When Time Warner stirs the pot they do like to make a splash. On Tuesday the prominent North American cable operator cautioned subscribers that they may no longer have access to “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” as the E! network, along with both Lifetime and Starz are on the chopping block. Time Warner cites expiring agreements with those networks as the cause.
The news comes after a Time Warner spokesperson said that Current TV would be removed as soon as possible–due to it being purchased by Al Jazeera–an international-renowned cable news network. “Time Warner Cable’s agreements with programmers and broadcasters to carry their services and stations routinely expire from time to time,” read a notice from the company to subscribers. “We are usually able to obtain renewals or extensions of such agreements, but in order to comply with applicable regulations, we must inform you when an agreement is about to expire.”
The agreements in question are for Lifetime, which has seen much ratings success this season, E! and Starz, a package of premium movie channels similar to that of HBO. The notice continued to read, “The following agreements are due to expire soon, and we may be required to cease carriage of one or more of these services/stations in the near future.”
Time Warner already removed the Ovation network from both its standard and HD lineups. Recently The Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movie Channel were in danger of being removed from the cable operators lineups, but a last minute deal with Crown Media kept both stations on the air. AMC Networks received a short-term deal to get their IFC and WE tv networks to remain with the operator.