Back in 2003, when C4 was just a new-born baby within the television world, it had a dream – to bring music television to the New Zealand people. When TV4 first launched in 1997, it grew to become a sort of television waste ground – older, less popular shows (with the exception of a few – South Park, you know what I mean) were broadcast in the hopes of tackling an audience passing through on their channel surfing endeavours. However, what Mediaworks did at this point was something rather clever, and a bit of a trick that other networks could learn from if their channels are in any respect flailing with regard to viewership.
They purchased affordable, mass content and drew an audience by bringing something new to free-to-air – music television.
You see, this, folks, is a great way to gather an audience. Take music videos, play them in themed or unthemed shows, and watch as an audience, craving free-to-air music television, grows. As your audience expands and your status grows with it, start covering events and making your name heard. Then, when the landscape demands it, enlist the help of entertainment shows. And finally, when the time comes, morph said channel into an entertainment channel – FOUR.
This can also be seen as the method used by MTV also – bring people music videos, and slowly outgrow that cheap and cheerful content with something more expensive, utilising your now established audience. This is a theory I’ve had for a while that I think, if executed well, can be done with a minimum of fuss and frustration for all those involved. And, by moving C4 to C42′s spot, and phasing in FOUR, no-one really loses out – everyone’s happy for the most part. One problem I have noticed, however, is that people are less than forgiving about the fact that Sky won’t be seeing the new C4. Who knows; I believe that, given a significant audience, this issue could be rectified, and we could see the new C4 on Sky alongside it’s brand new brother or sister.
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