Launching New Programming Ventures
Bortz Media has assisted clients in the development and/or evaluation of more than 50 programming networks – ranging from start-ups to growth stage acquisition targets to well-established networks.
Moving Programming Ventures from Concept to Concrete
Despite the dramatic increase in distribution capacity brought about by the cable industry’s digital rollout, the market for launching new programming services is more challenging than ever.
Opportunities exist for the right concept accompanied by the right implementation approach. However, network group owners and large distributors dominate the landscape, audience fragmentation and tiering affect advertising and license fee opportunities, and technological advances create both options and questions about launch positioning and strategy.
In this environment, Bortz Media’s extensive experience in evaluating and advising new programming ventures can serve as an invaluable resource to entrepreneurs and others involved in creating new programming concepts.
Service Offerings
Bortz Media can assist new programming services with all aspects of programming network development:
Feasibility Analysis and Business Planning
Bortz Media has assessed and/or developed business plans for more than 50 programming ventures. These have included start-ups (e.g., ZDTV/TechTV/64 and Outdoor Life), growth stage networks (e.g., E! Entertainment Television and The Travel Channel) and established networks (e.g., Lifetime and ESPN). Plans include detailed pro forma financial projections, analysis of program service growth prospects and evaluation of market positioning. In addition, we regularly review and provide feedback (i.e., a reality check) on already developed business plans, and can offer valuable advice on how to modify/position these plans for greatest effect.
Technology/Market Assessment
In today’s market, a 24/7 “channel” is not the only distribution option, and may not be the best approach for many concepts. Bortz Media has the breadth of experience and expertise to assist network developers in understanding the pros and cons of such alternatives as video-on-demand, Internet/Brodaband delivery, program syndication, “nesting” – and can assist in choosing the strategy (or combination of approaches) that best fits the concept.
Market Research
Bortz Media can design and execute consumer and business-to-business research that will assess viewer, distributor and advertiser interest in a concept, and/or will establish key pricing, packaging and marketing parameters for a service. This type of research is often expected by prospective investors and distributors. (Visit the Market Research section of our website for more information on Bortz Media’s market research qualifications and experience.)
Marketing Planning and Distribution Negotiations
Bortz Media can develop detailed marketing and tactical plans for both distributor/affiliate sales efforts and consumer marketing initiatives. As one example, we utilized market research as a basis to help E! re-position its cable operator affiliate sales strategy and tactics, contributing to substantial growth in the network’s distribution. In addition, we can assist or directly engage in distribution negotiations as necessary.
Capital Formation
Bortz Media has a broad range of industry and financial institution relationships, and can assist network entrepreneurs in identifying potential sources of capital as well as working collaboratively with clients to develop these relationships.
Networks and Clients
Bortz Media has assisted and/or evaluated more than 50 programming ventures, including:
  • A & E
  • ESPN
  • Lifetime
  • Outdoor Life
  • Noggin
  • USA Network
  • The SciFi Channel
  • Country Music TV
  • PBS Kids
  • PBS You
  • The Disney Channel
  • The Discovery Channel
  • E! Entertainment Television
  • ZDTV (TechTV/64)
  • The Travel Channel
  • Fox Sports World
  • Starz/Encore
  • DMX and Music Choice
  • The International Channel
  • NBA League Pass and MLB Extra Innings
  • Classic Sports Network (ESPN Classic)
  • Several regional sports networks
  • Telenoticias
  • GolTV
Clients in this area have included:
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Times Mirror
  • Children’s Television Workshop
  • Public Broadcasting Service
  • Crown Media
  • Ziff-Davis
  • Discovery Networks
  • CBS Cable
  • Warburg Pincus Ventures
  • Anschutz Entertainment Group
  • The National Basketball Association
  • Major League Baseball
  • Vulcan Ventures
  • The Washington Post Company
Bortz Media assisted Times Mirror Magazines in creating Outdoor Life (OLN) – developing the distribution strategy, the business case and a cross-platform marketing strategy. OLN now reaches more than 60 million homes and has been valued at over $600 million.
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