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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:52 PM

Cable Companies Squeeze More Obscure Channels (i.e. Current, Ovation)

There are two kinds of cable channels in the United States: those operated by major media companies that have dozens of other channels, and those that are on their own.

The outlets in the second group, the independent channels, are feeling threatened these days. Some of the distributors they depend on — Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS — are talking about dropping underperforming channels from their lineups, or at least paying them less. Al Gore’s low-rated Current TV, for example, was at risk of being dropped when it decided to sell to Al Jazeera last week and was, in fact, dropped by Time Warner on New Year’s Day.

(...)

VH1 Classic and ESPNU aren’t going away anytime soon. But on New Year’s Day, Verizon FiOS withdrew Youtoo TV, a fledgling channel that features videos submitted by viewers, and Time Warner Cable dropped Ovation, which bills itself as an arts and culture channel. Ovation “is viewed by less than 1 percent of our customers on any given day,” the distributor said in December when it announced the change, adding, “They’ve had ample opportunity to improve the ratings and the content, and have failed to deliver.”

Even if obscure channels like Ovation receive only a nickel a month for every customer, those nickels still add up to tens of millions of dollars in costs incurred by distributors and, indirectly, their subscribers. Of the 10 distributors that together account for 90 percent of TV subscriptions in the United States, Time Warner Cable is taking the most aggressive public stance against low-rated channels like Ovation. Programming costs in general are “out of whack,” the distributor’s chief executive, Glenn Britt, told investors last month, citing a 30 percent increase in the subscriber fees paid to channel owners since 2008.

Mr. Britt has been outspoken about limiting price increases to retain customers who otherwise might eliminate cable. When Time Warner Cable warned that it might drop Current last month, it also singled out low-rated channels like Hallmark, IFC, Lifetime, NHL Network, the Style Network and WE tv.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/business/media/cable-channels-like-current-and-ovation-feeling-heat.html

Oh my. The free market seems to favor trash like Keeping Up with the Kardashians or its bastard spinoffs, the latest stupid MTV reality show about West Virginia, mind-numbing evangelical Christian propaganda, or the stupid shit O'Reilly/Hannity/etc. say on that Fox channel. But highbrow stuff on Ovation or a dissenting political view on Current TV? Fuhgetaboutit!

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Reply Cable Companies Squeeze More Obscure Channels (i.e. Current, Ovation) (Original post)
alp227 Jan 2013 OP
BlueJazz Jan 2013 #1
madfloridian Jan 2013 #2
flyingfysh Jan 2013 #3
ROBROX Jan 2013 #4

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:07 AM

1. You can damn well be assured that when cable or sat. companies cut programming....

...the Religious nuts, right-wing haters, info-mation and sales channels will be the last to go.
I've got something like 18 channels of Church-stuff on my setup plus a barnyard of "buy this junk" channels and one channel that has science. sigh....

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:45 AM

2. Brighthouse just dropped Ovation.

I really enjoyed a lot of their shows.

They just dropped Current TV as well.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:15 AM

3. I used to get Ovation

RCN dropped it, unfortunately. One Ovation program in particular I remember was a tour of various European organs, playing music on each of them, and discussing the differences in tone the various organs had. Among other things, they discussed the differences between German organs and Spanish organs. It was a really nice segment.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:52 AM

4. I watch very little regular network and much OTHER

 

The good stuff is out there, but a person has to HUNT. The other networks advertise their junk and the ADDICTS just tune in for what?

I was a K viewer when it started just to be different, but I could see the money sent to the K gang and I switched. I did like the playboy girl friends which seemed great even when CENSORED.

There are to many CHURCH and ADVERTISEMENT junk networks. Who listens to these channels and why?

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