Commentary

Networks Rebranding -- And Competing For More Young Adult Viewers

Viacom’s TV Land is another in a series of somewhat sleepy but established cable TV channels that are rebranding -- morphing to the needs of their key viewers with better marketing awareness.

This includes a stronger-looking logo: the TV Land name in white lettering on a dark marine-colored background. Perhaps less frivolous, a bit more serious, would seem to be the intention.

A TV Land release says the new stuff depicts “quality, cleverness, and truth” and “strives to be more authentic, raw and emotive.” Well, that’s marketing talk for you.

TV Land says its audience is made up of Gen-Xers, young adults who are working, somewhat removed from MTV content, and who are looking for edgier shows.

TV Land isn’t exactly alone in the space.  Two years ago,  FX Networks remodeled itself into three different channels: 1), FXX, “home for the rebellious passion for the unexpected and unique looking to target a similar 18-34 viewers to that of TV Land; FX, which  continues to skew to 18-49ers; and FXM, the former Fox Movie Channel, going after 25-54 viewers.

Like FX, TV Land wants to broaden its content beyond old off-network shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Friends” and “King of Queens,” with new shows for Gen-Xers like “Younger,” and the upcoming “The Jim Gaffigan Show” and “Impastor.”

POP, the former the former TV Guide Network, also had a facelift, also seemingly targeting Gen-Xers by offering up off-network reruns in addition to working on fresh new content.The network depicts itself as “fan-fueled original programming.”

All these might look like undervalued channel assets for big media companies -- Viacom, Fox, and CBS/Lionsgate, respectively.

Rebranding takes a lot of work. Marketing is a very important part of the process -- at least at the start anyway, as a base to attract the right talent/producers.

Getting a “hit” show -- whatever that means these days --  then needs to come next for these networks to stand out from the crowd, as well as their nearest competitors.

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