At a time when it's near-impossible to launch a new linear cable network, NBC Universal thinks it has a plan: repurposing old content and programming it across digital platforms.
The company is planning Chiller, a horror-themed network that will exist as a standard and HD cable channel, a VOD package and a broadband Website.
Chiller, which is slated to launch March 1 and already has carriage on DirecTV, will use for its programming old horror TV shows and movies from the Universal library and others. Titles include the TV shows Twin
Peaks and Tales From the Crypt and movies The Shining, Psycho and The Birds.
NBC has tried this strategy before, last year launching Sleuth, a crime-focused cable/VOD/broadband channel using mainly content frm the NBCU library. The network is now in 24 million homes.
The company is also entering a crowded field by programming horror. Last year, Comcast, the country's largest cable operator, launched FearNet, a VOD/broadband-only channel of horror movies and TV shows, and AOL Video also programs ample horror content.
The channel comes out of NBCU's Emerging Networks division, which is headed by Dan Harrison, senior VP, emerging networks, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, and overseen by Jeff Gaspin, president, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, Digital Content and Cross Network Strategy.
Harrison will oversee Chiller's day to day operations, reporting to Gaspin.
"We continually look at our options for launching new networks," said Gaspin in a statement. "Horror is one of the most reliably successful genres in entertainment today, and Chiller seems like a well-timed addition to our portfolio."