Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fremantle's Game Show Network: A big deal?

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/jQMlsaZ21_U/maxresdefault.jpgNot yet. And Here's why:

As we all know through multiple sources by now, including the official press release itself from Fremantle, a second "game show network" will launch, but with no official ties to our GSN as we know it. This second network full of 24/7 game shows will be labeled "BUZZR TV." Watch out for BUZZR TV on your cable provider coming this summer.

This new Game Show Network will feature the Richard Dawson, Ray Combs, Louie Anderson, Richard Karn and John O'Hurley versions of Family Feud (and apparently Steve Harvey Feud "eventually"), and additionally Let's Make a Deal, To Tell the Truth, several versions of Password, Match Game, Beat the Clock, What's My Line?, Blockbusters and Card Sharks.

First off, it's not like Fremantle's new channel is airing strictly Steve Harvey Family Feud, Deal or No Deal, The Chase, Idiotest and The Newlywed Game (Shepherd) like GSN airs through a majority of programming hours. Plus, this new channel probably will not even get their hands on any of GSN's originals. By the time this new game show network launches, the only show GSN and "the new GSN" may have in common is Match Game, Card Sharks and O'Hurley Feud. GSN airs those very minimally anyway.

I don't see a huge effect on Game Show Network or the rest of cable. In a comment at GameShowFollies, Casey Abell uses MeTV as an example of this new game show network. MeTV only broadcasts oldies and does not develop original programming, which is GSN's current focus (i.e. The Chase, Skin Wars, etc.).

Fremantle's new game show network at its launch will only cover 37% of all households while GSN currently covers 80% of America. Fremantle plans to move that 37% figure up over time, I'm sure, but for now it's not like the network will be in almost all households, like GSN is today.

And what will happen with the GSN classic lineup? Do you say it will disappear for good? I actually think not. Sure, Game Show Network within the past decade-plus now, has been cutting back on classics for very modern reruns and new original programming. But, I don't think Fremantle's station means a total axing of pre-1990's material on GSN. With the addition of Fremantle's network, I think classics will stick around for now. Plus, if GSN really wanted the pre-1990's (which currently only fill the 8-11am ET block), wouldn't they have just done that by now?

Here in 2015, Fremantle's new "game show network", even a GSN2 if you will (for what classic fans have always pictured a "GSN 2" as) is a "little deal" for now and will remain a little deal for a while. I think GSN will stay strong and not make any drastic changes.

GSN, if I were you, I would worry about yourselves and don't focus on competition (until the competition bests you).


  1. Does anyone think Alex Davis and his cronies will sue the new network?
    Better question: did Alex Davis even file a trademark for the name Buzzerblog?

    1. "BUZZR TV" and "Buzzerblog" are different.

  2. I don't think this network will even be a threat to GSN. This is an OTA network which can be seen without cable but many cable and satellite operators will probably offer the channel in the future.I think the new channel will start off like the other OTA channels: infomercials and cheap public domain programming. That's how COZI TV started. I do believe there are public domain game shows available but that would be dirt cheap to air. Beat the Clock, Cullen TPiR and You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx.

    As for the future, I see Dawson and Harvey Feud dominate if they show some Family Feud. I just don't see Ray Combs or any other host.

    1. "I don't think this network will even be a threat to GSN."

      I agree. It won't be a threat for years because with the 500+ cable channels, no one really pays attention to a new one.

      "I think the new channel will start off like the other OTA channels: infomercials and cheap public domain programming. "

      I disagree. Fremantle will put money into this for nearly 24/7 quality game show reruns.

    2. Since it is an OTA, FCC requires 3 hours of E/I programming weekly. Any ideas what could he chosen? I'm thinking dirt cheap stuff and not high quality Howdy Doody like COZI TV does.

      Most OTA start with public domain and infomercials. Once they make some money off of that along with willing local advertising, then they will air better quality shows.

      COZI TV started that way. Public domain shows of Beverly Hillbillies, Life with Elizabeth (Betty White), Ozzie and Harriet, Danny Thomas Show (non Uncle Tonoose episodes).

  3. Why didn't Sony's Antenna TV put in game show classics like Joker's Wild or Tic Tac Dough to its schedule? Or even the MGM This TV put Peter Marshall Hollywood Squares on its schedule?

    1. Sony does not own Antenna TV. tribune Broadcasting does.

  4. I hope Buzzr TV will air episodes that never aired on GSN like celebrity clearances.

  5. Buzzr starts out with a whole lot more households than GSN began with, and with the muscle of Fox's O&O stations behind it. Scott Rahner (and maybe some GSN execs) may want to pretend it's not a big deal. Yeah, right. For the first time ever, GSN will get competition from a nationally distributed game show network.

    No, nothing to see here at all. Just move along.

    Who is Scott kidding? Not me, anyway. And I bet he's not kidding David Goldhill, either. For two decades GSN has had the playing field all to itself as the nation's only game show network. Now there's a new kid in town backed by Fox and Fremantle, not exactly small-time operations.

    I really do think this spells the end for GSN's already shrinking block of oldies. Oh, maybe a weekday hour or an occasional special might survive. But if Buzzr rolls out a long list of old shows - as I think they will at the start, anyway - GSN will probably figure, okay, let them have that sub-niche. It's not exactly the most lucrative sub-niche, anyway, as Tylenol found out.

    And I also think the new competition will move Sony to freshen up GSN, possibly with recent Wheel of Fortune and an even more ambitious development slate.

    We'll see how things go as Buzzr gears up. But to dismiss the new network as no big deal for GSN is completely unconvincing.

    1. The OTA is oversaturated with classic dramas/sitcoms. Now you will have game shows to the mix.
      Antenna TV
      COZI Tv
      This TV
      LAFF (coming soon)
      Exitos TV (Classics shows en espanol)
      The Works

      And soon to be Buzzr.

      Cable can't take the hint but broadcast television can.
      Although it is a proven fact these broadcast subchannels make the main channel's HD quality look like crap.

    2. Actually Buzzr could work, and work well. With so many people going back to broadcast TV and internet(or those w/ cable but no GSN, as WOW dropped them a couple years ago), these secondary channels are the wave of the future. Plus, it's basically free. Since Fremantle already owns what they will broadcast, cost is secondary. It won't take much to turn a profit and then slowly build to a higher and higher level. And surely they won't have any direct competition like ME, Cozi and Antenna are to one another. I have an idea for a niche channel that isn't listed above or in the works. My only problem is I lack a couple million bucks to get it off the ground. It's a gold mine waiting to drop if anyone has the funds to back me and the hubby.

    3. Casey, sure GSN will get competition but Buzzr TV will still not be available in even half the households in America as GSN. Who cares if Buzzr TV starts out in many more households today, in 2015 then GSN in 1994. Other cable networks have launched and were available in tens of millions of households and failed. Fox Reality Channel, anyone?

      GSN will still be the go-to place for game shows and will remain the higher-rated network, by far, than Buzzr TV.

      I also think the addition of Buzzr TV is a "little deal", not a no deal like you are suggesting.

    4. ....like you are suggesting that I said. It's a "little deal", not a big deal or nothing.

      Buzzr TV, I believe, is categorized as "something", but not "everything" or "nothing."

    5. Ladies and gentlemen, watch him backpedal. ANYTHING to say he didn't misspeak or make a mistake. Pathetic. Go ahead and remove this. I'm sure you will before too many people get to see it.

    6. What's the problem here? I never said in the article Buzzr TV was no issue at all to GSN. I said "little issue/deal" but it's not a big deal.

  6. Match Game and Card Sharks might leave the schedule if they start airing on Buzzr. This might be why Blockbusters and Super Password were removed from the schedule.

    $25,000 Pyramid will not be airing on Buzzr, so I think GSN will keep that.

    Press Your Luck and Sale of the Century are from the fremantle library, so if they leave GSN, then they will probably move to Buzzr.

  7. And who can forget the one time GSN rival but aimed at kids called Nick GAS (a/k/a Nickelodeon Games and Sports) owned by Nickelodeon that appeared on cablesystems from 1999 until its 2007 demise?

    1. Comparing Nick GAS to GSN is apples to oranges. Most if not ALL shows on Nick GaS were Nickelodeon original shows and not from other companies. Once the subcompanies such as Woody Frasier pulled their shows from their lineup, that's when Nick GaS lost traction and eventually led to it's demise. You really can't loop the same shows in a 6 hour block 4 times a day......

  8. You also have to remember that GSN gathers most of its audience from original programming: The Chase, Idiotest, Skin Wars, It Takes a Church and in the past, American Bible Challenge. Buzzr TV is not going to have original programming for a long time, if the network even becomes profitable enough for Fremantle/FOX to wish to develop original shows.

    The niche shows that Buzzr TV will air, Tattletales, Card Sharks and pre-2010 Feud, are not bringing in the ratings on GSN. Original programming and modern acquisitions (mainly Harvey Feud) are. Those pre-2010 shows are only for a niche audience. If Buzzr TV sets up the schedule like how GSN was in the mid-late 2000's, Buzzr TV execs will find out fast that modern is better and the older shows don't bring in the viewers.

    It's also hard to compare MeTV and Buzzr TV. Last time I checked MeTV airs sitcoms and very well-known shows from the 1950's to 1980's. Game shows are niche and bring in much lesser audience in reruns. For example, one of the top game shows right now, Harvey Feud, has reruns bringing in 400K-600K viewers on GSN and TV Land while Big Bang Theory, one of the top scripted shows right now out there brings in millions on TBS.

    The real threat is when Harvey Feud comes to Buzzr TV, which I'm sure will come sooner than later. I would think Harvey Feud would come to Buzzr TV right at launch time. But, the TV Land and BET Harvey Feud reruns have not hurt GSN in any way. But the Buzzr TV runs just might.

  9. I Hope We Get Buzzr TV Right Here on Cox Cable As A Subchannel Right Here In Wichita KS. And Also As A Subchannel In Topeka KS. Because We Need More Classic Game Shows To Help Me Continue My Old Classic Game Show Fix. So That I Can Remember The Way The Game Shows Were Suppose To Air In The Mornings, Afternoons, And Evenings. So I Can Watch More Of Those Classic Game Shows To Help Me Remember My Younger Years. To My College Years. And Into My Adulthood. I Hope That Cox Cable Will Add Buzzr Tv To Our Lineup. And I Hope That They Will Do It Sometime When It Launches in The Summer.

  10. the future is ota subchannels, not cable!! ota subchannels are starting to slowly kill pay tv and gsn will be on death watch along with a few other pay tv channels in the coming years!!