A&E Unloads on Cable Rivals

May 10, 2012  •  Post A Comment

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.”


  1. The nadir of television are these so-called “reality” shows. For A&E to complain about “theft” of their “ideas” is not only ludicrous, but silly that anyone would feel pride in creating what is a virus of doom with these shows.

  2. Remember when A&E stood for “Arts and Entertainment”? Now it stands for “Crap and More Crap”.

  3. To be fair, there was also a period in the mid-’90s when “A & E” stood for “the Ammo & Explosives” network – it was WWII, 24/7…

  4. To be fair, in the 90’s A&E was actually doing “Arts and Entertainment” programming and it was “The History Channel” that aired WWII almost 24/7…hence the name, “The Hitler Channel.”

  5. Swamp People. Ice Road Truckers. Dog, Bounty Hunter.
    The true “golden age” of TV.
    Brandon Tartikoff and Fred Silverman were giants. These folks above are shadows living off of sub-fees.

  6. I can’t believe you morons pay for cable TV. You are the ones perpetuating this garbage.

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