A.E.G. has become the latest concert promoter to make its lineup of live events a little more entertaining.
The company, which owns and produces the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Stagecoach Country Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Rock on the Range Music Festival, and Firefly Music Festival, will broadcast the events on AXS TV next year.
The move comes as rival Live Nation has paired up with Vice Media to produce a slate of original entertainment shows around its concerts and artists, with series distributed online and on mobile platforms in order to reach more millennials.
Now A.E.G. also wants to expand the viewership of its shows through other platforms that appeal to younger audiences, with over 70 hours of telecasts produced over 15 days.
At the same time, making the often sold out events more accessible to TV viewers could boost interest in AXS TV, which launched in 2012.
In August, the cable channel said it would serve as the official U.S. broadcast home for the eleventh season of “The X Factor UK,” and in April, redesigned its website to become more of a news service for concerts, festivals, sporting events and family shows.
But it’s live broadcasts of festivals that could also attract more advertisers to the network, given that live events typically capture a sizable audience.
In fact, A.E.G. has lined up Mercury Insurance as the title sponsor of a four-episode special, “Road to the Festivals,” a documentary style series that will premiere in March. Show’s 30-minute episodes will lead up to the concerts, beginning with Coachella, April 17-19 live from Indio County, Calif. The lineup ends with the Firefly Music Festival, from Dover, Del., June 19-21.
The series is Mercury’s largest brand integration with an entertainment entity to date, according to Erik Thompson, Mercury’s advertising director. “Sponsoring the five festivals and behind-the-scenes series allows us to extend our brand and connect with viewers who love music,” he said. “We want to tap into that passion to introduce Mercury’s products and services, not just on TV, but through all of the AXS platforms.”
A.E.G., owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, is the second largest producer of concerts, festivals and exhibitions behind Live Nation.
AXS TV was founded by Mark Cuban as a network dedicated to music programming, comedy performances, current events and mixed martial arts. AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency and CBS also are partners in the venture that’s available through AT&T’s U-verse, Charter, Comcast’s Xfinity, DirecTV, DISH, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS and other cable and satellite providers.
“AXS TV is committed to delivering the best in live music, and we’re proud to continue that legacy with this groundbreaking lineup,” Cuban said. “Nothing compares to a live music event, and now our audience will get a front-row seat to five incredible festivals, as we bring the ultimate concert experience to our viewers.”