10:27am PT by Michael O'Connell
NBCUniversal Turning Lights Off on Chiller Network
The cable contraction continues. This time, it's another NBCUniversal network: Chiller.
A NBCUniversal Cable rep confirmed that the horror-centric channel would cease operations at the end of 2017. Its death comes after carriage struggles with multiple media companies, including Verizon, Charter, Dish and Cox. Chiller has hardly been a marquee player for NBCU, but it is the latest network to fall this year. Cloo (formally Sleuth) officially went under in January, and Esquire closed up shop after only three years on the air in June.
Chiller was home to several original productions, mostly B movies and reality shows, but it did produce one scripted show (Slasher). Much of its schedule was dominated by cost-efficient genre acquisitions, as well as a few high-profile second runs, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It comes as little surprise that Chiller is ending its run. Within NBCU's sprawling cable portfolio, which includes mainstays USA, Bravo, E! and Syfy, it was never a priority. Its genre focus was also quite similar to Syfy's. And NBCU has been working to streamline such redundancies. (See the recent rebrand of Oxygen from a lighter version of Bravo to a true crime-focused effort dominated by Dick Wolf fare.)
As troubled as the cable landscape may be, NBCU is at least in an advantageous position to streamline their portfolio while it's still largely thriving. Other comparable cable giants, like the Viacom suite, have been forced to make similar decisions in a time of crisis.
Chiller had been on the air for just over a decade, launching in 2007. In 2016, it lost nearly 30 percent of its audience and dropped out of the Top 100 ad-supported networks, averaging just 64,000 viewers in primetime.
The news was first reported by TVAnswerMan.