As the Blaze writes, the former CNN host drew a total of 47,000 people in his 8pm time slot, only 10,000 of which were in the key 25-54 demographic.
These results are down 74% from Olbermann’s nightly average in March, and roughly 1/10 of the viewership at MSNBC in the same time slot (and roughly 1/30 of Fox News).
According to the insiders, Time Warner Cable Inc’s agreement with Current TV cites that, if the news network fails to meet a minimum threshold for overall viewers in a certain quarter, financial penalties for Current TV are triggered.
Moreover, if Current TV misses the audience benchmark in two consecutive quarters, another clause is triggered that would allow Time Warner Cable to drop the channel. The condition was built into the most recent distribution pact between the two parties, which was signed in 2010.
“Time Warner Cable has been flirting with the idea of pulling Current off its systems for some time now,” said one of the sources, who required remaining anonymous.
Olbermann, who was responsible for hosting the politically tinged talk show “Countdown,” was fired from Current TV last week and replaced with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Current TV accused Olbermann of breaching his contracts and trying to sabotage the progressive public affairs network. Olbermann denied Current’s allegations.
Keith Olbermann told David Letterman on Tuesday that he “screwed up really big” in deciding to join Current TV. “I screwed up really big on this. I thought we could do this. It’s my fault that we didn’t succeed in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through.”
He drew the parallel with a $10 million chandelier, saying that you needed a house to put it in. “Just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn’t going to do anybody a lot of good, and it’s not going to do any good to the chandelier,” he said.
“And then it turned out we didn’t have a lot to put the house on, to put the chandelier in, or a building permit, and I should have known that.”
“You’re the chandelier?” Letterman asked. “You’re always telling me how big my head is,” Olbermann replied.
Letterman also wondered whether Olbermann had gotten a sinking feeling the second after he signed the deal. Olbermann revealed that he had, moreover, he added that his previous appearance on the “Late Show” in September was “the last time I had fun on television.”
He said he first thought of leaving just days after his show began. “I was thinking about that as early as like last July. We’d been on the air about 10 days and they fired the guy who knew what he was doing who I worked for and I went, ‘Uh-oh.’”
He also mentioned Al Gore, his most famous boss. “He meant well,” he said. “It didn’t go well. He just wasn’t that involved in it and it was kind of difficult to get to him about these things.”
“Where will you go now?” Letterman asked him at the end of the conversation. “I think I’ll just go home,” Olbermann said, reports the Huffington Post.