How To Start Your Own TV Network Today


Posted on September 22nd, by Michael Rosenblum in Television. 43 comments


If he can do it… anyone can..

There was a time not so long ago when, if you wanted your own TV show you had to work your way up the ranks.. and even then, it was next to impossible.
There were only three networks (yes, that was a long time ago) and air time was minimal, but if you made it to the top you could garner salaries like Dan Rather’s $8 million a year when he took over for Cronkite.

The arrival of cable shattered that, replacing three networks with 500 channels, but the idea of a personality-driven show still dominated, though salaries were smaller. Emeril on The Food Network or Tony Bourdain on The Travel Channel are classic examples.

So was Glenn Beck on Fox.

OK.  Nuts he may be, but he did draw in a crowd, and as such, (2 million viewers a night), Roger Ailes rewarded him accordingly.
Then, Beck went off the rails and Fox termianted his contract.

But Beck would see the writing on the wall – or the chalkboard, rather, and launched his own website/webcast GBTV.com, which stands for, GlennBeck TV.
Neat.

Beck’s site is a monthly subscription – with 200,000 loyal subscribers so far.
So, here’s a bit of math:

200,000 X $10 a month = $2 million a month x 24 months = $24 million a year.
And he is just getting started.

And what do you think the overhead here is?
Nothing?
Next to nothing?

And now Beck does not have to answer to Roger Ailes or Rupert Murdoch or anyone else.
Pretty good deal.

I think if Oprah were smart she would have trashed the whole idea of the Oprah Winfrey Network with Discovery (where I read they had spent $150 million on program development without producing a single show – is that even possible?) and instead launched O.com (come on, she can afford to buy the URL. (can you even get one-letter URLs?))

If Glenn Beck can get 200,000 subscribers Oprah could probably get 2 million (I don’t think this is unreasonable).  That would translate to $240 million a year, almost all profit,  in income, which is, I think, a whole lot better than the OWN network is currently doing.

Now, what does this have to do with you?

Well, you might ask, how do I get started making my own online video network?

It’s a lot easier than you might think, and WordPress, my favorite free software, is just the ticket.

Here is one I particularly like

These are all very ‘video friendly’.

WordPress clearly understands that video has now come to the web in a big way, and their templates (these are not free, but not too expensive) give you a good way to mount your videos and distribute them… or start your own ‘network’.

Add a bit of Ustream this and you’re in business.

And, even though OWN.com and Oprahwinfrey.com are taken, it turns out that Theoprahwinfreyonlinevideonetwork.com is still available.
Hurry!





43 thoughts on “How To Start Your Own TV Network Today

  1. Pingback: How to make money in online video: 3 approaches « Adam Westbrook :: online video & entrepreneurial journalism - Online Works 4 me

  2. Hello, I am a current film student and up in coming producer. It is my goal to eventually start my own network. I’ve been doing intense research on the proper steps in starting a network but I’m not quite receiving the answers I’m looking for. My question is simply WHERE DO I START? I’m currently producing a talk show that caters to artist in the entertainment business. Should I start with in-house production only to build a brand, or should i look into syndication or finding more content?
    My second question is what field of study do you recommend to further my education with the goal of starting my own network? Thank you for your time… Looking forward to hearing from you soon!!!

    • Hi Jamin
      I think the best place to start is with my book iPhone Millionaire (no kidding). Full of good advice on how to break into the business.

    • Lisa please share, I interned with a channel back in 2011 and it was a great experience, unfortunately not enough for strategic planning and valid guidance. I look forward to hearing from you!

  3. Hi micheal, seen the reviews of your book (iphone millionaire) and i love the angles and the writing,just ordered it on amazon. Am already inspired to forge ahead on my network dream. i will keep in touch and hope to meet you soon.

    • You should start by creating some demo content – a few minutes. a few videos. post on Youtube and see how people respond.

  4. how do you get a network ?
    how much for a network license like Disney channel ?
    how long do it take to receive the license ?

    • You get a ‘network’ by convincing an MSO, a major cable supplier, to give you shelf space. In the case of Al Jazerra, for example, they paid $500 million for theirs. It isn’t cheap.

    • Go to wordpress.com and launch your blog. Post every day. When you start to get some traction, sell ad space. simple.

  5. The whole idea of starting my own network is very appealing. I would say gotta start with enough cash to make it happen. But also need a vision to drive the concept. Any suggestions?

  6. Hello! I find this page you have very interesting but still not clear on how to create my own network. I mean should I start first on youtube and i phone millionaire and than wordpress.com… and than TRY to get a meeting with MSO ???? i dont know where to start???

  7. I’d imagine to start a tv network you’d need the money to buy some broadcasting type equipment and probably some broadcasting space/airwave space. you make money by selling ads.

  8. Pingback: Got a Pulitzer? Now YOU can get your own Billionaire! Start a New News Outlet. Be Revolting.. err.. a revolter.. | SOMO NEWS: Snark, Facts and Public Policy Repair

  9. Hello Mike. I’m a film maker and TV producer. I’ve been in TV content creation and production for a while and recently got a job to head the programs department of a satelite TV station. I have always produced local content for my country but now I hav to produce contents that should be acceptable globally. Pls do get in touch cos I really want to reach you. chinny_music@yahoo.com

  10. I would like to know how to purchase a channel like 64.5 to then buy the license or rights content inastead of creating my own… that will come after make enough moneythis way first from the advertising .

      • Michael. I began the journey to statt my own network. Its Tailgate U TV. My website, which I am editing this week, explains my concept. I want to create a party channel where every sort of party can be aired and followed by an audience. Although I want to focus on tailgate parties, I’m open to pajama parties, hair parties, etc. I need to obtain financial backing. Any ideas. If there are investors out there I would like to make an offer to them. Can you help me out.

  11. I am in the show biz and planning to start my entrepreneural tv series,i would like to partner with anybody interested in the deal and has a better offer.

    • Please contact me. I have some content ideas I would like to discuss with you. Go to my website for my phone number. My name is Gary. If you text me include code 515tv in the text and I will respond immediately. Togethet I believe we can create the network you are interested in and fill it with extraordinary content.

  12. I am in the show biz and planning to start my entrepreneural tv series,i would like to partner with anybody interested in the deal and has a better offer.+2347065513836

  13. Little confused on the math there are only 12 months in a year, so how do you get

    200,000 X $10 a month = $2 million a month x 24 months = $24 million a year.

    Shouldn’t it be

    200,000 X $10 a month = $2 million a month x 12 months = $12 million a year.

  14. In a way the digital age has taken away any chance for the average joe to run a broadcasting station since really only radio broadcasts. In 1991 to 1993 we ran a ‘pirate’ tv station and broadcast on commercial vhf channel 12 here in Vancouver called SUBMITV. We operated on the same channel as the local CBS affil,, KVOS TV 12, went off air until they were back and had to take breaks every so often moving around so the men in black suites in the van with the spinning ant. on t wouldn’t find us. Wanted to make sure the CRTC ( our FCC) were doing their jobs see. It was fun and we had a good following until one day the city police and detectives from the RCMP showed up at my home with a search warrant and took everything.

  15. We are a jewelry manufacturer interested in starting a 24-hour TV jewelry shopping channel (yes we have the capacity to produce huge variety to fill that much airtime). We also have access to fair amount of starting capital.

    Unfortunately we no experience in this medium specifically, although we have supplied different TV shopping networks with jewelry and have LOTS of marketing experience.

    What’s the simplest and most conservative way you “get our feet wet” in this medium? Email me at: Silverfact@aol.com
    Thanks!–Nader

  16. Am a song writer.n am into film production.i have ideas on creating content too.i am also thinkng on starting my own tv channel.but dont have the fund.how do i go about it,or is thr any one tht need some one to work wth him.this is my numbr+2348163151050.

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Every day Michael Rosenblum blogs about the latest developments in the world of video and the media as well as future trends in technology and equipment.



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