×

NewFronts: AOL’s HuffPost Live to Jump to Cable with AXS TV

Mark Cuban-backed cabler will carry six-hour daytime block of talkshow programming

HuffPost Live, AOL’s Internet video talkshow network, is coming to old-fashioned TV through pact with AXS TV cable network run by billionaire Mark Cuban.

AXS TV is not paying AOL for the programming, nor is HuffPost Live paying for carriage on the cable net. “HuffPost Live on AXS TV” will air live five days a week, for six hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET) starting May 13. HuffPost Live will continue to also be available free online at live.huffingtonpost.com, while the feed for AXS TV will be enhanced with multiple different visual and social elements. Partners plan to debut an app for the programming block that will let AXS TV viewers join the real-time conversation happening on HuffPost Live.

“Live TV drives social media, and real-time social media drives live TV,” said Cuban, founder, president and chairman of AXS TV. “While other networks are happy to run repeats ad nauseam, we’re going to drive live conversations and new ways to connect with audiences.”

AXS TV currently airs repeats of live concerts and shows during weekdays. Cabler, available to 41 million U.S. homes, is backed by Cuban, AEG, CAA, CBS and Ryan Seacrest Media.

HuffPost Live prexy Roy Sekoff said company had been in discussions with multiple cable networks about a pact. “They said, ‘We love what you’re doing but we’re trying to figure out what we would do with it.’ When we spoke to Mark, he said, ‘Can you test the feed tomorrow?’”

HuffPost Live, broadcast from New York and L.A. studios, debuted Aug. 13, 2012. Internet network streams 12 hours per day (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET). Talkshow-format program, which covers current events, pop culture and lifestyle topics, invites viewers to join via webcam, with more than 8,000 people have joined on-air.

“We’ve had people join us live from 80 countries,” Sekoff said.

During AOL’s Digital Content NewFronts presentation Tuesday in New York, Arianna Huffington, Sekoff and Cuban are skedded to tout partnership in front of audience of media buyers.

Cuban said live programming has been the entire focus for AXS TV as the TV biz changes. Net premiered last June, after Cuban converted HDNet to AXS TV, which focuses on live concerts.

“It’s not going to work to try to come up with the next hit show. It drives costs up too high to be a hit-driven business,” he said. “Live [programming] creates uncertainty, and unique engagement because you don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

On AXS TV, HuffPost Live will carry same ad load (12 minutes per hour). Cuban declined to discuss details of how ad sales will work but said “there is upside for both of us.” HuffPost Live also features some integrated programming with sponsors’ brands.

Companies also see opportunities to feature performers and talent from AXS TV’s programming on HuffPost Live. For example, “before Carrie Underwood appears live on AXS TV, she can talk to her fans on HuffPost Live,” Sekoff said.

HuffPost Live has a staff of about 100, including producers, on-air talent, and crew.

More Digital

  • Mackenzie Davis Terminator Dark Fate

    ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Ads placed for the sci-fi action film had an estimated media value of $6.81 million through Sunday for 796 national ad airings [...]

  • Ronan Farrow book Catch and Kill

    Ronan Farrow Inks Podcast Series Deal for 'Catch and Kill' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ronan Farrow is launching a podcast offshoot of his best-selling book “Catch and Kill.” Slated to premiere in November, “The Catch and Kill Podcast With Ronan Farrow” will feature new audio material and interviews with people Farrow interviewed about allegations involving sexual misconduct of media industry figures including Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer — and [...]

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • Parker Posey

    Parker Posey Stars in 'Hunted,' First Podcast From Dick Wolf and Endeavor Audio (EXCLUSIVE)

    Parker Posey will star in prison-break thriller “Hunted,” the first podcast from Endeavor Audio and Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment. Posey (“Dazed and Confused,” “Scream 3,” “Superman Returns”) will star in the scripted podcast series alongside Brandon Scott (“13 Reasons Why,” “Dead to Me,” “Grey’s Anatomy”). In the eight-episode show, U.S. Deputy Marshal Emily Barnes (Posey) [...]

  • Snapchat

    Snapchat Grows to 210 Million Daily Users, Surpasses Q3 Revenue Expectations

    Snapchat is growing again, and getting better at monetizing all those eyeballs: The service ended its fiscal third quarter with 210 million daily active users, compared to 203 million at the end of Q2, its corporate parent Snap Inc. revealed as part of its earnings release Tuesday afternoon. Snap Inc. generated some $446 million revenue [...]

  • Fire TV News

    Amazon Launches Ad-Supported News Video App

    Amazon officially announced its long-rumored ad-supported news video service Tuesday. The new service will be available on Fire TV devices as well as Fire tablets, and rely on videos from publishers including CBS News, Reuters, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, People, Cheddar and others. News coverage served up through the app includes livestreams as well as on-demand [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content