Access Television Network
- This article is about the American infomercial channel. For the television channel in Alberta that previously used the Access name, see CTV Two Alberta.
Access Television Network (ATN) was a company based in Coral Gables, Florida that distributed infomercials and other paid programming to about 300 cable television systems and attracted more than 35 million households at its peak. ATN's around-the-clock satellite channel was generally broadcast by cable systems on existing channels during the early morning hours when no regular programming is scheduled. In late 2002, ATN expanded with the purchase of the Product Information Network, a similar 24-hour cable infomercial network.
ATN was founded by William Bernard in 1993 in Irvine, CA. Bernard was ultimately forced out of ATN by the new CEO, George H. Henry in 2001, in a deal to merge with another now defunct company, The Recovery Network. Henry perceived Bernard as an obstacle to his "Reverse Triangulated Merger" scheme and won Board approval to terminated Bernard, who later successfully sued ATN and Henry for damages and wages owed. ATN had over 200 shareholders which included a venture capital firm Spectrum Equity Investors and the Hearst Family Fund. ATN bought out Spectrum Equity with a loan through Wells Fargo Foothill. This loan was in turn purchased by Gladstone Capital who is the current largest debt holder of ATN.
ATN created two separate wholly owned subsidiaries, Pacific Media Direct LLC (PMD) and TGM Group LLC. PMD was created to pursue product development and marketing for Amari Cream, a cream that claimed to be used as a barrier against viruses that carry sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Since PMD nor Amari generated any revenues, the venture was wholly funded by the revenues diverted from ATN's direct response/informercial business. Well over a million dollars of ATN's revenues were spent on the development and marketing of Amari Cream. Numerous Private Placement Offerings were concocted by ATN's CEO George Henry in an attempt to infuse additional cash resources for the development of Amari, despite the fact that Amari was not capable of generating any meaningful sales. PMD, who held the exclusive worldwide marketing rights to Amari, attempted to secure an FDA 510k medical device certification for Amari and submitted the necessary research and lab testing reports in filing with the FDA in December 2010. The filing was ultimately rejected by the FDA and the future status of Amari is unknown. In March 2012, Amari's developers, Craig Lichtblau and Jose Iparraguirre, filed suit against George Henry and PMD for Breach of Contract. The suit is still pending in Miami courts.
The TGM Group was started as an online STD testing business, www.stdandhivtesting.com. The venture was mildly successful and was based on the model where consumers wishing to get discreet anonymous testing for STD's could contact would contact a live trained operator who would listen to the customers concerns and be able to recommend the proper testing and screening panels. The customer was then directed to a local lab where the appropriate tests were to be done. All the paperwork was done and sent to the labs prior to the customers arrival. The customer would then call back in 72 hours to find out their results. The website was ultimately shut down as the principal operator of the website left over a dispute with Henry.
In early 2012 ATN ceased operations as it could no longer generate sufficient revenues to pay its affiliates and satellite transponder obligations. George Henry filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Pacific Media Direct LLC on July 13, 2012.
- Official site
- Cable network devotes airtime to mag-o-mercials - informercial maker, Access Television Network, to market magazines on new channel. Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management, August 1, 1997 by Andrew Burns
- RnetHealth.com Inks Pact For Access Television Network's Ad Avails; Purchases Short Form Advertising Inventory To Reach Up To 32.0 Million Cable Households Daily. Business Wire, August 2, 2000