1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by mitchflorida, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1 of 23

    mitchflorida Godfather

    May 18, 2009
    (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.

  2. Apr 5, 2012 #2 of 23

    mitchflorida Godfather

    May 18, 2009
    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. Apr 5, 2012 #3 of 23

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    This isn't about DirecTV, it's about Time Warner Cable.
  4. Apr 5, 2012 #4 of 23

    Newshawk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 3, 2004
    But it bodes ill for Current TV, especially if other systems have a similar clause in the contract.
  5. Apr 5, 2012 #5 of 23
    Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

    Dec 16, 2003
    Current TV isn't very good anyway!
  6. Apr 5, 2012 #6 of 23

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    One big drawback is that Current TV isn't HD...
  7. Apr 5, 2012 #7 of 23

    DaveC27 Godfather

    Apr 14, 2010
    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. Apr 5, 2012 #8 of 23

    lyradd Legend

    Mar 20, 2006
    Low ratings could end cable deal for Gore's Current TV...Music to my ears!:D
  9. Apr 5, 2012 #9 of 23
    Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    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.
  10. fireponcoal

    fireponcoal Icon

    Sep 26, 2009
    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. fireponcoal

    fireponcoal Icon

    Sep 26, 2009
    Oh, didn't see this but yeah, I agree with you.
  12. ndole

    ndole Problem Solver

    Aug 26, 2009
    Does Pravda have a TV channel?
  13. Racer88

    Racer88 Icon

    Sep 12, 2006
    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.
  14. mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

    May 18, 2009
    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. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Room? We need more SD?
  16. kc1ih

    kc1ih Legend

    May 22, 2004
    Hudson, FL
    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. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2003
    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. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

    Nov 20, 2004
    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. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Sounds Just like the Networks :confused:
  20. Maruuk

    Maruuk Hall Of Fame

    Dec 4, 2007
    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!

Share This Page