Niche TV Networks Hunt for Licensing Deals
Looking for some action beyond their celebrity hosts in the merchandising world, E! Entertainment and The Food Network have both recently hatched licensing deals across a number of categories.
E!, part of the new NBCUniversal, announced licensing deals for items under the “Live From the Red Carpet” name. First launched in 1990 and made famous by the snide remarks of comic and former host Joan Rivers, the E! specials cover the arrival of celebrities at awards shows like the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. The merchandise will say “E! Live From the Red Carpet” in addition to partner brands: Stila cosmetics; Adrianna Papell apparel, which will sell evening gowns; the Freshology meal plan; and Xen-Tan self-tanner and bronzer.
“Entry into branded consumer products is a logical next step for E!’s Live From the Red Carpet, which has made its mark as the worldwide destination for comprehensive red carpet coverage,” said Suzanne Kolb, president for marketing, in a statement. “This new initiative allows us to expand the E! brand beyond TV and into our viewers’ lives by inspiring their own red carpet moments which turn any occasion into an award-winning celebration. We have always been in the business of portraying beauty on the screen; now we are sharing some of those secrets with women everywhere.”
Talking to The New York Times, Ms. Kolb stressed that the offerings must move beyond to “the logo of a show you like on a T-shirt” to personify “the lifestyle aspects of our network brands, programs, franchises.”
Deanna Kangas, chief executive at Stila Cosmetics, told the Times, “We’re known in the cosmetics industry as ‘the inside-Hollywood brand’ and the reputation of E! on the red carpet, with its coverage of a lot of inside-Hollywood events, brings synergies that make sense.”
Meanwhile, The Food Network, part of Scripps Networks Interactive, recently signed a licensing deal with Wente Vineyards for California wines. It already has licensing deals with Hearst for Food Network Magazine, Kohl’s for kitchenware products and Delaware North for menu items at food stands at stadiums.
“We wanted to take the mystery out of wine for our viewers so that they could enjoy the marriage of food and wine as much as we do,” said Sergei Kuharsky, general manager of new enterprises, Food Network, in a statement.
Products tied to E! sibling channel Style are also being explored, according to the Times article.
- Live From a Favorite TV Show: Items Branded With It – The New York Times
- E! Entertainment Television Introduces Consumer Products Line Inspired by Network’s Long-Running Hit “Live from the Red Carpet” – Licensing Mag
- Kohl’s, Food Network Team Up – Scripps Networks – Scripps Networks
- Food Network and Wente Vineyards Announce Entwine, a California Wine Portfolio – Wente Vineyards
Discussion Question: What do you think of niche television channels such as E! and Food Network as opportunities for merchandise licensing?