More obscure TV networks: Number two – DMAX

DMaxFollowing on from the Bonanza Channel, here’s a new channel for your perusal: DMAX, located on Sky channel 155 and Virgin channel 197.

I only noticed it because <DEEP BREATH>they’re showing Airwolf every day at 3am, 8am, 1pm, 7pm. OMG! OMG! OMG!</DEEP BREATH>, although they’re showing it out of order (but tune in folks, season one started again today).

But I have no idea who it’s aimed at (following our discussion of Dave) and whether its marketing spiel makes the slightest bit of sense.

Consider its tag line – ‘Everyday heroes’ – and hateful marketing mission statement:

DMAX, straight-up entertainment 24-hours a day. With compelling drama, action adventure and ground-breaking documentaries, DMAX is a feast of entertainment packed with extraordinary characters you will want to see over and over again.

Yet, now consider its extended marketing hate:

DMAX’s on-screen heroes offer a whole new take on reality TV. These are everyday heroes whose real lives make fascinating and compelling viewing. They are cops, mechanics, sailors and squaddies, people who aren’t afraid of taking the knocks or getting their hands dirty.

From the fearless fishermen out to land the Deadliest Catch to the body beautifiers of Miami Ink, from the battling bike-builders in American Chopper to the multi award-winning cops of NYPD Blue, these are heroes to believe in.

How exactly are tattooists ‘everyday heroes’? Airwolf was many things, but reality TV? I think not? NYPD Blue? Not drastically realistic, but getting there, I admit, but still not reality TV. Their extended marketing spiel directly contradicts the initial marketing hate. What a schizo channel.

Clearly, this is all marketing lies, designed as a ‘beard’ for men who just want to watch action shows and documentaries about manly men, but who don’t want to admit it.

How big do you reckon this demographic is? Or are you just going to be tuning in to watch the documentary about fishermen? Or Airwolf?


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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