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Reuters reports that the network’s contract with Time Warner, which puts Current on 12 million cable boxes, says that if they do not draw a certain minimum number of viewers, they suffer financial penalties, including requiring beefed up marketing; a second straight quarter allows Time Warner to drop them altogether.
“We do not discuss the terms of our distribution agreements because they are confidential,” a spokesperson for the network said. “We are in compliance with all our distribution agreements. And all our agreements are long-term agreements with 2 to 5 years remaining on their terms. We are not at any risk of losing any of our distribution agreements.”
Following the loss of Keith Olbermann, who was fired last Friday after a troubled year at Current, the network’s viewership is in peril; Eliot Spitzer‘s Viewpoint, the show that has replaced Olbermann’s Countdown in the 8 p.m. time slot, debuted to just 47,000 viewers Friday night.
Olbermann and the network have publicly squabbled, with far more than pride on the line: Current says that it does not owe Olbermann the remaining $40 million on his contract, citing sabotage and breach of agreement, while Olbermann has said he will pursue legal action to obtain the money he claims he’s owed.
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