Esquire today announced that they will be shutting down their cable TV channel. This is likely the first in what will be a flood networks shutting down their traditional cable TV channels over the new few years in favor of online streaming.
Launched back in 2013 to replace the Style Network, Esquire TV had the goal of reaching young, affluent men. Now just over 3 years latter they will be no more. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Esquire in 2016 averaged just 141,000 primetime viewers, and while that was good for an 18% year-over-year lift above Style, its delivery in the key 18-to-49 demographic was underwhelming. The network last year averaged less than one-tenth of a ratings point among adults 18 to 49, putting it in the company of such low-flying niche channels as Pop, Reelz and Destination America.
“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.”
Esquire will continue to make new content for the service. “Edgehill,” an investigative series about the 1998 unsolved murder of a Yale undergrad, and a documentary series following a special ops unit with the working title “Borderland USA,” will debut on the digital service in the spring. The digital channel will also include current shows like “Knife Fight,” “Brew Dogs” and “Best Bars in America.”
Esquire’s direct-to-consumer product will be available through Esquire.com. We do not know if it will be a paid subscription service or carry advertising.
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