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Upfronts 2017: Pop Touts Audience Growth, Bucking Cable Trends

At a time when many smaller networks are getting winnowed out, Pop says it is thriving.

Nearly three years after being rebranded from the TV Guide Channel, Pop says it is adding distribution, viewers and advertisers in its upfront presentation. The network is also upgrading its programming, working with well-known talent, emphasizing scripted shows and dropping low-budget reality shows.

RELATED: Revamped Pop sets January 2015 launch date, new slate

The network is also adding some high-profile acquired programming. It is making its first first-run off-network acquisition with the ABC comedy The Goldbergs. It's brought back E.R., the mega-hit, which hasn’t been on the air or on subscription VOD for seven years.

All of this is made possible by the backing of owners CBS and Lionsgate. For both companies, Pop represents their biggest play in basic cable and Pop has been able to leverage its parents assets in a pay-TV environment in which linear networks such as Pivot and Esquire Network have been terminated and more are likely to meet a similar fate.

“It’s been a great little three-year run for us since we changed from the TV Guide Network,” Pop president Brad Schwartz said.

The network is now on all the major traditional distributors and is also being added to all the new digital distributors’ lineups, including YouTube TV and Hulu’s new live product.

Read more at B&C

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.