Ops Wary Of Bravo Changes


NBC officials vowed this past week that they wouldn't turn Bravo into 'NBC2,'
or a dumping ground for 'repurposed' programming from the Peacock Network.

But some cable operators sound skeptical, and plan to remember and hold NBC
to its promise.

NBC said its No. 1 priority is to increase Bravo's distribution, north of 80
million subscribers. Bravo's monthly license fee is currently in the 11-cent to
16-cent range, according to sources.

NBC's deal to buy the 68.5-million subscriber Bravo network for $1.25 billion
puts Bravo in the hands of a media giant that has been very savvy and aggressive
in expanding carriage for its cable networks.

After announcing the deal, NBC officials, including NBC Cable president David
Zaslav and NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker, stuck to the party line:
While there will be some repurposing, Bravo will remain an
arts-and-entertainment-oriented channel, with improvements.

'We don't see Bravo as a broad entertainment service,' Zaslav said. 'The
challenge for cable services in the future that don't have a niche, that aren't
true to a brand, is going to be lot more difficult and torture than services
that have a clear identity and a brand.'