The Fox Television Station group has acquired the rights to FremantleMedia North America’s (FMNA) new digital channel, BUZZR TV, which showcases FremantleMedia’s library of game show content. The new digital multicast network will launch this summer and air in all 17 of Fox’s markets, including nine out of the country’s top 10 and 14 out of the top 20.
FMNA CEO Thom Beers has made launching this channel, which currently also exists as a YouTube channel, a top priority for the business, according to FMNA.
“FremantleMedia has consistently been the leader in the game show space, with long-running and more-popular-than-ever titles such as Family Feud and The Price is Right,” said Beers in a statement. “When I joined the company two years ago, it became instantly clear that there was a huge opportunity for us to not only be a producer in the space, but also a programmer.”
“BUZZR will be a great addition to our D2 portfolio,” said Frank Cicha, FTS senior VP of programming, in a statement. “The possibilities to have fun creatively, and to make it fun for the viewer, are endless. And in a D2 landscape this competitive, the ability to control your own product is a big plus. FremantleMedia can certainly do that.”
Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury, which brokered the BUZZR TV deal on behalf of FMNA, will conduct meetings between FMNA and other major station groups at NATPE at the Fontainebleau Resort and Spa in Miami Beach this week to expand the multicast network’s footprint.
“There is nothing else like BUZZR TV,” said Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus, co-presidents of Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury. “It will be the only game-show network operating in the digital multicast universe, providing stations with a highly marketable asset. We believe the depth of the FremantleMedia library will allow the network to secure its future, offering viewers a proven, quality and unique alternative to other digital channels.”
Besides Family Feud, which has experienced a renaissance with Steve Harvey as host, and The Price is Right, which also has been rejuvenated on CBS with Drew Carey at the wheel, FMNA owns more than 40,000 episodes of game shows, including Let’s Make a Deal, To Tell the Truth, Password, Match Game, Beat the Clock, What’s My Line, Blockbusters and Card Sharks.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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