Glenn Beck has started a campaign to get his internet program, TheBlaze, added to cable and satellite television provider networks across the country.
Beck plans to promote GetTheBlaze.com, a web site that asks supporters to contact their service provider and request the program. He will further discuss the channel and the site on his nationally syndicated radio show and utilize social media to further expand marketing efforts.
Beck writes on the web site, “You probably pay good money every month to your TV provider for access to channels like MSNBC and Al Jazeera America — channels that you might not watch, or even agree with … Adding TheBlaze will ensure that you and your family have a source of news and analysis that you can trust and that doesn’t betray your values.”
According to The New York Times, Glenn Beck has indicated before that he wants to position the channel as a “libertarian news and entertainment source,” putting it in competition with Fox News Channel, where he hosted a widely popular 5 pm talk show which received views that would otherwise be associated with primetime broadcasts.
Beck left Fox nearly twenty months ago and launched GBTV, a subscriber-only internet program that was later renamed TheBlaze.
Within only one year the program had 300,000 subscribers. In September 2012 the host announced a carriage deal with Dish Network, the first of what his company, Mercury Radio Arts, hoped would be many. It seems the program’s push to be broadcast on network television is mainly economic, as TV channels get subscriber fees and there are more advertising opportunities available.
As of now, Dish has an exclusive agreement with TheBlaze, so it cannot air on other provider networks just yet. Contract specifics haven’t been released, but the fact that TheBlaze is beginning this campaign now is a good indication that the agreement may be coming to an end in the near future.
Dave Shull, Dish Network senior vice president, said, “TheBlaze and Glenn Beck bring a unique perspective to Dish’s broad spectrum of political programming on all sides … We had customers sign up quickly, and we saw new customers join Dish. In fact, subscriptions attributable to TheBlaze outpaced our projections by 80 percent, proving that Dish is giving customers what they want with a choice in programming, not to mention the technology to choose how to watch it.”
It possible that with other network agreements, Beck’s program could be required to cancel internet broadcasts, but as of now Mercury Radio Arts isn’t planning on pulling the program from the web.
“TheBlaze has no plans to do that at this time and believes that the continued success of the subscription platform proves to distributors the demand for our content,” a spokesperson said.
Lynne Costantini, a previous Time Warner Cable and Scripps Networks executive, is joining the channel as president of business development to help push the company’s efforts to get the program on major network television.
The campaign is scheduled to launch in several phases that will continue of the course of nine months.
“This journey for truth that we are on is much bigger than you and I; the future of liberty is hanging in the balance. All of us have a choice to make: sit on the sideline, or get involved,” Beck said. “If we succeed then we change the media. If we change the media, we control the debate. If we control the debate, we change politics. And if we change politics, we change the country.”
Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze currently offers more than 40 hours of programming per week, including nightly news, information, and opinions developed by Beck and his team of writers.