Want to punch out a co-worker?
The Esquire Network, a new cable channel from NBCUniversal, will give you that chance.
Launching on Monday, Esquire Network is looking to woo upscale men with lifestyle programs about cooking, drinking and travel.
But the network also knows that even the most hoity-toity of men will on occasion dream of lacing up the gloves and slugging a colleague. Esquire Network is developing a show to fulfill that fantasy.
Called “White Collar Brawlers” and set to premiere in early 2014, Esquire Network General Manager Adam Stotsky said the show will “tap into something quite primal.” The brawling co-workers won’t just be thrown in the ring cold to duke it out. Each will train for six to eight weeks before the bout.
That’s probably as down and dirty as Esquire Network will get. Its other original shows include a cooking challenge called “Knife Fight” that is executive produced by Drew Barrymore, and “Brew Dogs,” which is a weekly look at craft breweries in the U.S.
Esquire Network also is taking advantage of its NBCUniversal ties. Not only has it acquired rights to repeats of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” it also will carry old episodes of “Burn Notice” and “Psych,” two staples of sister network USA.
There is no shortage of networks that cater to men. Besides all the local and national sports networks, many general entertainment networks also appeal to men such as Spike, FX and G4 as well as newer niche channels including Velocity and Destination America, which are both owned by Discovery Communications.
Stotsky said he wants Esquire Network to be a “singular lifestyle destination” that can speak to “all the interests and passions of men today.”
Although the channel is named after the magazine, neither Esquire nor its parent Hearst Corp. have a say or a stake in the network.
“They serve as trusted consultants,” Stotsky said.
Esquire Network is launching in 75 million homes. It is taking the place of the NBCUniversal network Style.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.