HorrorNet Looks to Scare Up Carriage

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Yet another digi-net creature is stalking carriage deals.

Backed by famed movie director Joel Silver (Matrix, Lethal Weapon), HorrorNet is eyeing a first-quarter-2006 debut, according to president Kim Bangash.

HorrorNet is seeking the male 18-34 demo that has helped to resurrect the horror-movie genre in theatres over the past few years with films like The Ring and Final Destination. Bangash said such movies also draw young females, whom he hopes will also tune into the network.

“HorrorNet will be the first network in the United States to truly exploit the genres of horror, suspense and action thrillers with world-class library titles and original programming,” he added.

While the network’s programming will be ad-supported and edited under traditional cable standards, he said, HorrorNet will also offer an unedited video-on-demand service that will accompany the linear channel.

Bangash said the network will be “flexible” in its agreement with operators, but it is targeting digital-basic carriage. HorrorNet will also provide local advertising avails to its affiliates, although he would not reveal specifics.

The network is vying with upstart HDTV services Fangoria TV and Monster HD for carriage commitments and the attention of genre aficionados. HorrorNet would also compete against Sci Fi Channel to some degree.

Bangash would not reveal any specific programming deals, but sources said the network is negotiating with Warner Bros., which distributed a number of Silver’s movies, including the Matrix trilogy. Warner Bros. has a large library of horror and suspense titles such as Coma, The Exorcist, Frankenstein and The Shining.

During daytime, HorrorNet will offer more family-friendly horror-based shows such as The Addams Family, The Munsters, Goosebumps and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although it has yet to secure rights.

In primetime, the service plans to mostly air contemporary and classic horror films.

For more on HorrorNet, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 38 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.