Friday Night Tykes, Car Matchmaker and the future of all Esquire TV shows have been thrown into doubt with the network’s switch from linear to digital-only in the wake of carriage losses.
The men-focused Esquire Network, a partnership between NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines, will no longer be a linear TV network. The digital-only brand will still feature original programming, including new series Borderland USA (working title) and Edgehill, which will now launch in the spring on the direct-to-consumer product Esquire.com.
The move follows AT&T DirecTV and U-Verse’s decision in December to drop Esquire, which lost 15 million subscribers to go down to 45 million homes. Additionally, NBCUniversal has been in difficult carriage negotiations with Charter Spectrum, which also has been likely to drop Esquire, bringing the network’s distribution down another 15 million homes to 30 million.
“Since its launch, Esquire Network has seen consistent growth among total viewers and key demos and has delivered significant value to our advertising partners. Men today consume content on a variety of platforms and it is essential that we follow our viewers,” said Adam Stotsky, President, E! Entertainment and Esquire Network. “We are grateful to the team that has contributed to Esquire’s many successes to date, and this new strategy sets us up for the future.”
How secure are the likes of Friday Night Tykes, Steel Country, Brew Dogs, Knife Fight, Borderland USA and more? Is it the beginning of the end, or will they have a new lease of life? Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the cancel/renew fate of all Esquire TV shows…