A&E Networks used its upfront presentation Wednesday to lash out at its cable rivals and other programmers, blasting everyone from Discovery to YouTube for copying its ideas, Advertising Age reports.
Said Abbe Raven, A&E Networks president and CEO: "We are creating genres on TV; we don’t copy others. We don’t want the 25th generation of pawn or storage shows like TLC, Discovery or TruTV."
She added: "A&E is about blazing a trail, not following someone else’s."
The story notes: “The success of reality fare like History’s ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Swamp People’ has led to similar shows at other cable networks. But A&E relentlessly reminded advertisers and media buyers who started the trend in auctioning and other niche genres.”
Said Nancy Dubuc, president of A&E’s History and Lifetime networks: "Though often imitated, our originals need no introduction.” Dubuc then played a “sizzle reel” featuring reality programs, with the video calling "Ice Road Truckers" the one that started it all, "Swamp People" the first of its kind and "American Restoration" a show that defined a genre.
A&E Networks also tackled the recent NewFront presentations by online players including AOL and Hulu. Said Raven: "A&E will beat any content YouTube can dream up.”