Ryan Seacrest, AEG and CAA’s year-long quest to launch a cable network has come to an end. The trio have partnered with Mark Cuban’s HDNet to launch a joint venture and rebrand HDNet/HDNet Canada as AXS TV (pronounced “access”). It will launch in June, replacing HDNet in 35 million homes.
Seacrest’s Ryan Seacrest Media will hold an ownership stake in AXS TV. As part of the deal, his Ryan Seacrest Prods will also develop and produce new programming for AXS TV. While actively working behind the scenes, Seacrest will not have an on-air presence on AXS TV. His participation in the joint venture also won’t interfere with his pending new NBCUniversal deal that will likely include on-air responsibilities, a first-look deal for Ryan Seacrest Prods and a continuing relationship with E!. ”Over the last year, we’ve been diligently working with our partners AEG and CAA to strategize and explore how we could deliver quality live entertainment and lifestyle programming to a large audience. HDNet is the perfect partner to help us translate our vision into a reality,” the CAA-repped Seacrest said. “Mark Cuban and (AEG’s) Tim Leiweke bring a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial experience and spirit to this venture, and I’m confident our collective collaboration will make AXS a success.” Cuban said that in the the new venture, he will work with “Ryan the entrepreneur, Ryan the mogul and Ryan the producer. We will pick his brain because AXS is about pop culture, and there is no one who has their finger on the pulse of pop culture more than Ryan,” he said. (more…)