Exclusive: AXS TV to Broadcast New Orleans Jazz Festival


AXS TV will set up in New Orleans during Jazz Fest, broadcasting nightly beginning April 26 and offering live performances and event coverage on the festival’s second weekend, May 3-5. It is the first time in its 43 years that the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been televised.

AXS will broadcast live segments in its nightly program “AXSLive” from April 26 through May 2 and then offer continuous live festival, concert and event coverage through the weekend.

For AXS TV, the 8-month-old network owned by Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and CAA, the Jazz Festival arrangement is the first of its kind. Cuban, the AXS TV chairman and founder, says the goal of covering the festival is to reach as broad an audience as possible.

"This will be a focus on the breadth of live programming that AXS TV offers," Cuban told Billboard via email. "We believe that AXS TV is the best platform for people to experience new music. And when that discovery of new music is live, its a unique social experience you cant get anywhere else."

Maroon 5, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Phoenix and the Black Keys are among the headliners on the second weekend of the seven-day festival and Cuban says the major stars will be covered as will the regional acts that fill up the bulk of the bills, among them the Fleur Debris Superband, New Birth Brass Band and Terence Blanchard.

"We obviously will cover every one," Cuban says, noting there are no rights issues blocking the coverage of any particular act. "We are a network that loves music and we want to help curate a diverse selection, including not only the big acts, but also great undiscovered acts as well."

“Joining forces with AXS TV will allow Jazz Fest to further our goal of placing New Orleans and Louisiana culture alongside the biggest names in music and bringing this one-of-a-kind celebration to the world,” festival producer/director Quint Davis said in a statement. “If you can't get to Jazz Fest in person, watching it live on AXS TV will definitely be the next best thing."

Details on AXS' line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.