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The online video network for AOL-owned news publication Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, has signed a new deal that will bring its content to cable television.
That’s right — the Huffington Post is now on cable TV.
The deal is with Mark Cuban’s AXS TV (formerly HDNet), which is available in 41,000 homes across the country. The channel specializes in airing mainly live content, such as concerts, MMA fighting matches, commentary, and more, which makes HuffPost Live programming a perfect fit. If you’ve never heard of AXS TV, then don’t worry — you’re not alone (I didn’t know what it was either). The channel is carried by a variety of TV providers (Dish, DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, Cablevision), but unless you have an extended programming package, you’ve probably never watched it. And that’s reflected in AXS TV’s decision not to be rated by Nielsen, which would likely show that the audience is very small.
Under terms of the agreement, HuffPost Live will provide six hours of programming to the cable channel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time. HuffPost Live will also attempt to drive engagement by adding comments on the programming alongside the videos as they air on TV. That might drive people to the online version of the stories, too, but I’m not sure how effective it’ll be.
The move is a bit odd considering HuffPost Live’s emphasis when it launched eight months ago on being a real-time online TV network, minus the need for a TV. At the same time, declining lucrative distribution channels like cable TV would be like leaving money on the table. HuffPost Live content is already getting made, and it’s obviously capped out (for the moment) on the number of eyeballs it can bring in on its own. The New York Times notes that the deal isn’t costing either partner, which means it’s merely sharing content at this point.
“It’s an opportunity for both of us to grow our audiences during the day,” Cuban told the NYT.
Image screenshot via HuffPost Live