Olbermann exit could cost Current its TWC berth


Current TVAl Gore/Joel Hyatt political news channel Current has decided that it is easier to live without Keith Olbermann, but it might find the living to be not-so-easy without the eyeballs Olbermann attracted to the network. At risk, according to Reuters, is carriage on Time Warner Cable systems.

According to Reuters, Current is required to meet certain viewership benchmarks to remain on TWC lineup cards.

Olbermann was said to average 177K viewers nightly. His replacement, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, barely managed to get more than a quarter of that, attracting only about 47K viewers.

According to Reuters, failure to meet established minimums triggers a requirement that Current make a stepped-up marketing and promotional effort to buck up the numbers. The second-tier TWC option is to start removing the network from its lineups.

The report noted that Current was did not believe it was in any danger of falling short of viewers. TWC wasn’t talking.

Current’s website has this to say about its distribution level: “Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 71 million households worldwide – 60 million in the U.S. – through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107); Time Warner (Channel 103 in New York, Channel 142 in L.A.); DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 215 nationwide); Verizon FiOS (Channel 192) and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 189).”