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‘American Idol’ Host Creating New TV Network With Mark Cuban

Jan 19, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest is creating his own TV network in partnership with Mark Cuban, who has agreed to rebrand his HDNet network as AXS (pronounced Access) TV, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The partnership will include AEG and CAA, with the network set to debut this summer, the story notes.

The network will rely on the music assets of AEG, which is a top venue owner and tour promoter, and on Seacrest’s connections, the piece notes. Programming will be geared to live lifestyle and live entertainment shows.

While financial terms weren’t disclosed, the article notes that Cuban is about a 50-50 partner. Seacrest is a stakeholder and doesn’t have plans to appear on air, the piece adds.

HDNet is already in 35 million homes via distributors such as DirecTV, Comcast and Verizon, the story says.

The piece notes: "Still, even with distribution, it’s not certain viewers will show up. One needs only look at Oprah Winfrey’s low-rated OWN, a rebrand of Discovery Health, for a cautionary tale.”

Cuban is upbeat about the venture, telling the publication: "HDNet was profitable coming into this deal, and we think we’ll be even more profitable and be able to invest even more in the business because of the great partnerships we have and the great leverage that all the access AEG and Ryan bring to the table.”

2 Comments

  1. DON’T DO IT! I actually watch HDNet quite a bit. If it’s changed into another OWN, I will delete it from my remote. Bad enough I lost my favorite soap to “The Revolution”, though on the plus side it did free up an hour in my day. We have too many “lifestyle” programs out there; we don’t need more of this useless junk. I do not watch OWN, I do not watch “The Revolution” (or “The Chew”) and I will not watch AXS!

  2. I agree. HDNet is a great, quirky little channel and as a viewer since launch, I’d like to see it stay that way. HDNet IS profitable now but I don’t see it staying that way once the re-branding happens. Bad, bad move.

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