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Time Warner Cable announced plans to drop Ovation, the only network devoted to visual and performing arts. The company claims that the network has failed to draw in viewers despite the investment TWC has made to continue carrying it.
Ovation said Tuesday that TWC plans on dropping the network at the end of the year, when its contract expires. CEO Charles Segars said that “Our plan has been to grow Ovation as fast as possible in all key metrics...In a few short years since taking over the network, we have achieved that plan. Ovation is the 4th fastest-growing network and I am confident this arts-centric team will continue to post impressive gains in distribution, advertising and ratings throughout the New Year.”
According to The Huffington Post, TWC disagrees. “We’ve paid more than $10 million in carriage fees to Ovation over the past several years,” TWC stated. “They’ve had ample opportunity to improve the ratings and the content, and have failed to deliver.”
TWC notes that even though the network is carried in 51 million homes after just six years, it is “among the poorest performing networks, and is viewed by less than 1 percent of our customers on any given day.”
TWC even took aim at the network’s programming. “They claim to be an arts channel but a quick look at their lineup indicates that most of their programming is not. An analysis of Ovation’s programming shows that it’s not a channel devoted to the arts,” it said. “One seven-day period in November 2012 shows that 70 percent of their schedule was old movies that are repeated, numerous repeats of the PBS show Antique Road Show, Infomercials that are unrelated to the arts, and repeats of TV shows from broadcast networks.”
Ovation has already started an online petition. Meanwhile, Broadwayworld is reporting that the Citizens for Access to the Arts group is holding a press conference in New York today to support the network.