Fledgling virtual MVPD Vidgo, the only remaining nationally distributed pay TV service still carrying the highly controversial One America News Network (OANN), is doubling down on right-wing content, giving former Fox News firebrand Bill O'Reilly his own weekly show.
O'Reilly, who was forced to end his high-profile 16-year tenure as a lynchpin commentator for Fox News back in April 2017 amid sexual harassment claims from six women, actually kicked off his new weekly Vidgo show, the hamfistedly titled Shock and Awe, last Friday, with an installment featuring former NFL stars Joe Namath and Rob Gronkowski discussing the physical toll caused by the game of football on its players.
It's an interesting first topic, given that Vidgo pays the just re-retired Gronkowski to ply his well-worn knucklehead TV commercial persona to shill for the vMVPD in ads. Vidgo also markets itself as a key destination for college football live game coverage, with carriage of ESPN and Fox Sports 1&2, as well as regional sports channels The Longhorn Network and Pac-12 Network.
As for this Friday's upcoming Shock and Awe installment, O'Reilly will look at "how the Biden Presidency stacks up against others." (Despite a landmark series of key legislative victories, you can probably guess where that's headed.)
Vidgo, which had "over 25,000 subscribers" according to one published report last year, has committed to 40 installments of Shock and Awe, with Vidgo founder Shane Cannon touting on social media Tuesday, "the best package for Middle America just got better."
"Vidgo is the future of information and entertainment. It will provide reasonable cost streaming with smart, unique content. Shock and Awe will deliver timely interviews and analysis with the most intelligent people in the world," O’Reilly said in a statement.
“Bill is an American icon. We couldn’t be more excited to have Vidgo serve as the exclusive home for Shock and Awe,” added Vidgo CEO Derek Mattsson. “We believe this is exactly the kind of programming that will resonate with our base and substantially grow our subscribers.”
Notably, after building his fading media brand via the powerful platform of the notably far right Fox News, O'Reilly has criticized his former network for downplaying the significance of the January 6 insurrection. He's also dismissed former President Donald Trump's assertion that the 2020 election was "rigged."
These beliefs are in direct conflict OANN, which was -- perhaps as a consequence -- recently dropped by DirecTV and Verizon.
For its part, however, Vidgo continues to carry OANN, alongside Fox News and Newsmax.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!