The channels include A&E Network, the History Channel and Lifetime, with its collection of holiday movies.
When the A+E channels launch on Nov. 18, Frndly will be providing basic subscribers with 30 channels, up from 14 in February. For the first time, Friendly will be raising prices by $1 a month, bringing its lowest-priced tier up to $6.99 a month.
“The addition of the seven A+E Networks’ channels is a seminal event in Frndly TV’s growth,” said Michael McKenna, chief programming officer of Frndly TV. “Our customers are both loyal and vocal -- and they have asked us about adding the great A+E Networks’ content. Working with the good folks at A+E, we are now able to add outstanding quality to our programming lineup with some of the most desired and loved channels in all TV.”
A+E Networks is a joint venture of The Walt Disney Co. and Hearst. Its networks feature popular programming, including The First 48, Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, Forged in Fire, Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman, Married at First Sight and My Killer Body with K Michelle.
“We are excited to partner with Frndly TV and to make our award-winning content available to their devoted subscriber base,” said David Zagin, president of distribution for A+E Networks.
“Launching on November 18 means Frndly TV customers can enjoy the new slate of holiday movies premiering on Lifetime’s It’s A Wonderful Lifetime, as well as look forward to the highly anticipated premieres of Janet -- the fascinating untold story of Janet Jackson -- and Abraham Lincoln, on The History Channel in early 2022.”
Frndly TV ended 2020 with 440,000 paid subscribers. Launched in October 2019 by a group of former Dish Network executives, Frndly TV offers a bundle of wholesome and inspirational channels. It has managed to stay profitable as it has added programming while keeping its pricing low.
The formula makes Frndly TV an outlier in the virtual multichannel video programming distributor business, where high programming costs and pressure to keep prices below cable rates often means operating at a deficit.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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