Random Thoughts of Randomness: Buzzr Edition 2

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

It's been awhile since I last talked about Buzzr and some of those thoughts that have been going on my mind about it after it made its channel available over the web through the website. 5 or so months later, I have more thoughts about what's happened with the network whether in recent acquisitions, new expansions and what I'm hoping for in 2019.

On October 1st, Buzzr launched a brand new mid-day schedule. Starting at 1pm it's a full hour of the latest acquisition Classic Concentration. At 2pm, we get the return of Tattletales to the weekday schedule. Then we get the color versions of three classic Black & White shows with To Tell The Truth with Garry Moore at 2:30, the beginning of Larry Blyden's What's My Line run at 3pm and the color episodes of the CBS version of Password at 3:30. To me, this is a very solid schedule of some of the best stuff that Goodson/Todman was putting out in the late 60s-mid 70s. The only one that people would call remotely a dud would be What's My Line, but this was when they added the demonstrations at the end of the game, which made it even better in my eyes.  People might have shown a little bit of frustration that only 60 episodes of Concentration and 30 episodes of Truth, Line and Password were digitized, but that's what Buzzr has always done for their shows. They start with a small base and then build off of it. The reason being is that they work with the master tapes. So converting 3/4" tape is quite an undertaking and takes a long time to get it ready for air. So, I look forward to new episodes popping up for all those shows in the new year.

Another big piece of Buzzr news was the expansion of their digital reach. Earlier this month, Buzzr just announced that they have joined the Pluto TV lineup. Pluto is an app that houses lots of makeshift channels, namely a lot of shows Rhino owns, but they have a lot of news, sports and movie channels as well. This is a smart choice because while not many people get Buzzr over the air in their area, Pluto has worldwide reach, especially being available over Roku, PS4, Amazon Fire among others. Buzzr must think that expansion over traditional means such as cable/sattelite might not be the way to go anymore because of the increase in cord-cutting that a lot of households are doing in order to save money. Not only that, it would cost a bit to get onto DirecTV or Comcast or any other cable system, making it almost impossible for Buzzr to be solvent. So by joining Pluto, you'll be able to reach more people than before and possibly get more eyeballs on the classics. If they were to go the digital pay TV route, maybe joining Playstation Vue would be a good step as putting Game Show Network on there might be seen as a conflict of interest.

Lastly, I'd like to gaze into my crystal ball and predict what will happen in 2019. Buzzr was interested in adding non-fremantle owned shows to their channel. I can think of one company that would be more than happy to do business with the diginet: Stone-Stanley Productions. Shop Til You Drop seems like a slam dunk for the channel, given how well Supermarket Sweep has done. Shop was its loyal partner and would make for a good companion for it. A longshot pick might be Fun House, since kids game shows are becoming popular again. Depending on how The Great Christmas Light Fight does on Sunday the 25th, it might become a new tradition for the network, as a 6 hour marathon on that day would be fine. As I teased earlier, they will join more digital TV services. Pluto being a start and I do see them joining something like Playstation Vue or YouTube TV as a low-cost addition to those services.  Lastly, much to the utter dismay to a lot of traditionalists out there and most likely be the sure-fire bet: Steve Harvey's Family Feud will make its appearance on Buzzr in September to celebrate that runs 10th year on the air. It will most likely be Steve's first season when it was being taped at Universal. All the episodes have been digitized or it won't take as long as the shows are in something that won't take that long to digitize i.e. digital tape, and it will draw more eyeballs than old episodes of Match Game ever will.

Let's hope for a great 2019 for Buzzr!

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