At A&E Television Networks‘ upfront presentation in New York, which is going on right now, the company’s president and CEO Abbe Raven spiced up her speech to advertisers with some snipes at competing networks, including TBS, Discovery Channel, TLC and TruTV. In her remarks, Raven made the point that “if you look at just original programming on cable, A+E Networks is the most-watched versus any other cable group.” Without that asterisk, A&E TV Networks, which includes channels A&E, History and Lifetime, is running behind the Turner networks. “We are almost at 100% percent original programming in primetime across most of our core brands. We are not following the Big Bang strategy where 75% percent of the schedule is off broadcast programming,” Raven said, a reference to TBS’ recent ratings success with reruns of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
Raven next called out the cable networks who have launched reality shows with concepts closely resembling such as A&E and History hits as Storage Wars, Pawn Stars and Hoarders: TruTV’s Hardcore Pawn and Storage Hunters, Discovery Channel’s Auction Kings and TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive. “Our integrity and respect for the creative community does not allow us to even think of copying other networks’ shows,” she said. “We have too much reverence for our brands to become a clone of other networks. We do not want the 25th generation of the Pawn and Storage shows like TLC, Tru or Discovery. We want to stick to what we do best – creating the original.”