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MyNet Shifts Away From Network Model

Feb 9, 2009  •  Post A Comment

MyNetworkTV, launched in 2006 as a sixth broadcast network, is shifting towards a “programming service model” featuring syndicated shows and the WWE for its 2009-10 season, partly to reduce costs.
MyNetwork will continue to air “WWE Friday Night Smackdown” on Fridays, a two-hour block of NBC Universal Television Distribution’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” on another night and a movie on a third.
The rest of the program service lineup will be announced later, prior to the upfront advertising sales market in May, News Corp.’s MyNet said.
“We can generate more ratings, more revenue by going after these very high-end, high-profile branded shows like ‘Law & Order,” said Greg Meidel, president of MyNet. “The current business model, financially, just doesn’t work.”
The new model may create opportunities for syndicators, giving them new slots into which they can sell shows and earn cash by keeping a portion of the advertising time in shows sold to MyNet. Premiering in 2006 to an unsuccessful format of telenovelas, MyNet switched formats to feature reality and sports programs in 2007. The network introduced its first scripted program, “Under One Roof” and picked up “Smackdown” in 2008.
The “Law & Order” deal works on a 50/50 barter split with NBC Universal.
Mr. Meidel said the move will lower costs for MyNet, and he noted that he wouldn’t be surprised if other networks begin trending toward the model.
It’s a time of flux for broadcast network, as lower demand for advertising is crimping margins and damping earnings. The CW, whose creation helped spur the creation of MyNet by leaving some old UPN and WB stations without programming, unsuccessfully experimented with selling its time to a third-party programmer, Media Rights Capital.
Mr. Meidel said he was resistant to the idea of a copying the CW’s MRC model, as it would be difficult and expensive to promote the programs.
MyNet’s new strategy creates questions: Why would affiliates need MyNet to secure prime-time syndicated content for them? While network affiliation helps stations establish brands, they are accomplished at buying daytime syndicated fare already. Also, station owners will be receiving a third different format from MyNet in three years, making it hard to establish a brand audiences can identify.
Calls to independent MyNet affiliate station groups Sinclair and LIN were not immediately returned.
Mr. Meidel said MyNet’s affiliate relations team was calling station group owners last night to inform them of the move.
(Editor: Baumann. Updated 5:30 a.m.)

17 Comments

  1. I’m convinced.
    My Network TV seems to be be in a better position than The CW, and I feel it’ll have greater success with this announcement.
    It’s not a network . . . it’s a block.

  2. I think that it is a smart move, but I do think that The CW will start to improve if it picks the right shows to move forward with.
    For Instance Buzzworthy shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl are not even the networks best performers, it is Stalwarts that are on the bubble like Smallville and Supernatural, but I think if they keep those shows and pick the right programming to compliment those shows the network can grow.
    I do think that MyNetworkTV is doing some right moves but I seen it as UPN reboot, TheCW as TheWB reboot. But both are not as good as the former.

  3. Tey’re getting WORSE and giving you a *total* snowjob on their slow samba to the would-be network graveyard! They’re cutting their hours and running even MORE repeats. They suck more than ever. Time to 86 BOTH disasters (The CW) and create a 21st Century PTEN (Prime Time Entertainment Network); reverting all stations *back* into indy stations and running whatever few bright spots they have, as syndicated fair and give the power *back* the new-indpendent stations to air it wherever they see fit.

  4. Just what the TV landscape needed: yet another place for Law and Order repeats.

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