What's In A Name? Lots, Says Katz

Related: Diginets’ Future May Just Be Now

Diginets may have something of an image problem that has little to do with their programming or marketing. The channels are alternately referred to as diginets or multicast nets or dot-two channels or subchannels, creating confusion among viewers, and even industry types—some were overheard at NATPE, wondering what all this fuss was about “multicasts.” With that in mind, Katz Broadcasting has christened the term “emerging broadcast networks” to denote channels such as Bounce TV and LAFF. “Dot-2 and diginet have a negative, small connotation,” says Jonathan Katz, president of Katz Broadcasting. “These are well programmed, robust broadcast networks.”

His network counterparts don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the name of their category. “My preference is ‘digital subchannel,’” says Superna Kalle, general manager at the vintage films network getTV. “But I like ‘emerging broadcast network.’”

Katz believes the loftier labeling of the networks will help them hold their own against bigger opponents. “They are competing against the entire TV landscape,” he says. “They should be treated as such.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.