Ten Minutes with Mark Burchill
Mark Burchill is CEO of Outside Television—a network dedicated to the active outdoor lifestyle.
Photo by Ryan Lavine
Mark Burchill is CEO of Outside Television—the only national programming network dedicated to the active outdoor lifestyle. Modeled on Outside Magazine, the channel showcases running, biking, skiing, sailing, surfing, kayaking, and any other adventures involving wind, water, snow, and terrain. Burchill, who lives in Southport, won four national championships as part of the Hobart lacrosse team
Outside Television is available in 50 million homes. Is that number growing?
Yes, we grow our cable distribution every year, but the exciting news is that Outside Television is now available over the Internet through services like Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.
Is there a typical day at the office for you?
Our office is on the Saugatuck River in Westport. It is a nice setting for a company based on the outdoor lifestyle. The best part of my job is working with my production team on new show concepts and watching them come to life.
What outdoor sports do you like?
My favorite “outside” sport is skiing. We lived in Telluride when my kids were younger. We still try to make skiing a big part of our lives.
Have you tried any extreme sports?
I picked up kiteboarding with some friends here in Connecticut. I have seen what is known as “kitemare”—
although luckily nothing that ended too badly.
What’s your personal motto?
Never ski past powder to find powder.
You have started very successful global companies such as 24/7 Media. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Take every day as it comes. Just when you think everything is going to fall apart, something good happens and you end up in a whole new place.
What do you envision for the future of television and channels like Outside TV?
Television will be on demand and delivered to all your devices—as it already is in many cases. You will still visit your favorite channels for the content you like. In the case of action/adventure, we hope and expect people to come to Outside TV.
What do you love about living in Southport?
I can’t think of any other place I would rather raise my kids. I love the people here and the sense of values. I think my kids are going to end up being great human beings based on all the positive influences they have here.
What’s your ideal vacation?
Twice we have chartered sailboats in warm-weather locations as a family. It is a good mixture of adventure and vacation and has become the family favorite.
We hear you were a lacrosse star at Hobart. Do you get a chance to play now?
I don’t play much anymore, but I coach both my boys here in Fairfield. They keep asking me to do it again every year—so I figure I am doing something right.
Any favorite spots in town?
We like to stay local in Southport at restaurants like Paci and Gray Goose. The Horseshoe is walking distance from my house, which is nice.