Magazine article Variety

Cable Nets: The Tail That Wags the Dog

Magazine article Variety

Cable Nets: The Tail That Wags the Dog

Article excerpt

Hollywood is the kind of business in which top performers tend to shine so brightly that they seem like they'll never burn out. Whether you're talking about a bankable actor, a successful company or a profitable business model, a hot streak can seduce you into thinking things will never cool off.

Until they do.

As Cynthia Littleton and Daniel Holloway report this week, the TV brands that were once the industry's biggest cash cows are starting to get put out to pasture. The unprecedented shuttering of cable brands like NBCUniversal's Esquire has launched a trend that doesn't portend a smooth future for the TV industry. Hollywood likes to talk a good game about diversification, but it doesn't take an economist to show you how dependent media companies are on these cable assets to pad the bottom line. They probably should have thought twice about churning out an inexhaustible parade of channels that far outstripped any actual consumer demand.

Be sure to check out the massive chart in this issue documenting just how vast and valuable these channels are to their respective conglomerates; you'll get a good chuckle over how many network brands are out there that you've never even heard of. …

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