So far, 2017 has been a bad year for cable TV subscribers. Not only did rates increase last month but also four cable networks are being shut down or rebranded. All of this without a discount or any type of credit.
NBCUniversal Drops Two Networks, Rebrands a Third
First to fall in 2017 was the Esquire Network as NBCUniversal announced it would be shut down and a few of its shows would move online. Next was the Cloo channel, a crime-focused channel that NBCUniversal said never got enough traction to justify the investment.
The Oxygen Network is being rebranded into a crime network and almost all of its staff and shows are fired or canceled. A new team will build a new network in its place, but “Snapped” will be saved and moved to the new network.
Big Changes to Viacom’s Network Line-Up
Lastly, and maybe the most shocking, is Spike TV. Viacom announced last week that Spike will be rebranded to the Paramount Channel.
“A big part of our future is better integrating Paramount into the company and connecting it more to the work we do across media brands,” Viacom CEO Robert Bakish told employees last month.
Not only is it rebranding Spike, but Viacom is also limiting its focus from 20 TV channels to just 6. Viacom will move all its focus and, more importantly, its money to Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and the Paramount Channel.
Right now no announcement has been made on networks such as VH1, TV Land, or many of the spinoff channels such as MTV2 or MTV Classics. Their future is all in doubt and anything could happen.
Prices Keep Increasing as Content is Decreasing
So if you are still paying for cable TV, maybe it is time to reevaluate whether you are getting what you pay for? Not only is cable charging more in 2017, but also many of its most popular shows and networks are free with an antenna (or inexpensive with a standalone streaming service).
And all of this as Time Warner Cable / Spectrum promotes its “Say Yes to More” ads, touting its over-the-top services and channel packages. Perhaps what they really mean is, say yes to higher fees, rate increases, blackouts, and channels than you want or watch.
Not sure what you can get for free with an antenna? Check out Mohu’s channel finder for help picking an antenna and finding out what antenna you should get.