Television

New TV channel to focus on Middle America

LOS ANGELES: The America Channel is planning to launch a new cable channel aimed at showing real American life between the East and West coasts is planned for launch next year.

The 24-hour channel will focus on "real reality and real storytelling" about the nation and its people. The channel will seek an investment of around $65 million - that experts say is well below the $100 million to $125 million that non-fiction networks typically need to raise.

An nj.com report has quoted The America Channel chairman and CEO Doron Gorshein as saying that Middle America has fantastic stories to tell and the channel will attempt to do so.

"The channel is aimed at filling a void created by television's tendency to focus on life in New York and Los Angeles. This kind of content is not there and our market research indicates a clear cut gap," Gorshein, who as a Turner Broadcasting executive had responsibility for CNN's international licensing.

Among the planned series are American Stories highlighting the achievements of ordinary people; Campus Report with students documenting college life; and Faces of America focusing on the nation's social, cultural and ethnic diversity. Another programme America from Afar will examine what foreign media are reporting about American leaders, events and people.

The America Channel conducted a survey and the following were the findings: of the 600 cable and satellite subscribers surveyed nationally, 58 per cent said TV doesn't reflect the real America and 63 per cent said they would like to know more about people's everyday lives. Nearly half, 47 per cent, said it is difficult to find TV content "that really speaks to me,".

The nj.com report states that America Channel expects to be available to between 3 million and 6 million cable subscribers at launch and eventually reach more than 50 million homes. By comparison, channels such as CNN, A&E and Fox News Channel each reach 80 million or more US households.

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