IMF Fan Protests Going Nowhere When It Comes To Ovation

We’re used to hearing from fans when search engines or other sources lead them here for news about the objects of their passion, or, in some cases, about companies causing them problems. Club Penguin and Stardolls are just a couple of examples. But we were totally surprised by the reaction to a relatively innocuous post about Ovation TV acquiring Universal Music’s International Music Feed network to gain a position on DISH. The network, which launched in 2005, focused on the best of global music. So far we’re at 72 comments and counting from passionate viewers who turned on their favorite channel one day and found something far removed. (A personal favorite: “IMF IMF IMF IMF IMF IMF IMF IMF IMF IMF GONE! OMG.WTF!”)
Sorry to say but we have a little more bad news for you: Some commenters thought they found a solution because IMF is still on FiOS and Joost. It’s also on AT&T (NYSE: T) U-Verse, some cable operators, some mobile operators in the U.S. and Europe but that’s temporary. I’m told it will stay on some lineups as late as March 31 but after that IMF really will be off the air as a network. (Not sure yet what will happen to the programming library.)
Andy Schuon, who led IMF for Universal, told me by email he truly believes that there is a market for a global pop music channel. I am glad to hear you’re getting lots of feedback. I’m very proud of the brand we created, and it is nice to hear that IMF connected with people. That’s the highest compliment for the kind of work that I do, you know.”
As for Ovation, no hint of a reprieve. The reply from spokesman Mark Kern: “At this time we have no further comment on the acquisition or our programming plans beyond the information in the news release.” (In a later email, he said, as per the release, under the purchase agreement, IMF will cease its programming on other distributors by the end of the first quarter of 2008.)
One aspect that stands out for me: in this DIY age, people across what seems like a wide swath became fans of a new, programmed music experience. Sometimes you just want to flip the switch and listen or watch.