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May 15, 2006

From The Makers of Free Willy: Pay-TV For Babies


Maybe the real reason only 26% of babies don't have TV's in their nurseries is because there hasn't been enough infant-targeted media to justify it. That, my friends, is about to change, thanks to the magnanimous spirit of News Corporation [owned by new-dad-all-over-again Rupert Murdoch!] and their partners, Regency Entertainment. The producers of such formative child-development-related fare as Big Momma's House, Big Momma's House 2, and Free Willy 1-4 have teamed with a Dutch insurance company and some random LA richies to create BabyFirst TV.

As it's name implies, BFTV will be appearing waaaay up high on your channel guide, where their 250 hrs of infant-appropriate [sic] programming will available to DirecTV subscribers for an additional $9.95/month. 80% of that programming will be original [another sic], so brace yourself for 200 hrs of Maury The Adventurer, Trains-that-aren't-Thomas, Ponies-that-aren't-Pretty-or-Mine, and Bears-that-don't-Care.

How does BFTV address the whole criticism from so-called "experts" and "pediatricians" that babies shouldn't be watching TV in the first place, and that parents will just plop their kid in front of the screen for 250 hrs? BFTV co-founder Sharon Rechter takes a page from the Rumsfeld playbook: "We can speculate all we like about what babies should be doing, could be doing, would be doing, but the fact of life is that babies are watching TV. [I'm sure we will be greeted with showers of roses when we enter the city.]" OK, so I inferred that last part.

Of course, just as softcore porn sells on pay-per-view, even in hardcore conservative communities, BFTV may succeed by targeting the parents who are too ashamed to be seen buying Sesame Beginnings DVD's at one of the local Wal-Marts, or who are worried about what the mailman thinks when he brings a suspciously sized Amazon box to their door. Sounds like money to me.

Baby TV channel rattles experts [ap/azcentral and broadcastnewsroom via dt reader mark]
BabyFirstTV: the website [babyfirsttv.com]

posted May 15, 2006 10:08 AM | add to del.icio.us | digg this

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