Lifetime Entertainment Services hopes viewers make a long-term commitment to its television programs. The company primarily operates three cable-TV networks (Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women) focused on serving female viewers with original movies, talk shows, and syndicated shows. Its Lifetime Television network reaches nearly 100 million US households, airing such television fare as Project Runway, Army Wives, and Dance Moms, while its Lifetime Digital operates websites such as myLifetime.com, DressUpChallenge.com, and LifetimeMoms.com. Formed through the merger of channels Daytime and Cable Health Network in 1984, the company is a subsidiary of A&E Television Networks (AETN).
Lifetime Entertainment operates alongside other cable channels in the AETN portfolio, which also includes Bio, The History Channel, and History International. AETN acquired Lifetime Entertainment in 2009 in a deal spearheaded by media giants Walt Disney and Hearst, effectively bringing under one roof more than half a dozen networks anchored by A&E and Lifetime. Disney and Hearst together have a majority stake in AETN, along with minority partner NBCUniversal.
The Lifetime networks generate most of their revenue through advertising and carriage fees paid by cable system operators such as Time Warner Cable and Comcast. Like other cable TV programmers, it aims to attract the largest possible audience in order to sell airtime at a premium to its advertisers. The company's flagship Lifetime channel continues to lead the pack among women's cable networks, but it faces rivals in a crowded market that also includes WE (owned by AMC Networks), Oxygen (NBC Universal), and OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network).
Lifetime Entertainment continues to develop new content in order to attract move viewers. In 2011 it launched Roseanne's Nuts, a reality series following the antics of comedienne Roseanne Barr. However, the network cancelled the show after only one season. Other recent Lifetime Entertainment efforts have included devoting marketing dollars to promote fashion reality TV show Project Runway (it acquired rights to the show from The Weinstein Company for about $150 million in 2009). Continuing its focus on the brand, in 2011 it introduced offshoot Project Accessory, and announced plans to air Project Runway All Stars.
Keeping pace with the digital world, Lifetime Entertainment has introduced new channels such as Lifetime HD and Lifetime On Demand, while Lifetime Movie Network has spawned Lifetime Movie Network HD, Lifetime Movie Network Español On Demand, and LMN.tv.
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