The $plintering Effect: Cable Network $pinoffs


One of the reasons I no longer bother watching The Discovery Channel, A&E, and (pretty soon) History is the way in which the cable channels have decided to take one or more "genres" from their general programming and create separate channels that cater to niche audiences.

Take, for instance, The Discovery Channel. Up until a few years ago, this channel could be counted on to offer a wide spectrum of programming. It was on The Discovery Channel, for instance, that I first saw a series called Wings, which was about aviation. Some of the shows were about civilian aircraft, but mostly Wings centered on military aviation. It even had specialized spinoffs, such as Wings of the Red Star and Wings Over the Gulf.

Then, just as A&E had done with its history-related programming and created The History Channel, Discovery decided several years ago to create a niche channel called Discovery Wings, then lumped all its military progrrams into yet another niche channel called (ta da!) The Military Channel. Now Discovery is mostly about travel and animals, even though it owns the nature-oriented Animal Planet.

To me, this simply smacks of network greed at the consumers' expense. Not everyone can afford to pay huge packages of cable or satellite programming, yet to see those little splinter channels subscribers either need to upgrade their cable plans or switch to satellite providers like DirecTV or Dish Network.

What a $cam!


While I can appreciate your point of view, we have access to many more programs thru the itemization of Discovery Channels. It is easier for say a military buff or a history buff to find the programs they want 24/7. They don't have to wade thru dozens of show types they are not interested in. By dividing up the Discovery Channels into specific categories it allows more programs to be aired on each channel specific to each type of genre.