NBC has decided to shut down the Chiller Channel on January 1, 2018 the TV Answer Man has learned.
An NBC Universal spokesperson confirmed the decision this morning in an email to the TV Answer Man. “NBC Universal will discontinue Chiller as of January 1, 2018,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson did not elaborate on the reasons behind the decision. However, Cox dropped the horror-themed channel last week, which followed similar moves to jettison it this year from Verizon, Charter and Dish.
The Cox drop means that Chiller has lost access to more than 40 million homes in less than eight months. (Cox has roughly 4 million video subs; Dish has slightly less than 14 million; Charter has slightly less than 17 million; and Verizon has slightly less than 5 million.).
In addition, Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, has never carried Chiller, although it owns the channel via NBC. (DIRECTV and U-verse are currently Chiller’s two biggest carriers.)
Chiller’s demise is the latest blow to the niche TV category which has also seen such channels as Esquire, Cloo, Pivot and Al-Jazeera America close their doors in recent months.
While once highly coveted by pay TV operators, the niche channel is now finding it increasingly difficult to land or maintain spots in pay TV lineups because the operators are looking to cut programming costs.
Chiller launched in March 2007 and its lineup has been dominated by horror shows and movies purchased from various production companies. However, like other struggling programmers, the channel decided a few years ago to begin production of its own shows.
The channel’s first original show, Slasher, debuted with season one in March 2016. However, the licensing rights for season two were acquired by Netflix, which began streaming it last month.
(Pictured above: All Cheerleaders Die, a movie that plays occasionally on the Chiller channel.)
— Phillip Swann