A&E Has a New Plan to Fight Cord Cutting… Nonfiction…


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A&E has been in an interesting spot recently, trying to be both a scripted network with its hit show Bates Motel and a nonfiction network.

Now it seems with the end of Bates Motel A&E has decided the best way to fight cord cutting is to go back to its roots.

“But I think in today’s world where we really try to clarify and focus our brand for the consumers and to lean into what we are best known for, what we are best at, I think it was a good time to say, ‘We are going to double down on nonfiction content where we are having a lot of success. The market’s really hungry for it,’” Sharenow told the .

“Scripted is not the core of what we do. It’s part of a tentpole [strategy],” said Zaslav during an earnings call, referring to the series Harley and the Davidsons, which he called a “treat” for viewers.

So why does A&E think nonfiction is the best way to go? It seems it’s an effort to get the attention of Netflix.

“Concurrently, SVOD players have started to show interest in buying non-fiction content which could start to put pressure on the bigger non-fiction cable networks. Netflix has continuously emphasized increasing original content. However, given the high cost of scripted originals, Netflix will need to incorporate more unscripted content in these efforts. As a result, Netflix (and the other SVOD players) will start to bid away name brand non-fiction shows from cable networks,” Moffett Nathanson wrote in a research report.

Only time will tell, but this is a major reversal for A&E, which recently has taken its owned networks such as the History channel away from nonfiction and moved into scripted shows. Many networks will be watching closely to see if this move pays off.

Want to see whats new on A&E? Both Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW have the A&E Network.

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