Friday, 16 December 2016

BroadcastNow: Turner eyes rescue bid for TruTV

Story from Broadcastnow:

Broadcast has learned that US media giant Turner is considering closing the digital channel, which launched in 2014 and airs series such as Ink Master and a raft of true crime programming.

However, it is understood that Turner, which also runs CNN and Cartoon Network among other channels, is in negotiations with an unknown third party over a deal that could save the TruTV from the axe.

International distributors were thought to be shopping some of the shows that air on TruTV in the UK to rival broadcasters at Mipcom.

The channel has struggled to cut through in the competitive free-to-air market, averaging a consolidated all hours audience of 27,000 (0.3%) since the start of the year.

Its biggest show was America’s Got Talent, which averaged 175,000 (0.9%) in July, followed by an episode of Ink Master, which scored 150,000 (0.7%) in August 2015.

It also launched high-profile US talkshow Conan, but scrapped the show after it failed to rate.

Turner had planned to move into original commissions for the channel, to build on US shows such as Container Wars, Hardcore Pawn: Chicago and South Beach Tow. Ian McDonough, senior vice-president and managing director of Northern Europe at Turner Broadcasting said in February 2015: “We want to move quite quickly with this channel, so I don’t think we’ll wait too long. By year two, we want to start looking at UK commissions.”

Turner declined to comment.