Outgoing Fox News host Glenn Beck and his company, Mercury Radio Arts, are developing a new service called “GBTV,” which will be a web-based TV channel, according to sources familiar with the matter as well as trademark applications filed by the company.
GBTV will be based at GBTV.com, which Mercury acquired in January.
Mercury also filed a trademark on a tagline for the channel: “The Truth Lives Here,” as well as a logo (pictured after the jump), based on the logo for his “InsiderExtreme” subscription service.
The trademark applications are limited exclusively to programming delivered via the internet, so it is not likely that GBTV will become an actual TV network anytime in the near future. Mercury also filed the GBTV trademark for ancillary products, like DVDs, podcasts, mobile applications and video games.
Back in March, the New York Times floated the possibility that Beck would either start his own cable channel, or expand his presence on the web:
“Two of the options Mr. Beck has contemplated…are a partial or wholesale takeover of a cable channel, or an expansion of his subscription video service on the Web,” The Times wrote.
The cable channel angle got more pickup but it is the Internet-based channel that seems likely to come to fruition, at least in the short-term. We noted the challenges a Glenn Beck-branded cable channel would have here.
Beck already has original programming and other content on his website, and people seem to be willing to pay for it through his “InsiderExtreme” memberships. Content includes original programs hosted by Beck staffers, as well as a show hosted by conservative commentator S.E. Cupp.
Beck recently hired former Fox News executive Joel Cheatwood to join Mercury, and one source familiar with the situation says that Cheatwood is hard at work developing programming concepts for GBTV.
The actual business model for GBTV remains unclear. It may be free to view, with revenue derived from advertising and other revenue streams like DVDs or smartphone apps. A more likely scenario is that people would subscribe to GBTV by paying a monthly fee–as they do for “InsiderExtreme”–and would be able to access that content from whichever platform they choose.
Mercury Radio Arts also announced another big internet play this week: MarkDown.com, a “daily deals” site in the same vein as Groupon.
“Glenn has always been ahead of the digital curve with GlennBeck.com, InsiderExtreme, TheBlaze and Markdown and as has been previously reported, this is one of the ideas that he has been exploring for some time,” a source told TVNewser.
For now, of course, Beck remains on Fox News Channel, but when his TV program ends, it certainly looks like his new home will be online.