Idea #6: Television Network for Well Produced but Canceled Shows

Idea

A television network that is available as a pay channel on traditional cable/dish broadcast services that focuses on airing and subsidizing the creation and continuation of high-quality intellectual and artistic serials that other networks would cancel or have canceled due to general disapproval by the general populace. It would also be available as a subscription service on the Internet for those who have decided to not use traditional broadcast services.

Problem Statement

Television networks are unwilling to take risks. As there has been a shrinking of the number of networks due to the continual condensing by acquisition, competition for high viewership numbers is intensely existant between the few large television networks. This leads to relying on moving television shows around to various slots where “eyeball counts” are expected to be high. When surveys show that these counts are dropping, a show is moved or dropped, regardless of whether or not the show is of quality nature and has a reasonable viewership. The major networks simply care about the highest number of viewers.

The more people watching a television show, the higher chances the show is generic and lacks content outside of the standard formula. Intellectuals often require content that is not as interesting to the general populace because many people are simply looking to television to provide them with “brains off” entertainment. There is simply too many of these types of channels already available, so when a network experiments with bringing on a smart show it is generally overruled by the public, and the show is canceled.

Thus a new network is required to come along and cater to intellectuals and pick up these shows that are canceled, as well as stimulate the creation of new shows under their label.

Market

Intellectuals and artists who value high-quality television entertainment who value shows such as Caprica or The Event, although not necessarily slanted towards science fiction.

Ideal candidates:

  • Science fiction fans
  • HBO fans
  • People who read The Economist
  • People who enjoyed the numerous shows that NBC canceled

Revenue Strategy

  • Advertisements
  • Syndication licensing
  • Broadcast licensing
  • Viewer subscriptions

Feasibility

The SyFy (previously Sci-Fi) channel has had much success bringing on genre-focused science fiction entertainment for 20 years. Much of their content has been subsidized in-house and has the SyFy label on it. HBO has also had success creating high-quality content over the years by requiring a viewer subscription. This new network could be modeled very similarly to HBO, with a key difference that HBO focuses on being brash rather than intellectually oriented.

Building this network would require a significant investment from large investment groups, and to be successful will require very experienced C-level partners with extensive connections in the production and broadcast markets. This is no small feat, but the returns could be significant.

Value

Founder/Developer Value

  • Great profitability and ROI
  • Excellent exit opportunities by potential buyout & IPO

Investor Returns

  • Great profitability and ROI
  • Excellent exit opportunities by potential buyout & IPO

Viewer Returns

  • A place to call home for artistic and intellectual television programming
  • DaveA

    Generally this isn’t done because once the show has been cancelled, which is known well in advance by the production comany, the relevant playres have been contracted for otehr work, making the revival of the series all but impossible. There are some exceptions, like Family Guy or Futurama, but it does make it tough.