March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Former television executives Jeff
Gaspin and Jon Klein are starting an online video service with
backing from Discovery Communications Inc. and Google Inc.
Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Called Tapp, the service will feature long and short-form
programs on channels tied to specific interests such as sports,
politics and faith. Each channel will cost about $9.95 a month,
with discounts for annual service, Gaspin, former chairman of
NBCUniversal Television, and Klein, ex-U.S. president of cable
news network CNN, said in a joint interview.
The new network will join a growing list of options for
consumers to watch video online, including Netflix Inc.,
Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime and WWE Network from World Wrestling
Entertainment Inc. Former Fox News host Glenn Beck operates The
Blaze TV, a $9.95-a-month Internet-based subscription service.
Gaspin, who is chairman, and Klein, who is chief executive
officer, are positioning Tapp as a platform for celebrities and
other content creators. Backers also include investment banker
Ken Moelis. The first channel will make its debut in a few
weeks, the executives said. They declined to say what it will
The New York Post reported on March 9 that Tapp was in
talks to create a channel with former Alaska governor and vice
presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Her 4 million Facebook.com followers make Palin a candidate
for a show, Klein said today on Bloomberg TV.
“We’re looking for personalities who have that kind of
connection with their fans,” he said. “Everybody’s got
someone, one person at least, that they would pay $10 a month to
get more of.”
Internet-based distribution allows programmers to reach the
public at a much lower cost than broadcast and cable television
networks, Klein said. Tapp would need about 25,000 subscribers
per month to make a channel profitable, according to Gaspin.
“The digital delivery unlocks so much more talent,” Klein
said. “They don’t have to be big enough to command an entire
prime-time show that costs tens of millions to produce.”
To contact the reporters on this story:
Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at
Jonathan Erlichman in New York at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Anthony Palazzo at