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TV Guide Network Underperforms, No One Surprised

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MediaPost’s Wayne Friedman suggests the TV Guide Network needs a bigger picture. Macrovision is buying the Gemstar assets, including TV Guide magazine, website and the cable network. The TV channel underperforms:

TV Guide Network is in some 81 million homes. But like some other networks of its type and size–Hallmark Channel, for instance–it grabs on average just 3 cents a subscriber per month from cable operators. Last year TV Guide Network pulled in a modest $130 million in national advertising revenue.

Friedman doesn’t mention that the programming sucks (Lisa Lips Rinna and stale VH1 reality shows don’t cut it). Sorry for the inelegant phrasing. The magazine and website are doing well, with lively writing and personalities, but pulling the plug on the mortibund cable channel would be the best plan.

Bill Hamilton comments that Hallmark Channel provides a quality product, which leads to commercial success. What a novel strategy! But that requires hiring executives and producers with a functioning brain stem, and you know how troubling that can be.

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