Time Warner warns ‘underperforming’ networks carriage
Time Warner Cable is giving cable networks a warning that they will be dropped if they aren’t worth their carriage fee and are considered to be “underperforming”. TWC is facing programming costs that have risen 30 per cent since 2008, and had only increased rates 15 per cent in the same timeframe.
CEO Glenn Britt told analysts at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference that as programming and carriage contracts come up for renewal “we will take a hard look at each service”. He said that if certain channels cost too much relative to viewership or value “we’re going to drop them or we may put them on to a different tier,” he added. “It’s out of touch with consumers. It can’t continue that way for another 10 or 20 years.”
Britt, reported by trade mag Fierce Cable told conference delegates that broadcasters which expected to grow to reach 70 to 80 million homes and then “demand” an extra carriage fee would be disappointed. He said that Time Warner Cable had over the years accumulated networks that “hardly anybody watches.”