Thursday, 1 October 2015

FM vs M3: Two digits, One-sided

Yesterday, NuvoTV folded into Fuse and, in the former's place, FM was launched. Sadly, Fuse's schedule looks almost identical to MTV2, mostly because they both air Everybody Hates Chris. So, yet another music network bites the dust, but that's where FM come into play. In an earlier post, I commented on how FM was going to be similar to networks like MuchVibe and MTV Jams; just an automated music video loop. But, looking at its current schedule, FM looks more like Fuse before the relaunch: an entertainment channel that's mainly music-focused.

I don't know how the southies are taking this, but I definitely wish M3 would take notes. In the three years M3 has spent stealing shows, they could have been experimenting more with their format. They could have tried airing videos overnight, when Much and other so-called music networks are airing their entertainment crap. Or, since they like retro videos so much, they could air more retro shows too. I bet you their marathon of Saved by the Bell got more viewers than any episode of Pretty Little Liars. They should have brought in Beverly Hills 90210 or even shows like Charlie's Angels and The A-Team, rather than forgettable fare like Anger Management.

Fuse also has the right idea of targeting millennials, rather than M3's 30+ "cool crowd" that would rather watch FX or Showcase. From the get go, M3's lineup was teen oriented, which clashed horribly with their adult-oriented fare. You would have never guessed that the original home for Reign also airs Dating Naked. More unforgivable, since the MuchMore era, the channel's adult video rotation has been drowned out by CHR crap. If you want to know a better example of a channel targeting a dual-audience, try watching Nickelodeon sometime.

Fuse has nothing to lose with their rebrand. In the near three years Revolt has been on the air, it's become a lot more popular than Fuse. I'm not even sure people know the latter still exists, but they will soon enough. With FM, Fuse is going right after MTV who, like the rest of Viacom, is in the middle of a ratings decline and trying to reverse their luck. MTV's five-network suite is bleeding out, and Fuse's duo of destruction is out for blood.

But in Canada, there's no competition. Every network is doing the same thing: eight-hour blocks, then its back to their imported crap. The only real music network left is Aux, and even they're starting to slip. In the end, I'd rather watch FM than M3, because at least FM gets it. With FM, they're at least trying to modernize the music genre in television. Like I said before, they're finding a mix between music and entertainment, with music on the dominant end.

Bell Media could stand to learn a lesson from these guys.

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