The Santa Monica-based cable channel announced this week that it secured a distribution deal with AT&T's U-verse subscription television service, putting the channel in more than half of the nation's households that subscribe to pay-TV. Ovation has increased its carriage by about 20% during the last year -- an achievement for a small independent that lacks the leverage of a major media company like News Corp., NBCUniversal or Walt Disney Co.
“When we acquired Ovation five years ago, it was in less than 5 million homes,” Charles Segars, chief executive of Ovation, said in a statement. “Our 10-fold growth proves that distributors and viewers agree with what we have been saying all along: Programming about art, artists and artistic expression rocks.”
The channel's expansion bodes well for the network because it demonstrates that cable, satellite and telephone companies are interested in carrying some highbrow programming at a time when distributors are under pressure to shed channels. Consumers have grown increasingly wary of rising cable bills.
-- Meg James
Photo: Ovation Chief Executive Charles Segars in 2010 at the channel's Santa Monica headquarters. Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times