Conservative cable TV channel startup – RightNetwork

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in We The People

There’s an article in today’s Philadelphia Daily News about the latest political activism by their city’s hockey team owner:

Apr. 20, 2010

Snider funding conservative RightNetwork

Philadelphia Daily News

Flyers’ owner Ed Snider has just picked up another right-winger.
This one won’t help Philadelphia finally win another Stanley Cup, though.
The local sports mogul and longtime backer of conservative causes says he’s a major investor in a new cable TV network that may have an even more difficult task than bringing hockey’s crown back to Philly, and that is toppling the right-wing ratings champ, the Fox News Channel.

The Snider-funded RightNetwork – with a looser approach to conservative topics, including a comedy show and a jocular front man in sitcom star Kelsey Grammer – is hoping to come to your cable box as early as this summer.

Snider – whose investment in RightNetwork is personal and not linked to his role as chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which already owns the locally popular Comcast Sportsnet on cable as well as the Flyers, 76ers and the Wachovia Center – was not available for an interview. But he had earlier posted a statement about RightNetwork.

“We’re creating a welcome place for millions and millions of Americans who’ve been looking for an entertainment network and media channel that reflects their point of view,” Snider said. “RightNetwork will be the perfect platform to entertain, inform and connect with the American majority about what’s right in the world.”

Snider, 77, a longtime backer of programs related to the iconic libertarian philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand, has been more public in his support of conservative causes in recent years.

He was a major donor to a now-defunct group called Freedom’s Watch that supported the anti-terrorism and Middle East policies of then-President George W. Bush, and his decision to invite then-GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to drop the puck at the Flyers’ 2008 home opener drew a mix of cheers and boos.
Now, in entering the crowded and competitive world of politics on cable TV, Snider and his partners in the RightNetwork may have taken on a tougher mission than getting the 76ers back to the playoffs.

Ed Arke, who chairs the communications department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., said it will be difficult to convince conservatives to change the channel away from Fox News and its star lineup of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

“Fox in particular, is a very personality-driven network,” Arke said. “They recruited star power when they initially went on the air and had the benefit of having a stable of recognizable talent as they were building audience – 24/7 cable news can’t survive on the promise something big is going to happen.”

Like any cable start-up, the prospect of success for a venture like RightNetwork depends to some extent on the quality of shows, but also its ability to get the nation’s cable and satellite providers to carry it in a good spot on the dial.

As for programming, the proposed lineup on RightNetwork – as posted for a preview on its Web site, – is slanted more toward what could be called “conservative entertainment” and away from the newsier approach of Fox.

There is, for example, a right-leaning comedy show, “Evan Sayet’s Right 2 Laugh,” with standup comics making jokes about [Alleged] President Obama’s teleprompter and buying an Obama coin “because any collector will tell you a coin is worth a lot more when there’s an obvious mistake on it.”

There’s also a reality show called “Running” about six novice conservative candidates, and “Politics and Poker” with bombastic new-media star Andrew Breitbart.

The previews are introduced by “Cheers” and “Frasier” star Grammer, one of Hollywood’s best-known conservatives, who hails the network as “all that’s right in the world.”

There was considerable discussion yesterday – fueled by some confusion in initial news reports – over whether Snider and the network would receive backing from another Philadelphia institution – Comcast Corp., which is currently seeking approval for its majority stake in NBC-Universal.

Comcast issued a statement late yesterday that it is not an investor in RightNetwork and that it is evaluating the content of the new channel for possible addition to its channel lineup, as it would with any other start-up cable network.

Posted 2010-04-20 8:17 AM (#36266) By: SteveSchulin
  1. mutuelle says:

    Hi! Your article rocks and is really a very good understand!…

  2. Lynne W says:

    I will definelty watch this network. I live in the Philadelphia area so this is very exciting to read. I am also a Kelsey Grammer fan! Let’s hope this network happens. We could really use it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I will definitely be watching this network if it happens! It was very exciting to read this as I live in the Philadelphia suburbs. I’m also a big Kelsey Grammer fan. Let’s hope this network happens!

  4. ILoveAmerica says:

    Bravo to Snider. I have just become a Philadelphia Flyers fan as well as a Snider fan. If and when this cable network channel goes on the air, I will be watching and applauding.

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