The Huffington Post is teaming up with Mark Cuban to take its newish, money-losing video channel, HuffPost Live, from the laptop screen to the television screen. Starting on May 13, HuffPost Live will appear on Cuban's AXS TV cable channel for six hours a day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Based on a quick glance at their schedule it looks like HuffPost Live will bump some intriguing programming like this documentary about Matchbox 20 and the show "Nothing but Trailers." (Give you three guesses what that one's about.) Perhaps because Cuban is friends with AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong, the channel isn't charging HuffPost for the airtime, and HuffPost, the home of thousands of unpaid bloggers, isn't charging AXS for the content. Cuban himself is an unpaid HuffPost blogger, not so coincidentally.
Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Who wouldn't want a bunch of free content and a wave of new viewers. Based on the New York Times take, it was hell of a struggle to talk a network into take them on. The deal "underscores how hard it is for Internet video start-ups to find a place on cable systems, which are controlled by a handful of big companies that are reluctant to add channels," The Times's Brian Stelter reports. "Executives at The Huffington Post have been trying for months to have their channel picked up by cable and satellite operators, with nothing to show for it yet."
Well now they have something. Let's call this an experiment, a way to upend some conventions in modern media and do things differently. HuffPost Live is all about that. On the TV show, the producers are planning on streaming comments from the website, straight to the live channel because who doesn't love engagement? HuffPost Live can be edgy, too. Last week, Snoop <strike>Dogg</strike> Lion rapped about the news and smoked a blunt on HuffPost Live because why not?