DirecTV Kicks Niche Content to the Curb http://tinyurl.com/27j6278
If networks carrying niche content don’t find distribution with the traditional cable and satellite broadcasters their only recourse will be to find distribution via the Internet. Once people get used to consuming content through that infrastructure – because they were forced to in order to watch the content they enjoy – it becomes that much easier to drop the rest of DirecTV (or your cable provider) and go all IP.
So, good on DirecTV for driving the conversion to IP based networks and the eventual lack of need for DirecTV.
The decision by pay TV providers to drop low-rated networks is happening as distributors are coming under pressure to pay ever-increasing fees to programmers. In most cases, those costs get passed on to the consumer in the form of higher cable bills. But with cable bills rising about 8 percent over the past year, it’s clear that continually raising rates is unsustainable. Rather than pay increasing fees, some consumers have begun canceling their cable or satellite subscriptions altogether, as the number of people who pay for TV hasdropped for two consecutive quarters.
[Update] It was pointed out by Austin Wallender, via Twitter, that G4 was rating poorly on DirecTV and was owned by a competitor so it’s dropping was from “normal business practice”. I can support the low ratings but if ownership by a competitor is really driving DirecTV’s programming, that’s a bigger and more worrying issue.