Current TV and Olbermann
In a semi-must read, Newsweek’s Rebecca Dana writes about the future of Current TV and Keith Olbermann…
“When we were able to land Keith Olbermann, which was a great programming coup for us, what flowed from that coup was the strategic imperative that we go all in,” Hyatt tells Newsweek. “We are coming now to where a lot of people thought we were always going to be.”
The plan may well be the network’s last chance. The lion’s share of its $115 million in revenues comes from fees that cable carriers pay to host the network—a relatively high rate of 12 cents per subscriber—but its ratings are not high enough to sustain those fees, according to an analysis by the financial-data firm SNL Kagan. With carriage agreements beginning to expire in the next couple of years, the network is likely to see a sharp drop in financing unless its viewership turns around. “They’ve got a very limited window here to get their programming in order,” says Derek Baine, an analyst with SNL Kagan. “The channel has been around for a long time and has gone through many iterations, but despite having quite a lot of subscribers, they’ve never really latched on to a significant viewing audience.”
Dana adds that Current is working on getting a liberal morning program on the air to take on Morning Joe.