Photo: Getty Images / Riccardo Savi
Participant Media, the company behind films including “Lincoln” and “The Help,” is starting a new cable network targeting millennial viewers, with content from Davis Guggenheim and The Jim Henson Company, among others.It will be led by Evan Shapiro, who joined Participant in May after serving as President of IFC and Sundance Channel.
Participant has bought The Documentary Channel and entered into an agreement to acquire the distribution assets of Halogen TV from The Inspiration Networks. No terms were disclosed.
The combined and rebranded properties are expected to reach more than 40 million subscribers once the yet-to-be-named network launches in the summer.
“The goal of Participant is to tell stories that serve as catalysts for social change. With our television channel, we can bring those stories into the homes of our viewers every day,” said Participant chairman and founder Jeff Skoll.
Those producing content for the new network also include producer Brian Graden, The Jim Henson Company’s Brian Henson, columnist and blogger Meghan McCain, Morgan Spurlock, Gotham Chopra, filmmaker Mary Harron, writer/director Timothy Scott Bogart, and Cineflix Media, a TV producer and distributor in which Participant Media controls an equity interest.
Guggenheim directed the Oscar winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” for Participant.
“Our content will be specifically designed for the viewers that the pay TV eco-system is most at risk of losing,” said Shapiro. “We all know that Millennials are changing how media is consumed. However, they also have the strong desire and inimitable capacity to help change the world. Our research shows that there is a whitespace in the television landscape and we believe that a destination for ‘the next greatest generation’ will be a win for our affiliate partners, advertisers and the creative community.”
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