Cable net Pivot, citing changing market, to shut down

Participant Media today said it was shuttering its nearly four-year-old standalone cable network, Pivot, citing a changing media landscape that has become more difficult for independents.

“We have been evaluating how we fulfill our mission to entertain and inspire social action around the world’s most pressing issues,” said CEO David Linde. “That process has led us to the decision to move away from owning and operating a cable network. While this conclusion was not an easy one, it is ultimately in the best interest of all our stakeholders, and allows us to allocate more resources toward the production of compelling content across all platforms.”

In a statement released this afternoon Linde also referenced “a wave of consolidation among the largest cable TV distributors; increasing competition for high-quality content, driving up the costs of programming; and continued migration by consumers and advertisers toward online video and away from traditional linear video.”

That consolidation has been especially hard on smaller cable networks like Pivot, especially as their target audience has either cut the cord or been unreachable because they didn’t subscribe to a pay-TV service. And, as more operators move to offer skinny bundles, access to audiences for smallest nets becomes even more problematic.

Participant instead will look to helping meet the increasing demand for content has continued to grow as consumers spend increasing amounts of time watching content at home, at work and on-the- go.

“There has never been a better time to be a creator of great content,” noted Linde. “By focusing squarely in that direction, Participant is positioning itself to take advantage of these trends.”

Pivot, which was focused on Millennials and was in about 50 million homes, but its survival as a cable network has been in question since Linde took over at Participant last year.

“This was a decision made over a lengthy period of analysis,” said Linde. “The network’s real achievements can be wholly attributed to the Pivot team, of whom we are incredibly proud. This very talented group’s commitment to our broader mission has been absolute, and we are very grateful for their significant contributions to the organization.”

No word on what happens with its programming, like “Fortitude, Please Like Me or Secret Lives of Americans.

Variety reports that Participant, before deciding to shut Pivot down, looked for a strategic partner a la BBC America and AMC Networks to try and keep it afloat, to no avail.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn