GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Most cable or satellite network startups have months, sometimes more than a year, to prepare for launching their network. TheBlaze had less than 45 days, according to Broadway Systems, which assisted with the deployment.
TheBlaze began as GBTV, an online, subscription-based channel with six hours of programming each day. Last June, the company was rebranded as TheBlaze and moved forward with plans for a 24-hour programming schedule. In addition to its Web-based service, the network negotiated distribution agreements with Dish Network.
“We had the foundation of GBTV to start, but going from six hours a day to 24/7 is a huge jump,” said Eric Pearce, senior vice president of television operations. “We had about 40 days to get everything up and running. It was pretty intense.”
TheBlaze needed a partner that could manage its advertising at the right economics – and was capable of meeting its tight deadline. They initially contacted Broadway Systems in late July 2012 and were able to launch on schedule on Sept. 12.
While the majority of network programming is based out of Dallas, TheBlaze maintains its sales offices in New York City. Pearce said Broadway spent time at the network’s Times Square location training TheBlaze personnel how to use its programming, scheduling, and traffic and billing modules.
Over the past 12 months, Broadway Systems said it has implemented or entered into long-term contracts with a number of national cable networks, including BBC America, MGM Syndication, MNET, Tennis Channel, and WWE.
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