HuffPost Live, the streaming network of The Huffington Post, is coming to cable via a partnership with AXS
TV, the companies will announce at AOL's Newfront event on Tuesday.
The content distribution deal will have HuffPost Live's
original content air Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET starting May 13, making
it available to AXS' 40 million subscribers. The daytime programming block will
encourage real-time participation, with an on-screen viewer comment stream unique
to AXS viewers and a HuffPost Live on AXS
TV second-screen app planned for this summer.
HuffPost Live launched in August 2012 with coverage
encompassing news, current events, pop culture and lifestyle. After maximizing
its internal distribution within AOL, president and co-creator Roy Sekoff
started taking meetings with cable operators including AXS, the former HDNet
which re-launched in July 2012 with backing from Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, AEG
Sekoff was impressed by Cuban's decisiveness and how quickly
he was willing to move on HuffPost Live's goal of expanding distribution. "Mark
is maybe the only cable executive who is really of the Internet and could see
how these two things could work together," he said, noting the response from
traditional distributors was more timid.
Cuban, founder, chairman and president of AXS TV, said the
addition of live daytime programming was a big step in its road to becoming a
24/7 live network. "With the unique social participation components Roy and his
team at HuffPost Live have built exclusively for AXS TV viewers, we are also
underscoring our commitment to form a direct connection with our audience thru
our programming and to increase the footprint of social television," he said.
Sekoff disputed that the AXS partnership would cannibalize
HuffPost Live's online viewing, saying that the same viewers may consume it on
both platforms throughout the day. He added that no equipment or studio
upgrades were needed to make the move to cable as the program is already shot
The partnership will also allow Huff Post Live to tap into
AXS' roster of guests like musical artists that have proved popular on the
streaming site. "Their commitment to doing live music is a perfect fit," Sekoff
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below