a production house that produces feature films, TV shows, and documentaries. He also has previous experience in content acquisitions for Hulu.

“We’re looking forward to expanding Whistle’s content offerings to the linear OTT space and are pleased that WhistleTV will bring a new slate of diversified IP to market,” Gmelich said in a formal release following the announcement. “Whistle’s deep portfolio of existing and new franchises, as well as talent-infused content, will meet audiences everywhere they consume content, whether it be on social and soon to be in linear, too.”

Launch of the OTT network follows Whistle’s acquisition this month of Vertical Networks, a mobile-first digital studio producing sports and entertainment shows for Snapchat.