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Low ratings could end cable deal for Gore's Current TV

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22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

(Reuters) - Al Gore's Current TV has bigger problems to deal with than a potential lawsuit from fired news anchor Keith Olbermann - namely not getting kicked off Time Warner Cable for low ratings.
According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, Time Warner Cable Inc's carriage agreement with Current TV stipulates that, if the left-leaning political news network fails to meet a minimum threshold for overall viewers in a given quarter, financial penalties such as Current TV being required to increase marketing and promotion spending on the cable operator's systems are triggered.

If Current TV misses the audience benchmark in two consecutive quarters, another clause is triggered that would allow Time Warner Cable to drop the channel. The condition was built into the most recent distribution pact between the two parties, which was signed in 2010.

"Time Warner Cable has been flirting with the idea of pulling Current off its systems for some time now," said one of the sources, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.

All of the sources interviewed for this story declined to provide the precise threshold for overall viewers.

Olbermann, the feisty host of the politically tinged talk show "Countdown," was fired from Current TV last week and replaced with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Current TV, founded seven years ago by Gore, the former U.S. Vice President, and business partner Joel Hyatt, accused Olbermann of breaching his contracts and trying to sabotage the progressive public affairs network. Olbermann denied Current's allegations and vowed to take legal action.

If it was not for Olbermann's show, which averaged a total of 177,000 viewers per night, Current TV likely would have missed Time Warner Cable's viewership benchmark, said one of the sources.

The appointment of Spitzer, another outspoken news commentator, led to speculation among Time Warner Cable executives that Current is courting controversy to attract viewers.

Based on the 47,000 total viewers who tuned into the initial broadcasts of Spitzer's "Viewpoint," the source said that "just enough people are tuning in to keep Current over the quota."

Current TV's overall viewership failed to meet Nielsen's minimum reporting standard, which means that the network's average audience was not large enough to be rated, since the new TV season began last September 19.

Despite its low ratings, the network averages a relatively high 12 cents per subscriber per month from cable operators, according to estimates by SNL Kagan. By comparison, MSNBC only gets about 16 cents per subscriber per month, or 4 cents more than Current TV, despite drawing nearly 800,000 viewers per night in prime time.


http://www.reuters.c...E83404P20120405

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#2 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:18 AM

If DirecTV is paying $.12 a month for Current TV, which nobody watches that is 12 cents that can be saved next time the channel is up for renewal. Current just repeats what MSNBC does, except does it worse.

#3 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:02 AM

This isn't about DirecTV, it's about Time Warner Cable.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#4 OFFLINE   Newshawk

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:27 AM

This isn't about DirecTV, it's about Time Warner Cable.

But it bodes ill for Current TV, especially if other systems have a similar clause in the contract.

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#5 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:52 AM

(Reuters) - Al Gore's Current TV has bigger problems to deal with than a potential lawsuit from fired news anchor Keith Olbermann - namely not getting kicked off Time Warner Cable for low ratings.
According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, Time Warner Cable Inc's carriage agreement with Current TV stipulates that, if the left-leaning political news network fails to meet a minimum threshold for overall viewers in a given quarter, financial penalties such as Current TV being required to increase marketing and promotion spending on the cable operator's systems are triggered.

If Current TV misses the audience benchmark in two consecutive quarters, another clause is triggered that would allow Time Warner Cable to drop the channel. The condition was built into the most recent distribution pact between the two parties, which was signed in 2010.

"Time Warner Cable has been flirting with the idea of pulling Current off its systems for some time now," said one of the sources, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.

All of the sources interviewed for this story declined to provide the precise threshold for overall viewers.

Olbermann, the feisty host of the politically tinged talk show "Countdown," was fired from Current TV last week and replaced with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Current TV, founded seven years ago by Gore, the former U.S. Vice President, and business partner Joel Hyatt, accused Olbermann of breaching his contracts and trying to sabotage the progressive public affairs network. Olbermann denied Current's allegations and vowed to take legal action.

If it was not for Olbermann's show, which averaged a total of 177,000 viewers per night, Current TV likely would have missed Time Warner Cable's viewership benchmark, said one of the sources.

The appointment of Spitzer, another outspoken news commentator, led to speculation among Time Warner Cable executives that Current is courting controversy to attract viewers.

Based on the 47,000 total viewers who tuned into the initial broadcasts of Spitzer's "Viewpoint," the source said that "just enough people are tuning in to keep Current over the quota."

Current TV's overall viewership failed to meet Nielsen's minimum reporting standard, which means that the network's average audience was not large enough to be rated, since the new TV season began last September 19.

Despite its low ratings, the network averages a relatively high 12 cents per subscriber per month from cable operators, according to estimates by SNL Kagan. By comparison, MSNBC only gets about 16 cents per subscriber per month, or 4 cents more than Current TV, despite drawing nearly 800,000 viewers per night in prime time.


http://www.reuters.c...E83404P20120405


Current TV isn't very good anyway!

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#6 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:16 AM

Current TV isn't very good anyway!


One big drawback is that Current TV isn't HD...
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#7 OFFLINE   DaveC27

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:10 PM

I just to love the channel before it became Current. It would show news programs from around the world and then Gore took it over and relaunched it to a News channel that would appeal to the Youth :mad: Consequently I haven't watched it for an age and wouldn't miss it if they dropped it and allocated the channel to something like BBC World News or Al-Jazeera

#8 OFFLINE   lyradd

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

Low ratings could end cable deal for Gore's Current TV...Music to my ears!:D

#9 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:26 PM

The scary thing to me is that the managment of Current have stated that they want to establish themseleves as "a more definitively liberal point of view than MSNBC." :eek:

I am the model of liberal northeasterner...and I can't imagine a MORE liberal news network than MSNBC.

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#10 OFFLINE   fireponcoal

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:42 PM

Can we have the CBC controlled news network that was Current before Current existed please? Forget the name of the network but I really enjoyed it's programming.

#11 OFFLINE   fireponcoal

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:43 PM

I just to love the channel before it became Current. It would show news programs from around the world and then Gore took it over and relaunched it to a News channel that would appeal to the Youth :mad: Consequently I haven't watched it for an age and wouldn't miss it if they dropped it and allocated the channel to something like BBC World News or Al-Jazeera



Oh, didn't see this but yeah, I agree with you.

#12 OFFLINE   ndole

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:06 PM

Does Pravda have a TV channel?
"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."

#13 OFFLINE   Racer88

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:19 PM

Hopefully DirecTV has the same options and intent to excercise them that TWC has. Good riddance and make room for something else. Though unfortunately, it will probably be something almost as useless as this is.

Edited by Racer88, 05 April 2012 - 04:35 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

I was shocked to learn that cable and DTV are paying Current TV to carry the channel. If anything, Current should be paying DTV .12 cents a month, not receiving it.

#15 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:43 PM

Hopefully DirecTV has the same options and intent to excercise them that TWC has. Good riddance and make room for something else. Though unfortunately, it will probably be something almost as useless as this is.


Room? We need more SD?
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#16 OFFLINE   kc1ih

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:56 PM

I just to love the channel before it became Current. It would show news programs from around the world and then Gore took it over and relaunched it to a News channel that would appeal to the Youth


The previous channel was known as Newsworld International and was produced in Canada by the CBC. AFAIK it was only on DirecTV and not on Dish or cable. The channel is no longer being produced so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to come back.

#17 OFFLINE   SamC

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:19 AM

I'm shocked that any provder pays any amount for this channel. As noted in the article, its ratings are "below the reporting threshold". That means they are closer to 0.0 than 0.1, the lowest number Neilsen will report.

Twelve cents a month. For a channel less than 40K people watch. Insane.

#18 ONLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:57 PM

Does Pravda have a TV channel?


MegaHetrz carries a cool channel called Russia Today that is basically a Communist version of Fox News. It carries show after show of smarmy people making snide remarks about capitalism. Honest!

As for Current TV, I don't think they could produce more boring documentaries than they do if they tried.

#19 OFFLINE   WestDC

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:13 PM

MegaHetrz carries a cool channel called Russia Today that is basically a Communist version of Fox News. It carries show after show of smarmy people making snide remarks about capitalism. Honest!

As for Current TV, I don't think they could produce more boring documentaries than they do if they tried.


Sounds Just like the Networks :confused:
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#20 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:50 PM

Great, we're heading for one 24/7/365 one-sided political diatribe channel taking direct orders from a foreigner and a criminal, Rupert Murdoch. Way to provide broadcast diversity, FCC!




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