Cable News Collateral Damage…
Deadline’s David Lieberman writes about some things Dish Network head Charlie Ergen said today about his provider’s battle with Turner Networks…
When we take something down we’re prepared to leave it down forever. Things like CNN are not quite the product that they used to be. You can imagine: CNN down on election night would have been a disaster 15 or 20 years ago. Now there are plenty of other places for people to get news. In fact a lot of people get news not from TV but from their devices. So it’s not had a major impact on our business yet.
Of course he’s going to say that because this battle is all about positioning. But even if there’s a shred of truth to this, CNN should be worried. In fact MSNBC should be worried.
We saw a similar battle earlier this year between The Weather Channel and DirecTV. For a while there it was an open question as to whether TWC would ever reappear on DirecTV’s lineup again. The Channel mounted a horrendously ill thought out PR blitz to try and push DirecTV to carry the channel and it failed miserably. However, the two did manage to settle things.
Turner will probably reach a similar deal with Dish at some point. But we are getting a glimpse of the future.
It is a future where one or more cable news networks not named FOX could be off providers’ lineups. If Dish is willing to take CNN off its air; a network which historically has attracted a more premium advertiser clientele than some of its competition, what does that portend for other channels who don’t have CNN’s branding pluses?