Time Warner Cable prunes Ovation
December 19, 2012
Earlier this month, Time Warner Cable chief executive officer Glenn Britt said that his company would begin pruning its lineup of cable channels, getting rid of ones it felt were no longer worth the expense.
Yesterday that pruning began.
Ovation, a small arts-focused, independent network, was dropped from TWC’s lineup, the first of what the company pledges will be many reductions.
At issue are the fees that TWC and other cable MSOs pay to networks. For top channels like ESPN, those fees can be up to $5 per subscriber.
For a small one like Ovation it’s more like pennies, but the MSOs say they need to cut costs somewhere or they will keep sending them on to consumers, who are already peeved about the rising costs of cable.
The MSOs don’t want to lose their subscribers to satellite or have them cut the cord altogether. So they are starting to make changes that will lower their overall operating costs.
Cutting a network like Ovation is a pretty safe way to send a signal. As an independent, its distribution is not tied to any other big network group.
It will be trickier for TWC to eliminate smaller channels tied to a big parent company, because their distribution is often tied to the bigger entity.
This won’t be the last channel targeted, either. TWC’s web site specified several other candidates whose carriage deals may not be renewed when they expire soon, including Current TV, IFC and Hallmark Movie Channel.
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