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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 10, 2012

Current TV Could Lose Its Spot on Time Warner Cable

By Patrick Lambert, TMCnet Contributing Writer

It seems as if just last week Current TV was in the news thanks to their breakup with Keith Olbermann. Now, anonymous sources tell Reuters (News - Alert) that the channel may be close to losing its spot on Time Warner Cable due to low ratings. This is just a rumor, one that other sources dismissed when talking to the Daily News. Either way, there's no question that the channel has been trying to find a place for itself, and people by large still aren't sure what Current TV is trying to be yet.

This all started when they decided to end their relationship with Olbermann over a series of run-ins. Since he was one of the major audience draws, many speculated that their already modest viewership would drop. That's when the rumors started that the channel's contract with Time Warner (News - Alert) was conditional on a certain popularity, and that the network was thinking about dropping them. This would be a severe blow to Current TV, however the company itself denies that there's any problem on this front. In a statement, they said "We are in compliance with all our distribution agreements. All of our agreements are long-term agreements with 2 to 5 years remaining on their terms."

Of course, all of this is going on while the biggest competitor to both Current TV and cable networks like Time Warner is actually the Internet and online video. The audience of most channels has been slowly going down in the past couple of years, and it's not because of any one host, but rather because people spend more time watching online videos, YouTube (News - Alert), IP TV, and so on. Some channels have found their place on the web, starting various online initiatives, and if Current TV has any fear of losing network coverage, this could be a possibility for them.

Still, for now, it's still rumors, and there's no sign that the channel will vanish from your cable box quite yet. For the long term, there's nothing certain, and it's a much more varied picture, especially when it comes to the always dropping cable network subscriber count. Current TV has already started to make deals with online video sources, and this may end up being their salvation in the long run.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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