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post #1 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Cuban Rebranding HDNet as AXS TV in JV with AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, CAA

Net To Relaunch This Summer, Expands Dish Distribution in New Partnership

Melissa Grego (Broadcasting & Cable) -- Multichannel News, 1/18/2012 5:01:00 PM






Mark Cuban's HDNet will be rebranded as AXS TV (pronounced "access") as part of a joint venture with AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and Creative Artists Agency.

As part of the deal, holding company Ryan Seacrest Media will have a stake in AXS.

The rebranded network is scheduled to debut this summer -- the aim is June -- and the partners have reached a deal with Dish Network to expand its distribution. HDNet is currently on the satellite provider's HD tier, but as part of the new deal a standard definition version of the network is being created and will be included on Dish's America's Top 120 programming package. Cuban says HDNet is now in about 27 million homes and that the DBS deal will bring AXS TV's distribution to more than 35 million. As part of the agreement with Dish, the satellite operator will make AXS-branded concerts available on video on demand, starting March 15.


AXS will "leverage the global reach and portfolio of content opportunities of its partners to create live entertainment and lifestyle programming," according to the companies' announcement. The network's content is described as providing viewers with exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to live concerts and music festivals, red carpet premieres, award shows, parties, pop culture events and in-depth interviews with the people and artists involved in live entertainment. AXS will capitalize on AEG's presence in live events and affiliation with more than 100 of the industry's venues around the world to "connect audiences with the complete live experience," from show creation to rehearsals, sound-check, performance and after-party, according to the companies involved.

Signature HDNet programming, including HDNet Fights, Inside MMA, Dan Rather Reports, Sunday concert series, and select non-scripted series, will continue on AXS TV.

The goal of AXS is to ultimately provide round-the-clock live programming, according to Cuban. "My goal has been taking HDNet live, 24/7," he said in an interview along with Timothy Leiweke, president and CEO, AEG, and Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for Disyh, at AEG's office at LA Live in downtown LA, adding that providing 24/7 live programming "absolutely" is the aim with the network.

The parties would not disclose financial terms and when asked whether any cash changed hands Cuban said "cash is not an issue in this group." But the access to AEG's $4 billion in assets was a nice deal for HDNet.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/..._Media_CAA.php

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post #2 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 02:40 PM
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I love the art mann shows....can never get enough of the stupid drunks.

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post #3 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 02:41 PM
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Unlike most rebrandings, this seems to be a very positive step for HDNet.
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post #4 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 02:52 PM
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What about HDNet Movies? Part of the deal?
And what about restoring carriage with TWC? Will this re-branding cause that to come about?
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post #5 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:00 PM
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yeah, don't mess with my hdnet movies. love that channel.

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post #6 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

Signature HDNet programming, including HDNet Fights, Inside MMA, Dan Rather Reports, Sunday concert series, and select non-scripted series, will continue on AXS TV.

Sounds good to me, then.
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post #7 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:11 PM
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I first saw this and thought "Axis" ..as in Germany, Japan, Italy, etc...

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #8 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:13 PM
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I'd bet something like this was what Mr. Cuban had in mind when he started HDNet.

The thing I like about it, is the 24/7 live part. For me, there is always something compelling about live programming.

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post #9 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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This sounds terrible.

The name is stupid, the logo is awful. I bet it's going to have 18 minutes of commercials every hour now like all the other cable channels, and it sounds like they're getting rid of all the great documentary content and bringing in more reality crap/celebrity obsession programming.

The dumbing down of the American population continues...
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post #10 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:33 PM
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The real question is if they will get back on all of the cable systems that have dropped them over the past couple of years.
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post #11 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDOrlando View Post

The real question is if they will get back on all of the cable systems that have dropped them over the past couple of years.

I think the name Ryan Seacrest answers that.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #12 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 03:53 PM
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post #13 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 04:07 PM
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uh oh, I hope we still get bikini girls.
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post #14 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 04:13 PM
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It would be nice if we could get HD Net back on Cox Cable here in OC Ca.
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post #15 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 04:22 PM
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They might want to stay away from using the .tv so people don't think this channel is a part of those awful Byron Allen .TV channels that run the same old programming every day.
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post #16 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 04:36 PM
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Will the bit rate of AXS.TV HD remain high?
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post #17 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 05:43 PM
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post #18 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Concerts to Be Focus in Shift From HDNet to AXS TV

By BRIAN STELTER

6:25 p.m. | Updated Ryan Seacrest, his talent agency CAA and the events promoter A.E.G. have been talking for three years about making a cable channel for concerts, live events and other entertainment.

Now they have found the channel space for it at HDNet, the pioneering but poorly distributed channel owned by the billionaire sports and media mogul Mark Cuban. This summer, HDNet will become AXS TV, a joint venture of Mr. Cuban, Mr. Seacrest’s media holding company, CAA and A.E.G.

“We’re going to be able to take what I had hoped to do with HDNet — which was to be live, live, live — and accelerate that considerably,” Mr. Cuban said in a telephone interview before the deal was announced Wednesday afternoon.

Similarly, Mr. Seacrest — who has been the host of the live Fox broadcast “American Idol” for nearly a decade — said that “music, live entertainment and live events” would be the base of the channel. His production company will conceive shows for the channel, as it already does for E! and Bravo, two channels that are owned by Comcast.

Financial terms of the joint venture were not disclosed, and Mr. Cuban would not say whether he retained the majority ownership of HDNet. But Mr. Cuban and his new partners said he would continue to run the channel, which was formed in 2001 as a destination for what was then hard to find on television: high-definition programming.

HDNet grew as high-definition viewership grew, and Mr. Cuban said it was profitable last year. But to date it is offered in just 27 million households, putting it out of reach of most of the roughly 100 million cable and satellite households in the United States. The partners said Wednesday that their top priority was gaining wider distribution. “Distribution will be the first step,” Mr. Seacrest said.

To that end, the partners announced that Dish Network had agreed to expand its distribution of the channel to include non-high-definition homes. The change will allow AXS TV to have more than 35 million subscribers.

In an interesting twist, A.E.G. plans to provide what it calls “unique ticketing opportunities” to Dish Network viewers of AXS TV. Mr. Cuban imagined a scenario that would have artists announcing a concert, then directing viewers to log online with their Dish account to get “first crack” at tickets.

“AXS TV brings DISH subscribers a premier TV destination for concert-goers to watch the most popular concert acts and provide opportunities for unique ticket sales at venues near them,” Joe Clayton, the chief executive of Dish, said in a statement.

A.E.G., the second-largest concert promoter in the United States behind Live Nation, began to roll out the brand name AXS, pronounced “access,” last year with a Web site for concert ticket sales. Executives said Wednesday that AXS TV will take advantage of the company’s events and concert sites, including the L.A. Live entertainment complex in Los Angeles and The O2 in London, and CAA’s relationships with artists and managers.

These are “existing resources,” said Tim Leiweke, the president of A.E.G., that can be mined for new content for the cable channel and its Web site.

Stressing that artists not affiliated with A.E.G. or CAA will be welcomed, he said, “This will be open to anyone and everyone that wants to use this platform to allow an artist to go and talk to their fans.”

He added, “That said, I guarantee that A.E.G. is going to use it.”

With the joint venture, Mr. Cuban is taking the same approach tried by several other channel owners — partnering with other established brands to propel a channel forward. Discovery Communications has partnerships with Oprah Winfrey for OWN and with Hasbro for a children’s channel, The Hub.

The arrangement also acknowledges what he called an “incredibly difficult” environment for independent channel owners. Most major cable channels are owned by media companies that have bundles of channels, affording those companies some advantages in negotiations with producers and distributors.

Of the joint venture assets, he said, “it’s an incredible upgrade for us that would have been difficult — impossible — to replicate.”

Some of the existing programming on HDNet, including mixed martial arts matches and the newsmagazine “Dan Rather Reports,” will remain in place on AXS TV, Mr. Cuban said. A raunchier subset of late-night shows — what he calls “the unrated stuff” — will be cut out.

Reflecting the emphasis on live TV, Mr. Cuban noted that Mr. Rather already has had some live programs on HDNet, including coverage of the New Hampshire Republican primary last week. Mr. Rather does not have a formal contract at HDNet; “as long as he wants to be there, he’s there,” Mr. Cuban said Wednesday, repeating what he has said in the past.

Mr. Cuban’s other channel, HDNet Movies, will remain as-is.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.co...net-to-axs-tv/

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post #19 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 05:44 PM
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don't they already show a lot of concerts etc?...I like the channel the way it is now and don't want a 24 hour concert channel
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post #20 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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Yeah they do, and I remain skeptical that they are going to be able to acquire enough unique concerts to keep the whole schedule filled with new content.

I think it's just going to be repeats, repeats, repeats. Constant repeats of old HDNet Concerts, with a few new ones from time to time.
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post #21 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by scorpiontail60 View Post

Yeah they do, and I remain skeptical that they are going to be able to acquire enough unique concerts to keep the whole schedule filled with new content.

Yes. How would Ryan Seacrest, a talent agency, and a concert promoter ever be able to fnd concert content for their TV channel? I mean, they might even put non-concert programming on there! Crazy.
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post #22 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 07:57 PM
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"Some of the existing programming on HDNet, including mixed martial arts matches and the newsmagazine “Dan Rather Reports,” will remain in place on AXS TV, Mr. Cuban said. A raunchier subset of late-night shows — what he calls “the unrated stuff” — will be cut out"

so no more late night Bikini Destination or Art Mann programming??

we already have HD concert channels such as Palladia and even Fuse
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post #23 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

A raunchier subset of late-night shows — what he calls “the unrated stuff” — will be cut out.

- Guess I'll be watching less material on AXS. I love the MMA events and Sneak Previews, but I'm also a big fan of Art Mann Presents. Censoring the material, especially something like the AVN Convention or the Pimp 'n Ho Ball that Art attends makes it that much less interesting.

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so no more late night Bikini Destination or Art Mann programming??

we already have HD concert channels such as Palladia and even Fuse

- That's what it sounds like. No more unadulterated Guys Night In.
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post #24 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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They can change the name I'm still not wasting money on that.
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post #25 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 08:40 PM
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I hope the Girls Gone Wild show is going to stick around, but I HIGHLY doubt it.

Also, to even have an SD version of the channel is pure blasphemy and we all know it.
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post #26 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 08:55 PM
 
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I think we all have Time Warner Cable to blame for this nonsense. They're the ones who kicked off the whole "tell Mark Cuban to **** off with his quality channels and continue bending over for ESPN which costs 10x as much as HDNet" trend. It just snowballed after TWC stopped carrying HDNet; they lost too many providers and there wasn't enough protest from fans of quality programming. :/

Now in order to get it carried again they're having to molest it and turn into into another ad-filled watered down censored mess of a channel to fit in with the rest of the cable networks.
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post #27 of 161 Old 01-18-2012, 10:58 PM
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Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

Odds of Fox suing them for trademark infringement over the use of the spotlights forming the X in the logo?
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post #28 of 161 Old 01-19-2012, 01:42 AM
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I never had HDNet but people really missed the movies from what I am told.

I E-Mailed Mark Cuban about them getting on TWC/BHN and he wrote....... "We are talking to them".

That is a positive sign since we heard nothing after it was dropped 2 1/2 years ago.

Not sure I'll watch the channel though.

We will see what happens.
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post #29 of 161 Old 01-19-2012, 03:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by scorpiontail60 View Post

I think we all have Time Warner Cable to blame for this nonsense. They're the ones who kicked off the whole "tell Mark Cuban to **** off with his quality channels.

Please inform me the whereabouts of these quality channels he owns.
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post #30 of 161 Old 01-19-2012, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Please inform me the whereabouts of these quality channels he owns.

HDNet Movies is/was irreplaceable. From the beginning of the HD era they gave us uncut HD films, always pristinely presented in OAR when few other movie channels (Showtime comes to mind) were doing it. They respect the medium. Being a benighted TWC customer, I missed HDNM far more than HDNet. Never heard what the kerfuffle was all about between the Lords of TWC and Cubes, and don't understand why they couldn't work it out like, you know, adults.

Again, no mention of the fate of HDNM so far in the article or this thread.
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