Content

MavTV Seeks an ‘American Real’ Revival

6/18/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Looking to broaden and expand its audience,
the MavTV network is driving a new brand identity
and diversifying its programming mix.

The new “American
Real” MavTV will roll out
new programming on July
4, transitioning from a
male-aimed service to one
targeting American families
living active lifestyles.

Unlike Discovery’s recently
launched Destination
America (formerly
Planet Green), focused on
food and travel, MavTV’s
revamped fare will feature
high-action adventure
series and specials,
major movies, concerts
and white-knuckle sports,
according to Bob Patison, president of the Lucas Oil-owned
network.

BLUE-COLLAR CHANNEL

“MavTV is looking to reach working-class families who reside
in New York and California and all points in between,”
he said. “We want MavTV to resonate with families living
active lives, who have interest in sports and the outdoors,
or at least learning about them.”

Patison said the initial target is to double the network’s
reach within 24 months. Through better positioning,
MavTV aspires to a subscriber base of 50 million over the next
five to seven years and full distribution within a decade.

Added Lucas Oil Products CEO Forrest Lucas: “We’re
investing a lot of time, money and brainpower. I’d like to
move a lot faster.”

Launched in October
2004 by a quartet of former
Showtime executives, MavTV’s
affiliate deals include
Comcast, Time Warner Cable,
Bright House Networks,
Dish Network, Cablevision
Systems, Charter Communications,
Verizon Communications,
GCI, the National
Cable Television Cooperative
and the National Rural
Telecommunications Cooperative.
It is currently in
front of 42 million homes
and counts some 6.5 million
subscribers, largely via sports tiers.

Lucas — who noted MavTV gained some traction with the
industry’s push to the high-definition format — said the former
management team was essentially out of capital when
his company stepped up to full ownership in 2010. Money
now has come in to deal with such issues as programming
that had fallen into reruns, the Lucas Oil executives said.

“If we wanted continued carriage, there had to be improvement,”
Patison said.

Movies will play a big role in the revival. Via deals with
Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and other studios, MavTV will
air such films as The Natural, Snatch and A Knight’s Tale,
plus classic titles starring John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Boris
Karloff and Bruce Lee, from Film Chest.

The service also plans to tune up its musical offerings
through “The Les Paul Kids Rock Free Concert Series”
from the Fender Center in Corona, Calif. Upcoming
shows feature performances by Deana Carter, Max Carl,
Paul Rodgers, Lukas Nelson and Merle Haggard.

On the action roster, MavTV is adding Hell on Hooves,
about professional bull riding, along with The Lucas Motorsports
Hour
, featuring episodes of Off Road Racing, Drag
Boat
, EnduroCross, Dirt Late Model and The Pro-Pulling
League
.

As for motorsports, currently about 30% of the network’s
schedule, the idea is for Lucas Oil Production Studios,
which supplies genre fare to CBS, NBC Speed and Fuel, to
develop exclusive fare for MavTV, Patison said.

Wednesday nights will be devoted to mixed martial
arts, including two hours of live and current action from
the King of The Cage circuit.

CAMPAIGN IN MOTION

A trade advertising campaign backing the relaunch is set to
begin, supplementing an ongoing grass initiative that has
seen the MavTV logo appear on semis hauling Lucas Oil
products at racing and music events and trade shows. MavTV
billboards are also running on racing shows produced by
Lucas Oil Production Studios and airing on other networks.

The network also assembles on-site booths at casinos
and arenas hosting the MMA events, with sizzle reels generating
exposure on screens in those venues.

September