“Pivot” network to break out of subscription model


Cable / SatelliteThe new cable network from Participant Media plans to offer an Internet subscription to customers without a pay television service, the company said on 3/27.

“Pivot” will reach 40 million homes through deals it struck via MVPDs such as DirecTV when it launches in August. Participant, backer of movies such as “Lincoln” and “The Help,” is also working with broadband providers to offer a stand-alone streaming subscription to customers without a pay TV package, network president Evan Shapiro said.

The hybrid distribution methods reflect the new distribution landscape caused from cord-cutting and iPTV.

Operators such as Cablevision and Dish Network also are complaining about escalating fees to carry networks and advocating an a la carte model to let consumers choose the channels they want, noted the article. The expanded choices and functionality of internet video streaming will someday force more a la carte options for MSOs, as the internet pipeline will be just as viable as the cable.

HBO CEO Richard Plepler said last week that it would consider partnering with Internet providers for its streaming service, HBO GO, and offer a product for customers who do not subscribe to cable TV, Reuters reported.

Participant Media was founded by billionaire and former eBay President Jeff Skoll to produce entertainment programming that inspires social change.

Programming on “pivot”, aimed at adults age 18-34, will include a variety show hosted by “Inception” and “Lincoln” actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a reality show following Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, and a scripted series about a young William Shakespeare.

See the Reuters article here

RBR-TVBR observation: Pivot’s strategy is likely based on having issues with getting widespread carriage. If the numbers are good for its internet streaming subscription service, it could be an end-run way to get carriage on major MSOs. This move is also a good test to see how many viewers in Pivot’s targeted 18-34 demo are bypassing cable in their viewing choices.