When Maryland’s TV-and-movie-centric channel, Maryland Live, launched in May, it was a welcome step in the right direction for a state where television remains largely the preserve of the wealthy.
But for the last few years, Maryland has seen a trend that’s pushed the industry to the brink.
“This is a new time for TV and it’s a new generation,” says Matt Dillard, senior vice president and chief content officer at TVOne, a network of cable TV and satellite TV providers.
“It’s a time for a lot of people to step back and be a little bit more comfortable about their time, their money, and what they can afford.
There’s a whole new generation of people who are looking to put themselves in a position to take advantage of this new space and not be locked into a system that’s not for them.”
But Maryland Live’s launch comes at a time when other TV-centric channels are beginning to launch, too.
For example, in the next few weeks, Hulu will launch a new cable-only channel, called Maryland Live Unlimited, which will be available exclusively to cable and satellite subscribers.
Hulu says that the channel will “deliver the latest local and national news, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle programming.”
In addition, the company has plans to launch a TV-exclusive network of its own, dubbed Maryland Live.com.
The website promises to provide “the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and exclusive online content on the Maryland state, county, city, and towns that make up the Maryland community.”
The network is scheduled to launch in late March, and will offer access to live events, weather, sports scores, sports highlights, local news, sports recaps, and more.
Meanwhile, The CW is launching a TV channel called Maryland, with an exclusive channel that will be exclusively available to subscribers of its premium service, as well as to the CW-owned The CW, CW, and CW+ subscription streaming service.
“We want to create a new kind of entertainment for Marylanders and create a place where they can be their own boss,” CW President Mark Pedowitz told reporters earlier this year.
The company’s latest launch of its TV channel, which is also available to Comcast subscribers, is the latest attempt to diversify its programming, Pedowitz says.
The CW and CW+) will “offer the best and most relevant content to Marylanders,” he says.
Comcast is also launching a new channel, The Maryland Sports Channel, which “will provide sports fans with the latest, most in-depth coverage of all the sports in the state,” including basketball, baseball, and football.
Comcast also recently launched its own sports channel, the Maryland Sports Talk Network, which offers in-person and live video interviews with top college and pro sports players.
And the cable-focused channel, dubbed Comcast SportsNet Maryland, will be launching later this year with access to “exclusive programming” on sports events, according to Comcast.
Comcast has long had plans to diversifying its programming.
For years, the cable company has sought to offer local sports programming to viewers in Baltimore, the Washington, D.C., area, and throughout Maryland.
The new Maryland Sports Network will provide that “great regional exposure to the entire state,” Comcast said in a statement to EW.
And Comcast will be offering “a comprehensive, curated slate of local sports coverage” that “will showcase the best of local talent.”
Comcast will also be bringing its new cable channels to the TV-streaming service Hulu, and the company is also expected to begin offering its own subscription-based sports streaming service, The Baltimore Sports Channel.
“I think that the TV channels are an important part of the future of the Maryland region,” Pedowitz tells EW.
“But it’s about the future for the cable channel, too.”
And while it’s unclear exactly how many people will actually watch Maryland Live on the channel, Pedowson says it will “provide a great home for sports fans.”