Goodbye HDNet, hello Ryan Seacrest as cable channel rebrands
Ryan Seacrest is officially getting into the cable network ownership business. The American Idol host is teaming with entrepreneur Mark Cuban, talent agency CAA and concert giant AEG in a joint venture to rebrand Cuban’s cable network HDNet into a live entertainment and lifestyle programming channel.
Starting this summer, HDNet will become AXS TV, which will draw on live event productions, such as concerts, provided by AEG, which owns the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre and other facilities. “This is a major step on our way to offering more live programming than any other entertainment and lifestyle network,” said HDNet co-founder Cuban.
Seacrest’s company Ryan Seacrest Media will have an ownership stake and provide access to celebrity and brand relationships, plus develop and produce programming for the network. ”Over the last year, we’ve been diligently working with our partners AEG and CAA to strategize and explore how we could deliver quality live entertainment and lifestyle programming to a large audience,” Seacrest said. “HDNet is the perfect partner to help us translate our vision into a reality, giving us an instant reach into 35 million homes when we rebrand the channel.”
Some HDNet programming will continue on the channel, such as HDNet Fights, Inside MMA, Dan Rather Reports and some non-scripted series.