Bravo Acquires TelevisionWithoutPity.com
By Anne Becker -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/13/2007 12:01:00 PM
Saying the move will double its online traffic, Bravo has acquired snarky TV-recap site TelevisionWithout Pity.com.
The pop culture-focused NBCU cable network will integrate the site into its suite of existing Websites. The site will keep its name. Combining TelevisionWithoutPity's monthly traffic with its own, the network says it will now average about 2 million-2.5 million unique visitors per month.
“This is a smart, organic complement content play, a site that really engages pass television fans,” said Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick, announcing the buy.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Known for its caustic recaps of dramas and reality shows, the site’s writers will not be muzzled when writing about NBCU shows, said executives from Bravo and TelevisionWithoutPity.
“We sort of felt like you wouldn’t be getting the true TelevisionWithoutPity if we have to pull punches,” said Sarah Bunting, the site’s co-founder. “We do a certain thing a certain way and they were ok with that.”
Bunting started the site with Tara Ariano in 1998 after the two met in a chat room discussing Beverly Hills 90210. The two will stay on as editors, as will Ariano’s husband David Cole, who has overseen engineering and designing for the site.
The site, which will likely relocate its headquarters from Canada to Bravo’s New York home base, will add new shows, as well as podcasts, video content, blogs and news beyond show recaps.
As part of the acquisition, TelevisionWithoutPity will redefine its partnership with Yahoo!. The search engine had provided server hosting to TelevisionWithoutPity and placed its branding on its homepage and reviews and will not do so anymore. TelevisionWithoutPity will continue dealing with the site by providing some content, according to a Bravo spokesperson.
Over the past several months, Bravo has built its Web presence to include several pop-culture focused sites. They include BrilliantButCancelled.com, a TV-focused reincarnation of a programming block from Bravo’s now-defunct sister network Trio.
While its subject matter overlaps with BrilliantButCancelled’s, TelevisionWithoutPity brings Bravo a built-in and unique audience.
“It has a name, it has an attitude, it has a rhythm to it and it has a following,” Zalaznick said.
Bravo, the smallest of NBCU’s cable entertainment networks, was attracted to TelevisionWithoutPity in part because it is read not only by viewers but by members of the entertainment community, said Bravo’s Executive VP, Marketing/Digital, Jason Klarman.
“There is no destination that is so organically tied to what viewers are talking about on television,” he said.
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