Just in time for the midterms, the RightNetwork launched today with no fanfare and less traction. At least, for now.
If you're not familiar with the RightNetwork, go back to my posts last April when Comcast was listed in their sales literature as a partner before they denied it and the site was scrubbed of any reference to them.
David Badash sums them up pretty well:
The Right Network is a media attempt to give credibility to right-wing hate and fear-mongering, conservative bigotry, and Republican talking points.
With philandering poster boy Kelsey Grammer as its mascot and money source, the Right Network, whose tagline is “All that’s right with the world,” is exactly what’s wrong with the world, and especially, wrong with America.
That more or less says it all, along with their current syndication partners. It's clear RightNetwork is looking for a toehold in the mobile video and Internet TV markets. Their largest syndicator is Verizon FIOS TV, and they promise a presence on Roku and Sezmi in the future.
The question still remains: Who put up the money for this enterprise? It takes some hefty money and connections to launch a video network with mobile syndication. If it's not Comcast, who is it? I'm pretty certain a Las Vegas chiropractor is not the architect of this "network". According to their site, RightNetwork is an "independently owned media company". Their "Friends list" is nothing more than a listing of right-wing blogs, including the Breitbart sites.
This filing with the SEC shows there has been one investor in the enterprise with a total investment of $500,000 at the time of filing. The New York Daily News confirms Ed Snider's personal investment in the network, so perhaps he's the front guy, which would also explain legal counsel Ryan Stibor's LinkedIn profile mention of RightNetwork:
Stibor is principal and general counsel for Right Network, LLC, a multi-platform conservative media and entertainment company developed as a Video On Demand (VOD) television network, initially through Comcast carriage, with accompanying website, and mobile phone distribution partners. Right Network provides opportunities to engage with the programming and advertising by weaving social media aspects and interactive technology around original and licensed programs.
And then, there's Kelsey Grammer, who owns the rights to many properties through Grammnet Productions. What better vehicle for making some money on them than a re-air on the RightNetwork? That would fit right in with his latest gig doing an on-demand TV late night show (Is there some kind of contradictory message there? If it's on demand, why would it be late-night? hmmmm) Plus, he's going to need some money to pay off the ex-wife so he can party with his pregnant 26-year old girlfriend. Gotta love those family values.
The bottom line here is one the left-wing should pay attention to. While it's noble to fund Human Rights Watch, the practical fact is that the right wing is in the process of owning content distribution and delivery from the news down to what comes to your mobile phone. It would be good if some left-leaning entertainment industry moguls took note and stepped up to create similar properties, or even more creative ones.