Knowledge TV, in a move that it predicted will help it to
boost its distribution and make it more appealing to advertisers, will debut a West Coast
digital feed effective Aug. 1, officials said last week.
The new feed for the network, which is part of Jones
Education Networks, means that West Coast viewers will actually see the service's 9
p.m. to 11 p.m. programming during primetime, instead of at 6 p.m. PST.
Besides the new feed, Knowledge TV has some other key
events coming up this summer. In July, the network will kick off a more than $1.5 million
ad campaign that will include print ads, bus kiosks and radio ads in markets such as New
York and Chicago, said Stan Weil, executive vice president of national ad sales.
Knowledge TV will also, for the first time, do a
programming presentation at the Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena, Calif.,
as part of a new slot being created there for younger networks.
The new West Coast feed was a big factor in the recent
decision by Tele-Communications Inc. in San Mateo, Calif., to carry Knowledge TV on its
72,000-subscriber system, said Bob Jones, the network's vice president of
programming. And he predicted that the new feed will also help to convince other West
Coast operators to carry Knowledge TV, which now reaches about 22 million homes.
According to Weil, the new feed will help to attract some
advertisers that had expressed reservations about buying the network because its key
programming wasn't airing in primetime in the West.
The network will provide its full-time affiliates on the
West Coast and in the Rocky Mountain time zone with General Instrument Corp. DigiCipher-2
units so that they can convert the new signal to analog, officials said. Operators will
get that equipment by July 20 so that they can do tests for the conversion.
Knowledge TV officials said they were surprised to learn
that only a minority of basic-cable networks have West Coast feeds. Turner Network
Television will debut its new feed in July, and Nickelodeon will launch Nick Too, digital
East and West Coast feeds, in January.
Jones not only rebranded Mind Extension University (ME/U):
The Education Network as Knowledge TV a year ago, but it also folded its Jones Computer
Network into the operation, incorporating shows on computers into its schedule.
Since last year, Knowledge TV has been stripping hour-long
blocks based on different topics across its schedule, all aimed at providing viewers with
information that they can use to enrich their personal and professional lives. At 8 p.m.,
for example, the network airs shows on computers and technology; at 9 p.m., it's
business and finance; and at 10 p.m., it's health and wellness.
As part of its strategy, Knowledge TV has forged
programming partnerships with a number of broadcasters -- including several in Silicon
Valley, Calif. -- to create shows for the cable network. For example, Knowledge TV is
working with Tribune Broadcasting, Conus, A.H. Belo Corp., Hubbard Broadcasting Inc., NBC
affiliate KRON-TV in San Francisco and independent KICU-TV in San Jose, Calif., on a
number of series on topics ranging from computers to health, Jones said.
In effect, those alliances are giving Knowledge TV access
to veteran broadcast journalists, as well as to news bureaus around the world, according
In the case of Belo, it has been doing a health show called
Pulse for Knowledge TV. But under a new deal, Knowledge TV will become a
co-producer on that show, giving the network more input on its content, Jones said.
Nielsen Media Research began rating Knowledge TV in
January, according to Weil. The network has been averaging a 0.1 to 0.2 in primetime and a
0.1 total day, Weil said.