Current TV, which is facing a possible lawsuit by recently fired host Keith Olbermann, now has another problem on its hands. Reuters reports that Time Warner Cable is close to kicking Current off its systems for failing to meet a minimum level of viewership.
Reuters reports: “According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, Time Warner Cable Inc’s carriage agreement with Current TV stipulates that, if the left-leaning political news network fails to meet a minimum threshold for overall viewers in a given quarter, financial penalties such as Current TV being required to increase marketing and promotion spending on the cable operator’s systems are triggered.
“If Current TV misses the audience benchmark in two consecutive quarters, another clause is triggered that would allow Time Warner Cable to drop the channel. The condition was built into the most recent distribution pact between the two parties, which was signed in 2010.”
The article says that Time Warner Cable has Current TV in about 12 million of its subscribers’ homes. Current TV is in about 60 million homes total, the story says.
One of its sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters: "Time Warner Cable has been flirting with the idea of pulling Current off its systems for some time now."
The article also reports, "A representative for Current TV said: ‘We are fully in compliance with our Time Warner Cable contract and all indications show that even with Keith leaving we will continue to be in compliance.’ "
As previously reported, Current saw its ratings take a hit after it fired Olbermann from his “Countdown” show — the channel’s highest-rated show — and replaced it with a show hosted by Eliot Spitzer.