AOL's Internet talk show HuffPost Live has been picked up by a cable network, the company announced Sunday. The program will carry a six-hour block on the Mark Cuban-backed AXS TV network.
HuffPost Live, which will continue to be available for free on live.huffingtonpost.com, is an interactive video-chat talk show centered around politics, current events and pop culture that debuted in August 2012. The program saw modest growth in its first few months, and its live and recorded videos garnered 51 million streams in March—mostly through their exposure alongside articles on the AOL and Huffington Post websites. The Huffington Post plans to maintain some of the interactivity of HuffPost Live by creating an app that will allow viewers to comment on the TV show.
HuffPost Live on AXS TV will premiere May 13, running for six hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. AXS TV, previously called HDNet, is backed by Cuban, CBS, Ryan Seacrest Media, AEG and CAA. The channel currently airs repeats of live concerts and shows and reaches 41 million homes, not enough to be rated by Nielsen.
“It’s not going to work to try to come up with the next hit show," AXS TV founder and president Mark Cuban said to Variety. "It drives costs up too high to be a hit-driven business. Live [programming] creates uncertainty and unique engagement because you don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
AXS and The Huffington Post will try to replicate some of the interactivity of the Internet channel by showing online comments on the right side of the television screen and later by releasing an app that will encourage AXS viewers to comment on what they are watching, according to The New York Times.
HuffPost Live, which currently broadcasts on the Internet 12 hours a day, loses money, the Times reported, but generates revenue through video ads. AOL and AXS TV may choose to split the ad revenue that comes from AXS broadcasts of the show.
“Live TV drives social media, and real-time social media drives live TV," said Cuban.