March 27 A new cable channel from Participant
Media, backer of movies such as "Lincoln" and "The Help," plans
to offer an Internet subscription to customers without a pay
television service, its executives said on Wednesday.
The network called "pivot" will reach 40 million homes
through deals it struck with Pay TV companies such as DirecTV
when it launches in August. Participant is also working
with broadband providers to offer a stand-alone streaming
subscription to customers without a pay TV package, network
president Evan Shapiro said.
The hybrid distribution methods reflect the shifting
entertainment landscape, where some customers are dropping pay
TV service and watching video content online. Operators such as
Cablevision and Dish Network Corp also are
complaining about escalating fees to carry networks and
advocating an "a la carte" model to let consumers choose the
channels they want.
HBO's chief executive Richard Plepler said last week that it
would consider partnering with Internet providers for its
streaming service, HBO GO, and offer a product for customers who
do not subscribe to cable TV.
Participant Media was founded by billionaire and former eBay
President Jeff Skoll to produce entertainment programming that
inspires social change.
Programming on "pivot", aimed at adults age 18 to 34, will
include a variety show hosted by "Inception" and "Lincoln" actor
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a reality show following Meghan McCain,
the daughter of Sen. John McCain, and a scripted series about a
young William Shakespeare.