Participant Media's attempt at creating a TV network for millennials has failed. Pivot
The network, which airs shows like Joseph Gordon Levitt's "HitRecord" and the oddball drama "Please Like Me," debuted in 2013 after rebranding Documentary Channel and Halogen TV. The hope for Participant Media, the production company behind the films "Inconvenient Truth" and "Lincoln," was to "get people to think," the former CEO of Participant Jim Berk said at the time.
Despite names like Mr. Levitt and Meghan McCain, daughter of former Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, Pivot's programming failed to find a mass audience or become part of the cultural zeitgeist. It also aired reruns of shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Friday Night Lights."
And there was little interest among the ad community. The network, which is in 50 million homes, is not rated, making it a tough sell to advertisers who of course want to quantify results for their ad buys.
Pivot didn't exactly launch at the most opportune time for independent cable networks. Consolidation among cable operators, increase in high-quality content and the surge in viewers, especially the millennials Pivot targets, to nontraditional platforms, made it especially difficult for the network to find legs. To add to that, the rise in skinny bundles and smaller TV packages on over-the-top services was making it that much harder for Pivot to get in front of an audience.
"As the media landscape changes, we have been evaluating how we fulfill our mission to entertain and inspire social action around the world's most pressing issues. That process has led us to the decision to move away from owning and operating a cable network," Participant Media CEO David Linde said in a statement. "While this conclusion was not an easy one, it is ultimately in the best interest of all our stakeholders, and allows us to allocate more resources toward the production of compelling content across all platforms."
"There has never been a better time to be a creator of great content," Mr. Linde added. "By focusing squarely in that direction, Participant is positioning itself to take advantage of these trends."
Pivot was one of several channels like Sean "Diddy" Combs' Revolt and Al Jazeera America to launch during this time. Al Jazeera America went dark in April.