Hallmark Channel to Syndicate Video on AOL (Exclusive)
Hallmark Channel is expanding its digital presence through a syndication deal with AOL.
The network will partner with AOL’s video platform, AOL On, to distribute clips from daytime program Home & Family, highlights from Super Bowl Sunday’s Kitten Bowl and online extras from its original dramas.
It has also signed a similar syndication deal with online video search platform blinkx.
The deals are part of a strategy from parent company Crown Media Family Networks to expand upon the network's new slate of original programming, says executive vp advertising sales and digital media Ed Georger.
“As we have been expanding in the area of original programming, we’ve also been looking for ways to take that content and make it available to our loyal Hallmark enthusiasts on other platforms,” he says.
Hallmark Channel made its first foray into original primetime scripted series in 2013 with Andie MacDowell starrer Cedar Cove. It has since added the Lori Loughlin series When Calls the Heart, and announced that it is developing book series Chesapeake Shores.
The network also counter-programmed the Super Bowl with the inaugural Kitten Bowl.
Hallmark will cut its videos into snackable lengths of three to seven minutes for syndication. For full-length shows, Hallmark launched a TV Everywhere service for cable subscribers in 2013.
Georger says the clips are meant to entice viewers.
“By giving them a sample of what a full-length product looks like, ultimately we think that will drive viewership back to that linear channel,” he adds.
For AOL, the proposition is in continuing to grow its library of content, says Frank Besteiro, vp business development and partnerships at AOL Video. The video platform currently offers more than 800,000 videos.
Says Besteiro, “To be an offering that users want to come back to and continue to interact with, you have to do deals with the best in the breed. ”