Will Current Be Shut Off?
The departure of Keith Olbermann from Current TV could pose a devastating complication for the channel itself. Olbermann's ratings, such as they were, provided Current with an average daily audience that could appeal to some advertisers. But Reuters indicated today (Thursday) that they also may have allowed the channel to meet a minimum threshold for overall viewers stipulated in Current's contract with Time Warner Cable. Should Current fails to meet that threshold during any quarter, a number of penalties are triggered, Reuters said. If it fails to do so after any two consecutive quarters, TWC could decide to drop the channel altogether. Reuters cited three unnamed sources in its report and indicated that all three declined to specify what the precise threshold for overall viewers is required under the contract, but one of them said that if not for Olbermann's show, Current would likely have missed the TWC benchmark. But a Current spokesman told the wire service, "We are fully in compliance with our Time Warner Cable contract and all indications show that even with Keith leaving we will continue to be in compliance."