Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Hub In Trouble?

It seems that Hasbro and Discovery Communications hopes for The Hub is not (yet) quite working out as planned. Deadline is reporting that Discovery Communications filed a $500 million debt notice to the SEC in part because of the lackluster audience the network has been getting with an average total day audience of only 23,000. I doubt The Hub is the cause of all that debt, just a portion of it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Discovery "amended its agreement with Hasbro Inc. regarding The Hub to revise the license fees paid by The Hub for animated programs. This amendment creates a trigger event for purposes of intangible asset and goodwill impairment testing." While all this is out of my realm of understanding, my reading of it indicates that to offset the losses Hasbro has to pay more for its programming to air on the network. The more Hasbro has to pay (especially if doesn't get that in return with increase in toy shelves) will likely start impacting what airs on the network. Most new networks (even those that just rename themselves) have growing pains but it seems this move after less than a year of existence indicates that Discovery has real doubts about the future of the collaboration.

Hopefully the network will have time to build an audience. From what I have heard it has potential. Of course if you don't have an HDTV with HD converter box and paying for the upper channels (aka paying around $100 a month for cable) than good luck watching. Part of that lack of audience may just people not being willing to pay the high price for higher channels that have no real HD value like The Hub cartoons (like me). Another problem is communication. The schedule for The Hub has been difficult to nail down as new episodes are oddly scattered and unpredictable. Something you stumble across rather than know of in advance. Little kids may not care but if the goal is to create a daily habit of watching (like the Saturday morning or afternoon cartoons of old), predictable schedules is key. The Hub doesn't really have that. I am not sure the talent that is running the network but they might want to consider hiring over some of the talent that helped build Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network as right now I get the feeling that it is the toy department execs running the show but the needed skill set is simply not the same. Whatever ails them, good luck setting it back on course because The Hub is key to a future full of Transformers, especially if the movies go an extended hiatus.

13 comments:

  1. It's probably because you have to buy the expensive cable package to even get the channel. And I'm not going to pay the premium to watch it on demand. Yes they charge me to watch that channel on demand since I haven't subscribed to the Cable Tier that has the Hub network. They need to put it on the regular Cable Teir. The basic one for Charter is Expanded Basic that gives me channels 4-95 (Sci-Fi, Food, Disney, History, Etc).

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  2. I know part of the problem with Hub's lack of audience is the fact that Directv customers have to pay extra since Hub is part of the Plus package. If Hub were a part of the regular package, which my family gets, then I would actually watch it.

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  3. It's part of the higher tier on Comcast as well. I do think that's hurting them a lot.

    And the fact that they need a better Transformers cartoon on their as well. Something that doesn't involve the two hacks named Orci and Kurtzman.

    I know a lot of people on here like it, but it's definitely not one of the higher rated or watched series in the franchise.

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  4. same here, its on dish network's highest tiered programming.

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  5. I love the Transformers Prime shows and I hope it continues.

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  6. So I see there is a concensus on the availability problem. So they are doing it to themselves.

    You can't fix stupid.

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  7. I hope TF: Prime continues as well. It's way better than Animated ever was. Probably my 2nd favorite TF TV series after G1. Writing's good but the kids can be annoying...guess it does have to reach kids though. Wish there were more autobots and decepticons but i'm sure there are budget and time issues with all CGI. I like the G1 homages as well (Prime, Wheeljack). Speaking of homages, here's the prime Prowl, guess he'll be popping up soon: http://cdn.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/attach/1/Prowl_botcon_1308069010.jpg

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  8. I would watch this channel in a heart beat, but Dish Network has it only in its Highest Package. Until money gets better, well this country boy isn't going to watching any HUB stuff. *sigh*

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  9. New trailer!!!!!!!

    Holy shit! Sentinal prime! Optimus kicking ass! More of driller.... OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. yeah same boat here, its on channel 100 here which is part of some premium package with a bunch of other channels i dont want

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  11. Only avail w/ Digital Preferred package on Comcast in the DC metro area.

    I already had that package so my kid could watch Sprout, Nicktoons, and Toon Disney/DisneyXD.

    I hate that I have to have dozens of music stations I don't use, all CSPANs, and sporta channels I don't & won't use, just so my kid has options other than live-action Disney soap operas and CN repeats.

    HUB needs to be part of main-stream package - especially if they're going to continue/resume to have "educational" shows from Discovery.

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  12. The Prowl pic is from the upcoming MMO TF: Universe, not TF: Prime series. Saw it at BotCOn last week - but since both are CG'd, look similar - and just as cool.

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  13. Guess you're right. Though on the MMO website it shows the exact same designs of TFP Optimus and Megatron. Either they are holders for now or they are going to make the MMO based on the designs/concepts of TF Prime. I hope the Prowl design ends up in the tv series though. So far Wheeljack is the only confirmed character to return to the series which needs more bots.

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