Time Warner Cable to drop arts network Ovation

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Two weeks after Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) CEO Glenn Britt said he'd drop underperforming networks, Ovation said Tuesday that it will lose distribution on the MSO's cable systems nationwide at the end of December.

Ovation petition page

Ovation circulated an Internet petition to try and keep TWC from dropping the network. (Source: Ovation)

It's a huge blow for Ovation, an arts network that says it has grown from 5 million to 51 million subscribers in the last six years. Time Warner Cable ended the third quarter with 12.2 million video subscribers.

Britt said at a UBS conference in New York on Dec. 3 that the company planned to drop cable networks that 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," Britt said.

Ovation is circulating an online petition aimed at pushing Time Warner Cable to keep the network. It also said in a statement from EVP of Distribution Brad Samuels that the MSO could continue carrying the network "for pennies a month" per subscriber.

Time Warner Cable subscribers may be able to find some of the programs featured on Ovation on other networks. Today's schedule features three repeats of PBS series Antiques Roadshow, a documentary about Oprah Winfrey and two different versions of classic ballet "The Nutcracker."

Ovation is also carried by several other major multichannel providers, including DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV and AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse TV.

For more:
- see the Ovation release

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