MediaWorks unveils The Edge TV

The creative team behind The Edge TV were in the MediaWorks offices until the wee hours on Friday morning, putting together the final pieces for The Edge TV, a project that was first announced in April.

“Everyone has been working around the clock,” says Andrew Szusterman, the group programme director for MediaWorks Radio. “We’re getting fat on morning teas, lunches and dinner in the office. We’re all counting down and the excitement building with our audience is phenomenal.”

When The Edge TV was revealed as a replacement for C4, The Edge programme director Leon Wratt described it as “radio with pictures on steroids”. And judging by the graphics that were released today, it seems that this reference is quite accurate.

In the promotional graphics, technicolour images of disembodied body parts sit alongside a vintage television with the phrase ‘Turn it on’ used to incite Kiwis to tune in. And this vibrant theme is also carried across to the channel idents, which feature bold pop colours, clashing patterns and a variety of shapes to create a fun and energetic look that typifies the brand.  

“The Edge TV look was an in-house collaboration using the talent of Ant Farac (creative director at MediaWorks TV) and Bryce McNamara (senior creative and art director at MediaWorks TV),” says Szusterman. “[Stop-motion animation artist] Ryan Kothe was [also]brought in to do the on-air design with the aesthetic centred on a ‘Pop of Colour’.”

After several months working behind the scenes, Farac says that he and the team are “stoked with the result.”

“We’ve brought The Edge TV brand to life with a look and feel that captures their style and attitude,” he says.

In addition to designing the graphics and imagery for the new channel, the MediaWorks creative team has also produced a promotional video that provides a 30-second glimpse at the talent that will lead the daily broadcast on Sky’s channel 114 and Freeview’s channel 11. 

Ever since MediaWorks merged its direct radio and TV sales teams, a great amount of emphasis has been placed on the significance of cross-platform advertising solutions and this was again reiterated by Szusterman who said that “the Edge brand lives across radio, television and our online and social property”.

And Paul Hancox, the commercial director of radio and TV at MediaWorks, says that the response from potential advertisers has already been promising.

“The Edge TV is the ultimate platform for the new direct teams and we are already seeing a huge demand for partnerships and integrated content,” he said.  “It’s exciting – our advertisers get it.”

Earlier this week, TRN also expanded its ZM radio brand onto television by landing a slot on Sky’s Juice TV weekdays between 4-6pm.

After launching the channel, TRN’s chief content officer Dean Buchanan introduced a bit of competitive banter into PR-diluted media landscape by pointing out that ZM was on TV first.

“My understanding is that they [The Edge TV] haven’t gone to air yet,” said Buchanan. “I think they’ve been talking about it, but once again, we’re first in this space.” 

He also says that MediaWorks is in a position whereby they have to protect the TV medium, in the sense that this forms a key part of the network’s offering.

“Juice TV is simply another distribution channel for ZM content,” he says. “We are nimble and we only aim to be where our audience is.”      

MediaWorks spokesperson Rachel Lorimer did not allow the competitive banter to dampen the MediaWorks mood and quickly distinguished The Edge TV from ZM’s extension onto radio. 

“There is obviously a big difference between weekday-only, off-peak show on pay TV and a dedicated free-to-air channel,” says Lorimer. “Our strategy is focused on being where the audience wants to be, and we’re in the unique position of having some of the best minds in the radio and TV business to draw on.”

Lorimer also says that the programming schedule has been designed in order to capitalise on the times when Kiwis are most likely to watch television.

“We have key TV programming in the evenings, which is the peak zone for TV viewers, and is complementary to, rather than competing with, the Radio primetime of breakfast and drive,” she says. “And one of the big ‘must haves’ for us when we looked at The Edge TV concept, was making it available to watch live on mobile, web and tablet. The Edge audience already moves effortlessly between radio, digital and social platforms, and we knew that the music channel needed to be multi-platform to be relevant to them.”

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