NBCU Shifting Esquire From Cable to Digital

At a time when little-watched channels are being squeezed out of skinny cable bundles, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines say they will take the Esquire Network off cable and turn it into a digital-only brand.

The direct-to-consumer product will be available at Esquire.com and will continue to feature original video programming. New original series Borderland USA and Edgehill will launch in the spring, the companies said.

“Since its launch, Esquire Network has seen consistent growth among total viewers and key demos and has delivered significant value to our advertising partners. Men today consume content on a variety of platforms and it is essential that we follow our viewers,” said Adam Stotsky, president, E! Entertainment and Esquire Network. “We are grateful to the team that has contributed to Esquire’s many successes to date, and this new strategy sets us up for the future.”

Popular franchises, including Car Matchmaker, Knife Fight, Brew Dogs  and Best Bars in America, will continue to appear on the new direct-to-consumer offering.

“We look forward to our continued partnership with NBCUniversal with this digital driven, forward-looking strategy, which reinforces the brand’s premium value proposition,” said Hearst Magazines president David Carey.

Esquire Network launched in 2013, replacing the Style Network.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.