Tim Winter's Interview with INSP, April 15, 2020

1. Please tell us a bit about the INSP television network. What makes your content different from other television network programmers, and what is the marketplace you’re trying to reach?

INSP is a general entertainment television network providing a trusted viewing experience with a lineup of exclusive and original series, timeless Westerns, action-filled dramas, and films focused on adventure and heroic characters.

Our research has confirmed the hunger in the market for a television experience that is entertaining but without the gratuitous graphic violence, offensive language, and nudity that seems so prevalent today. INSP seeks to fill the gap with a unique lineup of programs featuring quality adventure, suspense, great stories, and heroic characters. Good comedy doesn’t need swearing to be funny. In the same way, we believe that good stories can be told without being excessively off-color.

INSP programming consistently spotlights iconic characters who stand for a sense of fairness and justice. INSP honors the pioneers who bravely settled the West and lawmen willing to defend freedom and stand for principles no matter the cost. Through a growing library of original and exclusive series and films, INSP features modern day men and women who take risks and live on the edge, all with the spirit of trying to do the right thing.

As a result, at a time when audiences are declining for most networks, INSP continues to experience increases. With a program schedule that resonates with people across the country, INSP has become one of the fastest-growing networks in the U.S. INSP was the only Nielsen-rated network to experience year-over-year quarterly ratings growth in the 20 consecutive quarters from 1Q 2014 to 4Q 2019. Nielsen data reports that INSP continually ranks among the 20 highest-rated networks.

Watched in more than 50 million households a year, INSP attracts an intensely loyal audience, with viewers among the leaders in time a network’s viewers watch that network (Comscore) and consecutive minutes viewers watch without changing channels (Nielsen).

2. What led you to create and lead this network?

In 2009 INSP management began an intense study of audience and viewership trends. In the process INSP became the first network to receive census level ratings from Rentrak (now Comscore) and became a Nielsen client in 2010. Analyzing this trending, it became clear that there was an absence of adventure and action-based family-friendly entertainment. Huge numbers of consumers were frustrated with content being offered. Clearly what was needed was programming that was trustworthy and appealed to a wide range of audiences, but was also entertaining. In an effort to fill this demand, in October 2010 INSP was relaunched as a general entertainment network.

The wisdom of this decision is reflected by the fact that INSP has become one of the few networks actually to increase audiences over the past 6 years. As an independent, INSP faces huge obstacles competing against industry giants. But, in the end it’s the story that matters to the viewers not the size or affiliations of our network.

3. What does your research tell you about the demand for family-friendly entertainment programming?

We have conducted a significant amount of research, both our own proprietary studies as well a wide range of market reports. Having talked with people all across the country, we can confirm that there is a huge audience that hungers for quality and compelling entertainment that is also trustworthy. Well-written stories featuring interesting characters who face the challenges of life and find ways to overcome. Productions without the excesses of violence, sexuality, and anti-social humor. The proof that this concept works is demonstrated every day by the millions of people who watch INSP. With so many competitors crowding the market, perhaps our biggest challenge is reaching the whole market with our story. We also have intensified our original production of films and series.

This interest isn’t just anecdotal but proven in the real world. We see amazing numbers through our Nielsen and Comscore research. Not just high ratings but also viewer loyalty. People by the millions literally love our niche, our brand of entertainment. In 6 short years we have gone from being relatively unknown to being a top 20 network (and top 15 in primetime).

4. How has streaming media impacted your programming and your business?

INSP has been increasingly active in the OTT/streaming world. Many of our original and exclusive series have been featured through such outlets as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. We also are careful to avoid the excesses that have crippled so many other ventures. The reality is that billions of dollars is being spent, without any clear guarantee of success. We are very strategic in how we develop and push out content while being practical. As we did in the development of INSP, we have studied the market, establishing relationships, learning from the experiences of others, and selectively producing original content. Watch for vastly expanded streaming activity in the coming year.

5. How has the current pandemic impacted your programming and your business?

Building on the strong relationships already established with viewers, INSP has experienced record ratings during the “shelter at home” mandates. These high ratings are a testimony to the entertainment viewers find on INSP, with content that is safe but compelling and engaging, uplifting, encouraging, and positive, not dark and hopeless. March ratings were fueled by a combination of familiar favorites, specials, new programs to the network, and exclusive and original films and series.

Among the records, for the week of March 23, INSP set records for the highest average 24/7 HH rating and highest 7-day primetime HH ratings of any week in our history. March 2020 HH primetime ratings were up 9.27% over HH primetime ratings in February 2020 and we have consistently ranked in the top 15 of all networks during prime time.

6. What advice would you offer for families who are navigating this quarantine with kids at home?

Although families have more options than ever before, they still face the daunting challenge of finding suitable programs. At INSP, we would love to be able to provide more programming for kids and teens. But, for practical reasons, we focus on general entertainment and target adults. We still make every effort to be trustworthy. Programs (and commercials) are reviewed for content. We acknowledge that this is a difficult challenge. We are committed to make a difference and provide content that is suitable for people of many different ages and generations.

7. What else would you like the public to know about INSP and David Cerullo?

David is a successful entrepreneur and businessman with a track record of more than forty years of success. He has grown INSP from humble beginnings in 1990 to become one of today’s leading networks. In recognition of his achievements, in 2015, he was elected one of the exclusive “Cable Pioneers,” joining the elite of the industry. In 2020, for the third year in a row, he was named to the CableFax 100 (a prestigious award honoring the industry’s 100 most influencial executives).

In 2015, under David’s leadership, INSP launched Imagicomm Entertainment, a distribution company focusing on original films and TV series. INSP also launched INSP Films, a production company focusing on creating projects with strong entertainment value, compelling stories, and memorable characters. Motion pictures produced by INSP Films are distributed by Imagicomm Entertainment.

David has been married to his wife Barbara for 47 years. Together, they have two children and five grandchildren.

8. Where on the web can we learn more about your network?

INSP (and its subsidiaries and associated companies) have developed a wide range of content. Some of it is available through INSP (and its related outlets). Others are available through various other platforms.

INSP has a very active, user-friendly web site at www.insp.com. More than 2.2 million people follow INSP on our Facebook page. We also have a presence on Instagram and Twitter. Information on content produced by our Imagicomm subsidiary are available through Imagicommentertainment.com.

All INSP’s original series are available on Amazon Prime and TubiTV. Select series are available on The Roku Channel. All of our features are available on DVD online at Amazon.com and Walmart.com and for digital purchase and rental through Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, FandangoNow, and ChristianCinema.com. Content is available through OTT/vMVPD Steaming Services including Fubo TV, Frndly TV, and Vidgo TV.

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