Lime sours on linear network

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An independent cable channel is dropping its linear network to focus more on other platforms.

Lime, a health-minded brand launched by former AOL chairman Steve Case under his new company, Revolution Llc., is discontinuing carriage as a channel with operators including Comcast Corp. The network, which will continue to have distribution via VOD, was available in fewer than 7 million homes since launching in fall 2005 (HR 7/25/05).

Lime will continue to forge ahead on the digital side, making its programming available through its Web site as well as with partners through new deals with Yahoo! Health and Joost. The brand has also signed advertisers to multiplatform sponsorships, including Toyota and Garnier.

New independent cable channels could go years without getting payments from distributors in order to obtain carriage while still sustaining the infrastructure costs that come with linear placement.

"We looked at that and said that this doesn't make sense for the long haul," said C.J. Kettler, founder and CEO of Lime, who did not rule out eventually returning to linear.

Lime is not the first existing channel to bail on linear channels. NBC Universal's Trio continued as a broadband brand after the expiration of its carriage deal with DirecTV last year.
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