By TYLER BUNKLEY
Turner Broadcasting Co. is keeping up with the competition through a combination of original programing, innovative marketing, and new acquisitions.
Online providers have forced networks to stay current. Turner is dedicated to keeping up with other networks’ original content and the acquisition of competitors’ content. The company has seen great success with original programing such as “Legends,” “Murder in the First,” and “Last Ship.” The network released its newest show “On the Menu” Oct. 3.
In the past few years, original content offered by Internet sites like Netflix and Hulu have forced networks and cable providers alike to reevaluate their programing.
Turner Broadcasting is not one to be left behind. This past spring, the company unveiled its own original programing.
The show “Legends” on TNT gained recognition when it cast “Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones” star Sean Bean as its main character. “Last Ship” earned attention through its director Michel Bay. “Murder in the First” received praise with its unique look at the slow wheels of crime and justice.
The company is capitalizing on the success of these shows by releasing a new cooking game show called “On the Menu” with host Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington this month.
“’On the Menu’ shows off how brilliant Turner Broadcasting’s marketing department can be,” said Aaron Sinn, encoding specialist for Turner.
“Every episode features a national food chain like Outback or California Pizza Kitchen, whoever’s food wins gets added to the menu the very next day. Restaurant chains were eager to sponsor the show. You couldn’t not have restaurants interested,” said Sinn.
“On the Menu” is a new venture for Turner, the company has long been known for small game shows but this is the first attempt at an all-out cooking show in the same vein as “Iron Chef” or “Chopped”. The way the show is cross-marketed with different national chains is sure to help this show be successful.
Turner Broadcasting has also acquired the rights to the popular Fox series “American Dad.” Fox dropped the series after its previous season leaving the rights open for Turner Broadcasting to buy. The show is being billed as raunchier than ever before, promising more swearing, more brown humor, and more than they could ever get away with on Fox.
Since Turner Broadcasting is a cable provider the network has less strict standards than networks like Fox or CBS.
Digital media group encoder Scott Popham said, “There’s so much more risk you can take versus a network.”
The company believes that the freedom it allows its shows will translate to a better show.
Turner Broadcasting is planning to at least double its original programing over the next few years. The company’s first wave of original programing was a success and with shows such as “On the Menu” using cross-promotional advertising only good things can be expected.
If original programing continues to be a successful as it has been, Turner Broadcasting will be able to hold its own in this new media age where originality and content are king.