Tegna Launching Twist Diginet For Women
Tegna Inc. is introducing its third multicast network, Twist, a women-oriented channel featuring lifestyle and reality programming. The network will launch this spring and initially include hundreds of hours of home, food and reality content, much of it featuring exciting reveals — or twists — at the end of each show.
Twist programming will feature major unscripted TV hits including Clean House, Top Chef Masters, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Dance Moms, Tabatha Takes Over, Tiny House Nation, Flipping Out, and more. In a regular feature on the network, Twist will encourage viewers to submit their own videos of twists they’ve been thrown in life and how they persevered through them in a positive segment called Share Your Twist.
“Twist will provide an exciting new viewing option for our female audience with content that has not been available through a multicast channel until now,” says Brian Weiss, president and general manager of Tegna’s multicast networks, which also include True Crime Network and Quest. “The launch of Twist will enhance Tegna’s leadership among non-fiction multicast networks, delivering the kinds of free content that over-the-air viewers crave.
“We are really great at factual, reality programming — unscripted programming,” Weiss adds. Because we know that’s our bread and butter, as we look at the landscape as viewers migrate from other platforms that they may have been watching — cable or other channel systems – we wanted to make sure there was a really good offering for them as they look at the channel landscape.”
In addition to carriage in 41 Tegna markets, Twist will be carried in 11 Univision local television markets including the top four markets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. Twist will also be carried in 31 HC2 Broadcasting local markets and reach DMAs covering 70% of U.S. television households. Additional distribution agreements are expected to be announced by summer.
“There are many channels available if you have cable in the lifestyle/reality space,” Weiss adds. “It commands a huge number of viewers and advertisers. When we look at the multicast space, there’s very little programming in this space for this type of viewer, and we feel that the programming that is out there right now is not as edgy as it could be. It skews a little bit older as all multicasts do.
“Generally speaking, we feel that the multicast space is at an inflection point where a lot of younger viewers are tuning in. There’s an opportunity to gain audience share in the 25-54 category.” He says he sees that growth “as a nice tailwind for Twist.
“We can potentially serve a very different type of audience. That’s why a lot of the programming you see with Twist is going to be a little bit edgier and a little bit more dynamically-driven reality because we think the viewers are there now for it on over the air television, where they might not have been there five or 10 years ago.”
When asked whether Tegna will own the streaming rights to the Twist programming, Weiss says: “It depends. In the case of Twist, almost all of the programming that we have will be specific to diginet. That said, as networks mature and we get a few years under our belts, we tend to grow our content library for the channel to several thousand hours. Once we get to that point, usually about a third of the content that we license does come with OTT rights.”
For a preview of Twist’s upcoming launch and programming, click here.