NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ovation, the only cable television network exclusively devoted to the arts, announced today it has been informed by Time Warner Cable that the cable distributor intends to drop the network when its current contract expires at midnight on December 31st, 2012. Such an action by Time Warner Cable would negatively impact millions of Time Warner Cable customers who will no longer have access to Ovation's unique arts programming.
"Our plan has been to grow Ovation as fast as possible in all key metrics," said Charles Segars, Chief Executive Officer at Ovation. "In a few short years since taking over the network, we have achieved that plan. Ovation is the 4th fastest-growing network and I am confident this arts-centric team will continue to post impressive gains in distribution, advertising and ratings throughout the New Year."
Ovation has grown from 5 to 51 million homes in 6 years.* Currently, the channel is available on major cable, satellite and telco systems across the country. Last year, the network made its biggest investment to date in original programming, resulting in an increase of +55% in audience, which makes Ovation the 4th fastest-growing network, according to Nielsen." **
Robert Weiss, Ovation's Chief Creative Officer, added, "If Time Warner Cable proceeds then, in 2013, its customers who love the arts will miss out on our enlightening and entertaining shows like Song by Song and A Chance to Dance, brand-new original series, an increased number of co-productions and an extensive VOD and TVE offering of incremental and exclusive content covering all arts genres. At least they can watch Battle of the Nutcrackers through the holiday."
"Time Warner Cable's main rationale for dropping Ovation is economics and the growing cost of programming," said Brad Samuels, Executive Vice President of Content Distribution at Ovation. "While they are investing huge amounts in sports programming, they've chosen to limit their customers' viewing options by cutting the only arts network in their lineup. Ovation believes this decision was ill-conceived. For pennies a MONTH, TWC can continue to offer its customers the only network dedicated to the arts and continue to take part in vital arts and arts education programs for the communities they serve. Ultimately, we hope that Time Warner Cable will see the value our other Affiliate partners see in Ovation and will reconsider their decision."
In addition to the uniqueness of its on-air content, Ovation has also funded arts advocacy programs by donating over $14 million to various projects, programs and foundations since 2007. A substantial amount of this funding has benefitted Time Warner Cable communities, including New York and Los Angeles. Time Warner Cable has also partnered with Ovation on a number of these arts-related events and programs. The operator's decision to remove Ovation from its lineup will have an adverse impact on these critical programs in Time Warner Cable customers' communities.
"As an advocate for equal access to the arts, Ovation increases awareness and interest in cultural activities, and is a powerful audience development tool for local cultural institutions," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Americans for the Arts has worked with Ovation extensively over the past five years, and during that time we have witnessed its ability to bring high-level celebrities, Washington policymakers, cable and satellite operators, arts institutions and grass-roots organizations together to support the arts. Their dedication is unmatched, which is something we need more of, not less."
Ovation is a network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression. Ovation programming is a one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of 51 million homes and is available on cable systems across the country, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, ovationtv.com . In addition, Ovation is also active in the social media space. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations about the network and the arts: http://Ovtn.tv/fb.
* Source: 5 Million Homes in 2007 – Internal Ovation subscriber counts; 51 Million Homes, Nielsen Universe Estimate, December 2012
**Source: Ovation analysis of Nielsen MarketBreaks data, growth based on Total Day Household Impressions, Jan-Nov 2012 vs Jan-Nov 2011, ranking among ad-supported cable networks.