Spike TV's Counter Programming Push Brings Benghazi, 'Cops' to Channel
There's a simple reason why Fox News decimates its competition. The news channel understands the media tilts to the left, so it offers a blend of conservative opinion and stories that matter to right-of-center audiences.
See a need in the market. Fill it. Watch ratings soar.
Spike TV may be attempting a similar move witness two of its most recent decisions. The network just gave the go-ahead to a scripted miniseries based on the terrorist attacks at Benghazi late last year. And now, Spike TV will be the new home of Cops, the long-running reality show targeted by the far-left group Color of Change for alleged racism.
Some channels might have seen the Color of Change protest and steered clear of Cops. Spike TV executives saw a long-running show that still resonated with audiences and decided to gobble it up.
The channel's decision to support a series based on the Benghazi attack speaks to a similar mindset. No other channel would likely touch the subject. After all, revelations from the still-developing story could damage either President Barack Obama, future presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton or both, particularly as whistleblower accounts hit the press.
Spike TV is going ahead with it all the same. The Benghazi show could make news. Or, it might simply touch on themes few other outlets would consider exploring for ideological reasons.
See a need in the market. Fill it.
Oddly enough, this marketing approach isn't happening in the realm of pay cable. HBO has a headlock on liberal content, what with shows like The Newsroom, the film Game Change and Real Time with Bill Maher. Showtime, its closest competitor, might have exploited HBO's ideological bent to its advantage by serving up conservative fare. Instead, Showtime broadcast Oliver Stone's progressive history lesson and is developing a climate change series from James Cameron.
Spike TV's recent moves could be anomalies, not part of any concentrated effort to ignore television's left-leaning template. Or, it might be a sign that some executives have done some market research and found an opening in the crowded TV space.