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DIRECTV’s Audience Network to be added to U-verse Lineup

by Jack Berkins on October 4, 2015

aud-uverseAnother nice benefit of AT&T’s recent acquisition of DIRECTV, it was just announced that the popular Audience Network will be added to U-verse’s channel lineup. Slotted for U-verse channel #1114, it’ll give folks access to plenty of new, original content. The Audience Network, previously exclusive to DIRECTV and first launched in 2011, features both original and acquired programming; here’s a quick rundown of its history and some of their more popular shows:

Background

Before its current incarnation as the Audience Network, the channel started out in 1999 as Freeview; back then, it was basically a non-stop blitz of holiday shows, rock concerts and more. Fast forward to 2005 and it was rebranded as the 101 Network. As many broadcasters did back then, it switched focus to the reality format. For better or worse, reality shows are quicker and much less expensive to produce…toss in solid ratings for even an average hit and you have an irresistible combo. As the 101 Network evolved, its audience demographic expanded and they eventually needed to ditch the school-age “101” moniker. Enter the Audience Network in 2011 and you have a full-fledged suite of original shows; here are some of our favorites:

Original Series

Dan Patrick Show – if you’re a sports junkie (or even casual ESPN viewer in the 90s), you’re probably already familiar with Patrick’s quick and witty humor. After leaving ESPN, he found a home in sports radio and was one of the first DJs to transition to a live TV version of the show. Few remember that TV broadcast was originally exclusive to the Audience Network. Soon thereafter, Fox Sports then NBC signed on to simulcast the show. You can catch Dan and the Danettes every weekday starting at 9 AM EST.
Rock in A Hard Place – a fun game show hosted by the one and only Meat Loaf, you’ll rock-out with a ton of bands from 80s and 90s. Quiet Riot, Bananarama and Color Me Badd: what’s not to love?!
Kingdom – MMA and UFC fans should dig this one. If you’ve already vegged out on every Ultimate Fighter episode out there, this show should be a nice change of pace. Centered around a family that owns an MMA gym, it gets into all the behind-the-scene struggles of a fighter and their loved ones. Sure, we see all the glory of UFC champs, but few understand the day-to-day challenges and sacrifices it takes to get there. This well-written drama does a solid job of dropping the arm bar veil.
Supreme Court of Comedy – if you’ve ever watched daytime TV during the week, you know quite well that courtroom shows are all the rage. From Judge Judy to Judge Joe Brown, just toss in a camera in an actual small claims fight and watch the magic ensue. But what if you swapped in a sarcastic and, really, unhelpful comedian in the judge’s chair instead? Ponder no more — Supreme Court of Justice features different comics with actual litigants…only it’s all just for fun and kicks.

Other Popular Shows

While not exclusive to the network, the Audience Network has licensed a nice crop of popular shows. Some of those include NYPD Blue, Homeland, 24 and Friday Night Lights. They usually run them in season and episode order during Primetime hours (mixed in amongst classic movies).

Wrapping Up

We were pleased to hear the Audience Network will quickly be added to U-verse. While it’s great for U-verse subscribers, the collaborative message was all the more important. Going forward, there’s a pretty good chance AT&T and DIRECTV will be readily sharing their proprietary tech, features AND programming. That’s a win-win for everyone involved and great step forward for the merger.

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