Travel Channel has become the latest basic-cable network to journey down the path toward broadcast repurposing.
The Discovery Networks U.S. service announced that it will air NBC's alternative reality show, Lost, nine days after it premieres on the Peacock Network.
The six-episode deal calls for Travel to air the series on Fridays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., following the epsiodes' first run on NBC. As such, Travel will repeat the initial episode of Lost
— which bowed on NBC Sept. 5 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. — on Sept. 14.
At least for the first two weeks, NBC will repeat each show on the Saturday evening after the Wednesday-night debut before Lost
makes its way to Travel the following Friday.
With the agreement, Travel joins a growing number of cable networks looking to build viewership and sampling with short-window encores of first-run broadcast series, including Turner Network Television, USA Network, Lifetime Television and FX.
Travel has also secured the rights to air subsequent episodes of Lost, should NBC renew the skein. Network executive vice president and general manager Steve Cheskin would not reveal financial details of the agreement, but said he approached NBC with the idea of repeating the reality series.
"It's a great opportunity for people who many not watch much broadcast television, or who may have missed the shows, to watch it on Travel," Cheskin said.
The show fits the network's travel-oriented programming lineup perfectly, he added. Lost
will feature three pairs of strangers who don't become teammates until they arrive at a secret drop location. Armed with basic survival gear and a limited amount of money, the teams must race to reach the Statue of Liberty. Winners will split a $200,000 prize.
Travel hopes the show will draw ratings that nearly double its 0.4 to 0.5 primetime figure, while also serving as a promotional vehicle for its own original shows. Cheskin said he's not concerned that episodes will have aired twice on NBC before they appear on Travel.
"I think it shows a vote of confidence from NBC about the show's viability and it bodes well for us," Cheskin said. The network would be open to future repurposing opportunities, he added, although there are presently no ongoing negotiations.
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