It's a big day for the over-50 crowd.
RLTV, a cable network that caters to older viewers with a mix of news, talk and reality fare, landed a major distribution deal that will substantially boost the tiny channel's distribution.
Currently available in just 15 million homes, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are adding RLTV to its digital service starting in December. The new deals should increase the number of homes that can get RLTV to 25 million.
"This is a significant milestone," said RLTV President Paul Fitzpatrick. The additional homes mean that RLTV will be able to reach more potential viewers and charge advertisers more.
Furthermore, the additional revenue from commericals and subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators can be used to spend more on programming. The channel has previously indicated it is looking to spend $40 million to $50 million on programming and promotion over the next couple of years.
Launched in 2006 by John Erickson, who made his fortune building large retirement communities, RLTV has had a tough battle trying to convince distributors that a network aimed at such an unhip demographic was worth carrying. The RL in RLTV originally stood for Retirement Living, but now it stands for "Redefine Life," which was deemed to be more attractive to advertisers and viewers.
Gradually distributors have started to come around. One thing in RLTV's favor is that most of its content is original, as opposed to just old reruns of TV shows and movies. The channel has also become a landing spot for several well-known TV personalities, including Joan Lunden, Deborah Norville and Sam Donaldson.
RLTV has previously said its goal is to be in 30 million homes by the end of 2012.
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