A&E Networks Touts 'High' Gains


As programmers jockey for carriage of their high-definition networks, A&E Television Networks will try to emphasize its early successes gaining placement, and highlight support for its upcoming launches, with a new affiliate-relations campaign.

The campaign, hitting business publications on May 12, is themed “Wide Appeal.” David Zagin, executive vice president of affiliate relations and marketing, said that phrase refers to many aspects of the company's HD offerings: they're available in wide screen, have great variety and appeal to a wide array of demographics.

The company launched its HD version of A&E in the third quarter of 2006, a channel that is now delivered to 77 million subscribers. A year later, History HD debuted; it's now in front of 64 million homes, according to the company. The latest launch, Biography HD, is still gaining its footing but has affiliates serving 16 million households.

The company will add a fourth network, Crime & Investigation HD, in the fourth quarter of this year.

The campaign is designed to “make sure [affiliates] realize how committed we are to HD,” Zagin said. “As we compete with our programming peers, this is a great opportunity to highlight what we have available.”

“Wide Appeal” will have a heavy presence through banner ads in online daily publications, he said. When interested affiliates click on the banners, they will see a clip reel of content from the advertised network.

AETN continues to invest in the channels, with a goal of 100% true HD in primetime on all networks, the company noted.