E.W. Scripps' Newsy buys subscribers to break into cable television

E.W. Scripps bought Newsy in 2013 for $35 million. (Newsy)

E.W. Scripps’ news network Newsy is jumping into cable and satellite channel guides by buying carriage contracts from the Retirement Living Television (RLTV) cable network.

The move will net Newsy about about 26 million subscribers and reprogram the network with Newsy’s lineup of shows. Scripps will begin transitioning Newsy over the next few months, and expects Newsy will expand its reach to about 40 million cable and satellite subscribers by the end of 2018.

Scripps is paying for the carriage agreement on a per-subscriber basis and is expecting the total cost could be as much as $23 million, but no more than 93 cents per subscriber.


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“Newsy has already made a name for itself among millennial news consumers who rely on over-the- top television. Now we’ll be reaching Americans with cable and satellite service who are looking for a fresh approach to news coverage,” said Adam Symson, president and CEO of Scripps, in a statement. “This expanded reach for our advertising business alongside carriage fees furthers our strategy to develop Newsy as a prominent multiplatform news network with dual revenue streams.”

“Younger audiences are looking for the coverage with context that Newsy delivers,” said Laura Tomlin, senior vice president of national media for Scripps, in a statement. “Cable and satellite companies are seeking programming like Newsy to grow their subscriber base with younger viewers—a demographic that mainstream cable news outlets have struggled to capture.”

RELATED: Tegna and News 12's NYC TV stations to incorporate Cheddar Local segments

E.W. Scripps bought Newsy in 2013 for $35 million.

While Scripps is seeking to give its millennial-targeted news network a home on linear television, other broadcasters like Tegna are seeking to boost millennial appeal in their newscasts by partnering with Cheddar.

KXTV, Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Sacramento, California, will be the first network affiliate to incorporate Cheddar Local segments.

Produced by Cheddar, a streaming news network, the segments will be one to two minutes in length, run twice daily (before the market opens and after it closes) and tailor content specifically for the Sacramento region. Tegna and Cheddar said that after Sacramento, the segments could expand to Tegna’s other 46 TV stations.

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