Space Ramblings

Every Cable Channel is Now the Same

So there I was walking down the street and minding someone else’s business, when I saw an ad for Larry the Cable Guy on the History Channel. What is Larry the Cable Guy doing on the History Channel? Same thing Ax Men, Top Gear, Pawn Stars, American Pickers and all the other generic reality TV shows are doing there.

What about A&E which is pushing what looks like a weight loss reality tv show, along with Dog the Bounty Hunter, Storage Wars and more crap than you can shake a stick at. Or The Learning Channel which has American Chopper, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Cake Boss, What Not To Wear and Toddlers and Tiaras.

Is there any kind of brand in all this madness? How do you tell which show should be associated with A&E, TLC or the History Channel. You can’t. It’s all the same crap. SyFy has Ghost Hunters, Hollywood Treasure, Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen and WWE Smackdown (but don’t worry, they canceled Stargate Universe so no one starts associating them with Science Fiction).

It’s like no channel has a brand anymore, just a collection of crap filmed by people with a camera that they hope someone will watch. Half of cable programming is now the same kind of thing you can find on YouTube but with better advertising, lighting and marketing.

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  • Terrahawk January 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Actually, a handful of cable channels seem to be able to stick with their branding. USA, Spike, TBS, and TNT seem to have plans that they stick to. Of course, their marketing is a little more broad than Sci-Fi, Sleuth, TLC, History, etc. Food Network has done okay.

    But, overall, yes all cable channels are the same. It’s ironic because the point of bundling channels was that it allowed for all of these niche channels. Instead, it’s lead to every channel running the same kind of junk. It is just hastening along the move towards online watching.

  • O_Deus January 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    TBS is reruns and Conan. Spike is like Maxim with a cable channel. TNT at least does a certain amount of original dramas, but the branding is confusing.

    There are too many cable channels and content has gotten too expensive. No one watches reruns anymore, so they’re all trying to cobble together cheap reality show lineups. And they wonder why everyone is canceling cable.

    It’ll get much worse when their business model becomes online ad supported programming.

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