Lots of stuff going on at international programmer MHz Networks. Spokesperson Stephanie Misar was on hand at NETA in Nashville Thursday (Jan. 13) to announce that starting Feb. 1, spot time will be available for local promos or underwriting on its MHz Worldview channel.
Also, its 31 affiliates soon may feed their local programs back to MHz for worldwide distribution as the MHz America channel, which is nearing launch. International broadcasters are hungry for quality local content from America, Misar said, and so far eight affiliates are involved.
And MHz is in early talks with commercial broadcasters to carry its content.
And it’s ramping up its kids and world affairs content.
And it’s working with the Open Mobile Video Coalition to put Worldview on mobile DTV devices.
And the newly independent KCET became MHz’s latest affiliate on Jan. 1. MHz now reaches some 36 million households with its channels, which are free to pubcasters. Most shows are produced overseas in English; others are subtitled.
“There’s a need for international programming out there,” Misar said. “The demographics are changing, and what viewers want is changing. We’re building on the tradition of public TV. Stations can take their brand to a different level by providing something that’s never before been seen in the market.”
Laura Hunter from Utah Educational Network introduced Misar and spoke about viewer reaction in that state, which has been quite positive. Folks quite often call the station during broadcast of Aussie rules football to ask for more information about the sport. “We send them to its Wikipedia page,” Hunter quipped.
Misar added that international mysteries on Sundays and Tuesdays also have a “cult following,” with affiliates hosting viewing parties for the fanatical fans.