Advertisements You can't really blame this on NBC/Universal for a very simple fact, it's not their fault. You've almost got it figured out. And ESPN is an outlier to the issue at hand. They don't have to write anything. There is a new game or contest everyday and many days have more then they can fit onto one channel. They won't have the same issue at an entertainment channel because they will never have to worry about the same problem. And oddly enough, ESPN has narrowed their scope. Entertainment and Sports Network. Now they are just SPN but they never bothered to remove the E. History is a limited subject. It's audience isn't limited, but it can only cover what has already happened. It spawned off of Discovery Channel at the wrong time. Discovery's biggest hit show is "Wings". Planes have only been around for 100 years and it doesn't take a long time before you have to repeat yourself and talk again about the reason that the SR71 has cones in front of it's 2 jet engines. You're closer then gastrof. It's owners are the people who bought shares on the stock market. They don't actually get to make decisions. They just get to vote on who fills the jobs that make the decisions. And they just look at one number, the stock price. If it doesn't go up, kick the bums (Chief anything or Director of anything) out and find someone else. And once you have captured all of an audience, be it SciFi fans, music fans, history buffs, foodies, or handypersons, your done growing. You can only make more money by either increasing the number of commercials (which drops the viewership and therefore the amount of money advertisers will pay) or increasing the price of commercials (which causes advertisers to stop buying airtime). So you have to slip in a different type of programming to draw different viewers which draws different advertisers affording you the ability to increase your prices without losing advertisers. So the problem boils down to what ultimately kills all public corporations, the requirement of their true owners to make more money they they did last month. And all of this eventually leads to: They don't care if they lose core viewers. That happens all the time. They will lose a few and keep more plus add even more that their new programming attracts. That equals growth. He's just someone who views businesses from the prospective of the shareholder. And the ultimate answer is across the pond. The BBC differs from the PBS network by one little important difference. They are fully funded by the British government from the proceeds of a license fee on TVs. If you own a TV in the British Isles, you have to make a payment each year to the government who passes the money straight to the BBC. They have no shareholders or even advertisers to keep happy. They just have to produce shows to fill their broadcast hours. As long as they don't completely piss off large groups of people, they are doing a fine job. Ratings don't matter if you don't have advertising that you have to price. Growth doesn't matter if your ownership isn't greedy. Just don't screw up and Bob's your uncle. That is what niche channels need to do. Not worry about growth. Not worry about paying a dividend every 3 months. Just produce programming that doesn't piss off too big of a chunk of your viewership.