Broadcasting and Cable and other media outlets reported today that MSLO and Crown Media (parent company of the Hallmark Channel) are holding preliminary talks regarding the formation of a new lifestyle cable channel to be jointly owned by both companies.
Spokespersons for both MSLO and Hallmark did not comment on the story.
In January of this year, The Hallmark Channel and MSLO announced a multi-year strategic partnership to move The Martha Stewart Show out of syndication and over to cable beginning with the series 6th season in September. Earlier this month, both companies announced a second deal that gave Hallmark access to the vast Martha Stewart program library of evergreen content. Programming began today, providing viewers a seven hour block of “classic” Martha television with episodes of “From Martha’s Home,” “From Martha’s Kitchen,” and “From Martha’s Garden.” All three shows utilize content from the former “Martha Stewart Living” television series and originally aired on the Food Network and HGTV.
With the current television block of programming, Martha Stewart will now capture approximately 1/3 of the Hallmark schedule.
This is not the first time there has been speculation about a Martha Stewart branded cable channel. Last year, a random selection of viewers, readers and consumers of Martha Stewart branded services were surveyed on the likelihood of their viewing habits if a Martha channel existed. Results of that survey were for internal use only and were not published.