Traditional TV network groups -- NBCUniversal, Discovery, Viacom and others, with around a dozen or more channels each -- have worried about their fringe, smaller business networks in a future of “skinny” TV bundles.
Many network groups look to focus on just a handful of networks -- leaving others to fend for themselves. Viacom has already said it will be concentrating on six “core” network brands -- Nickelodeon, MTV, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, BET and the new Paramount Network.
But what about the other six to eight smaller-scale networks that big TV networks groups own? Does anyone believe those will make their way to new digital TV providers? These are services that consumers insist they will pay far less than the $100 a month or so for traditional pay TV providers.
Perhaps the answer is reinventing parts of those networks -- or culling programming pieces as the basis for new networks. CNN’s Great Big Story is one example of where stuff might be going.
Launched in October, Great Big Story quickly established itself online -- on Facebook and other social media -- producing three to five videos a day, short three- to-five-minute-long videos. It also wants to do longer-form TV stuff (like regular half-hour and hour TV shows?) as well theatrical releases. The network describes its goal as “cinematic storytelling.”
Its goal is to be a new kind of TV network. That would include operations on live, linear TV networks and OTT providers, such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now, or PlayStation Vue.
Great Big Story -- as perhaps Vice Media has done with Viceland -- wants to have a foot in the traditional TV cable network arena, with the other in new digital platforms.
Does that play better for traditional TV marketers? Given all this, big traditional TV network groups might need to think differently about their future.