Are You Right? Then Here's Your Network

If there's a TV network named "right," we can only hope there'll be another one named "wrong."

A new cable channel called Right Network is, in fact, starting up -- paved the way, I'm guessing, by MTV's "Jersey Shore." All to say we are entering the age of partisan viewers with increasingly divergent opinions and sensibilities. Viewers who are happy to be ticked off, turned off; viewers who both love and hate body spray and hair gel.

Right Network's content is tinged with conservative sensibilities. From a branding point of view, it's an interesting name, one that will probably attract viewer sampling. But it probably won't deliver TV programs about the "right" things people of any political persuasion should do.

Actor Kelsey Grammer is an investor in the project, which promises to be "pro-America," "pro-business," and "pro-military sensibilities." No mention of "pro-entertainment" -- though a YouTube clip does show some comic Grammer touches.



Pro-business? I doubt any cable or broadcast network would call themselves "anti-business." Believe me, any network that gets viewers is pro-business. By this definition, you can call "Jersey Shore" pro-business and pro-America. Americans watch the show, I'm told.

Even this isn't enough. It's "media business" that should be the main factor. Is Fox News pro-business -- or pro-media business? It might be both -- but it needs to be the latter for it to work.

Television networks can give themselves labels -- including a word with several meanings like "right." But it better not be just about politics. You'd better entertain, otherwise viewers will move on.

If Chewing Gum Network started up tomorrow, it would attract interest as well. But is it the right chewing gum network? And, more important, how big can they blow bubbles?

2 comments about "Are You Right? Then Here's Your Network".
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  1. Aaron B. from, April 20, 2010 at 2:20 p.m.

    All the more reason for a-la-carte.

  2. Eric Fleming from ESPN, Inc., April 20, 2010 at 2:33 p.m.

    I have no objection to the concept of the Right Network, though I imagine I'd disagree with much of its potential content. My problem is that we're fragmented enough as a nation in my opinion, and such a network will only make things worse. We aren't going to solve our problems by simply consuming content that we agree with, and not challenging ourselves with other viewpoints. BTW -- I'd feel the same way if a "Left Network" were launching...

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