Cuban, Seacrest joining forces for new network

Cuban, Seacrest joining forces for new network

Published Jan. 19, 2012 4:32 p.m. ET

Mark Cuban is teaming up with Ryan Seacrest to give his HDNet television channel a facelift. According to several reports, the rebranded network will be called AXS TV (pronounced Access) and will begin airing this summer. Also joining the group is AEG and Creative Artists Agency.

Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Seacrest see the new channel focusing on attracting pop culture and entertainment enthusiasts rather than the male-dominated programming of HDNet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network instantly will be in more than 35 million homes, maintaining its existing distributors including DirecTV, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Charter and Dish.
"There's a big core of people who think the Internet is going to take over the world, and I don't happen to be one of them," Cuban told THR. "I think the future of TV is TV. The Internet will be there and do its thing, but one of the big differentiators is 'live.' If you look at what's happening across the TV spectrum, there's news and there's sports."
While some of HDNet's current programs will be carried over to the new network, AXS will also feature a "SportsCenter equivalent for the pop-culture arena" and behind-the-scenes access to live concerts and music festivals as well as red-carpet premieres and awards shows.
Ryan Seacrest Media is the investor in AXS. All involved confirmed to THR on Wednesday that Seacrest, who produces the Kardashian reality shows, has no plans to have an on-air role, nor does he envision having another venue for the Kardashians.

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