Q. I’m a big fan of the Chiller Channel, but I can’t find it on DIRECTV anymore. Did they get rid of it? I hope not because it had the best horror films anywhere! — Karen, Topeka, Kansas.
Karen, I’m sorry to inform you that the Chiller Channel isn’t on DIRECTV anymore. Or on any TV service, for that matter. NBC, which owned the horror-themed channel, decided to terminate it on January 1, 2018.
I’ve heard from many Chiller fans like yourself that they miss the channel’s lineup of low-budget horror films, old TV shows and original fare such as Slasher.
So, why did NBC get rid of it?
The short answer, of course, is money. Chiller, which launched in 2007, was once carried by several TV operators including DIRECTV, Dish, Charter/Spectrum and Cox. However, in the months leading up to Chiller’s closing, Dish, Charter and Cox all decided to remove the channel from their lineups.
Shortly before its closing date, DIRECTV and AT&T’s U-verse were the only major providers to offer the channel.
In the TV business, if a channel isn’t carried by multiple pay TV services, it doesn’t make money. And if a channel doesn’t make money, it’s history.
This has become a trend in the television industry. Niche channels such as Chiller are having an increasingly difficult time finding a place in cable and satellite lineups.
The cable and satellite operators are tightening their belts due to the growing defection of subscribers who are weary of pay TV’s rising monthly bills. Consequently, the cable and satellite services are less likely to pay carriage fees for niche channels which have relatively small audiences. Instead, the pay TV operators save their carriage money for high-profile channels which are viewed by more people.
Despite the intensity of its fan base, Karen, Chiller simply didn’t have enough viewers to stay in business.
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— Phillip Swann