Only days after Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said at a UBS conference he’d drop underperforming networks, arts network Ovation said Tuesday that it has been cut on the MSO’s cable systems nationwide at the end of December. Ovation is now circulating an Internet petition to try and keep TWC from dropping the network. Ovation EVP of Distribution Brad Samuels said in a statement that the MSO could continue carrying the network “for pennies a month” per subscriber.
It’s a big blow for Ovation, which says it has grown from 5 million to 51 million subscribers in the last six years. Time Warner Cable has 12.2 million video subscribers.
Britt said TWC will drop cable networks that weren’t getting decent ratings and weren’t worth the monthly carriage fees they charge Time Warner Cable: “As our programming contracts come up for renewal, we’re going to take a hard look at each service. Those services that cost too much relative to the viewership or value of those services, we’re going to drop them, or we may put them on a different tier.”
Ovation is also carried by DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse TV.
RBR-TVBR observation: In this world of multiple programming and tablet viewing, why wouldn’t an MSO want to offer the most they can to keep their customers happy? Will this move by Britt keep subscriber costs down? Who knows, but obviously this is being done to offset the fees all of the new sports networks cropping up are charging, in addition to ESPN’s high-dollar fees. Offering all of the networks would be the other solution, but doing so via a la carte packages.