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richard barnerquestion
by on May 26, 2009 at 9:44:06 pm

I have and idea for an entire channel, obviously the costs of that would be astranomical but i was considering doing it the "bet" way and aquiring a cable station and starting out with limited programming then building up from there, i would like to present this as a subcription station, somewhat like the playboy channel for X amount of dollars per month. I have producer and director connections in hollywood so i would have the ability to significantly reduce the start up costs of this project. I believe the channel would rapidly increase it's viewer base, thus allowing me to expand on my programming. My questions are, one, who would i contact about aquiring a cable station on a national level (like playboy) and additionally, do you think with the current explosion in internet viewing, i should do a subscription channel on the internet instead? what is the cost differential, i guess the only difference would be the cable channel aquisition. There is so many unused channels on my cable box, are they expensive? i heard they have channel brokers you can go through, is that my best bet. I appreciate your attention to this as i am very excited about this project and have received an extremely positive response back from the select few i have entrusted with my idea, i hope you are the right person so ask these questions, if not maybe you can point me in the right direction. Thanks............richard barner

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grinner hesterRe: question
by on May 26, 2009 at 10:31:26 pm

Every cable channel will be more than happy to sell air time to you, especially today. You are right in thinking you should focus on the net, as that is where all programming will wind up, sooner or later... and it'll be sooner than later. Youtube at noon is now prime time tv, getting far more views than what use to be looked at as prime time television. More and more sponsors and old school tv edvertisers are seeing where they can get bang for their buck and it is not cable tv... hence the drastic price changes in airtime for both spots and shows.
The uinused cable channels on your cable box are not expensive and it's very easy to test your waters with OnDemand. In many cases, your local cable company will throw your programming on the air for nada, depending on the arrangement you can negotiate with them. They want programming and certainly cannot afford to pay for it. When fresh content comes their way, they are happy.

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richard barnerRe: question
by on May 28, 2009 at 12:51:17 pm

thank you very much for your response, it was very interesting and informative. I have a friend in hollywood that set me up with a gentleman that has created the technology that will, and please forgive me because i do not know any technical terms, allow you, through his player to download and watch anything and i mean anything, full screen, in crystal clear high def. It compresses whatever it is you call it into approx 1/100th of its normal size thereby allowing for a perfect picture. So, it is interesting that you said everything will be going to the net soon. I want to figure out some applications for this technology while it it still on the ground floor. He is able to download an entire movie in 3 seconds because of this techlology, in addition, this technology also compresses data the same way. I am meeting him in LA soon and would like to have my ducks in a row as to what i will request from him, i pretty much have carte blanche. Do you have any suggestions as to applications for this technology?

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Terence CurrenRe: question
by on Jun 1, 2009 at 4:32:29 am

[grinner hester] "Youtube at noon is now prime time tv, getting far more views than what use to be looked at as prime time television. More and more sponsors and old school tv edvertisers are seeing where they can get bang for their buck and it is not cable tv... hence the drastic price changes in airtime for both spots and shows."

Just to play Devil's Advocate:

I too am trying to clear the haze in my crystal ball, but near as I can tell, no one has figured out how to provide programming for free that people will consistently watch. So we may all have a future getting paid to do what we do after all.

Terence Curren

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Franklin McMahonRe: question
by on May 26, 2009 at 10:39:37 pm

Of course, when it comes to Playboy, I am the right person to ask..haha...

Well I would say its a lot of capital to acquire or start a station, and even though digital has offered many new channels, cable systems still have only so many slots available. The biggest market in the last few years has been "HD content" channels..but that is tapering off, as all the other channels are switching to HD, the channels that focus on HD are starting to fade (MOJO HD is the most recent causality). There is an upswing in "Green" channels, content focused on sustainability, earth and environment. In addition to being environmentally good, any producer, station or investor needs to jump into the green market now, as its gonna to take off big, and produce much "green" dollars. Ted Turner says it right in his autobiography, if he were young and starting all over producing a network, content or new project, green would be the one place he would begin, he sees that as the potential for the biggest future market, and the main thing he would invest in.

There are channel brokers and if you need some contacts, email me

As for the web, its certainly a better idea to ramp up a brand and channel on the web these days, costs are lower and you can focus more on content. Plus test the waters.

One thing to try is to start with a show, develop a show, kick it into the web, go viral, build a following. Having even one hit show will make things easier when getting traction to build a network or station.


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John KennedyRe: question
by on May 27, 2009 at 4:12:38 am

I know my input might not mean much to you since I'm still pretty young in this industry, but here I go ...
An idea for starting a cable channel is awesome. love that. The subscription model though, not a good idea. I would imagine that subscriptions to the playboy channel and other subscription channels (besides HBO and showtime with their excellent original programming) is dropping relatively quickly. (could be wrong on this, haven't done much research)
If you create a great product or brand and supply awesome content that's original and creative, you shouldn't have a problem picking up advertisers or sponsors.
We're living in a world where people expect to get more and more for less and less and most of the younger audiences want everything for free. They want it when they say "now" and they want it wherever they put their eyes; phones, notebooks, cars, etc.
Soooo, yea, that's my two cents. Starting a cable channel, awesome. charging a subscription, I don't think that will end with you making any money.

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